The world is moving at such an unprecedented pace at the moment. With one swift government order, we’ve all been summoned inside and for a lot of us, this means being holed-up with housemates. People who we usually only interact with as bookends to each day are now constants in our shared living spaces.

According to this website, Manhattan in New York City is second on the list of “Smallest Apartments in the US” with the average size being just 68 square metres. By comparison, a two-bedroom in Melbourne averages 73 square metres or one quarter of a tennis court. It’s a tiny space for two people! And make no mistake, being inside all day can breed moodiness.

So how do you keep the peace in a tiny apartment? How do you work alongside your new co-worker and avoid arguments over the dishwasher?

“Give each other space, make sure you retreat to your room so everyone gets some alone time,” suggests GRAZIA’s resident psychologist Gemma Cribb. “If there’s an argument, sleep on it before airing grievances. Sleep on it to determine if the level of feeling you have around it means it’s really important enough to discuss.”

Cribb says the key to getting along and navigating one another’s moods relies heavily on making effort with your housemate. “Be kind, do nice things for each other, offer help and emotional support where you can,” she continues.

The other challenge is managing cabin fever – and managing it while having another person in your space. “Scheduling your day is important so you have a regular routine and rhythm to break up the day,” says Cribb. “Do different types of tasks including staying physically active and engaging in leisure activities and socialising. Make sure you keep your house tidy and maintain good personal hygiene. Keep your mind occupied – if you find yourself dwelling or feeling down, engage in an activity that takes your mind off it.”

It’s challenging times for everyone. We’d love to hear your best housemate-during-isolation stories below.

Cover image credit: Instagram @gigihadid