Those who have the luxury of living alone know the comfort and joy of personal space. Those of us who share our homes with roommates, family or significant others know what a struggle it can be to find and maintain personal space. For the sake of sanity and even saving relationships, it is vital that each member of the household have a personal space to call his or her own.
No matter how small the home, each person should be able to have their own piece of it that belongs solely to him or her. Think of tweens and teens with the "keep out" signs posted on their bedroom doors and you have the idea. The space, however, doesn't even have to be an entire room.
If you are fortunate enough to have a home that offers an entire room for each person that can be off limits to everyone else, that's great. If, however, you're like most people these days and have limited space available, you can still make it work.
A person's space can be as small as a corner desk that no one else uses. The key is that it "belongs" only to one person and the other members of the household respect that fact by not using it. Everyone needs a place they can lay a piece of mail or a set of keys and know without a doubt that the item will be right where they left it because nobody else "messes with their stuff" in that particular part of the home. It gives us a sense of control and ownership that we tend to lose when living with others and can keep down tension.
Most of us have shared work spaces in our professional lives and know that you can't count on the stapler being where you put it last because someone came along behind you and put it somewhere else. We don't need these little frustrations at home and having our own personal space helps make sure we don't.
The bottom line is that we all need personal space, no matter how big or small. Start looking around your home and scoping out a room or a corner that you can claim so you can live a little happier and get along a lot better with your housemates.