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4 ways to be an awesome crash pad guest

Here in West Palm, Florida, my sister's family and my husband and I have been co-habitating under one roof. My husband and I help out with cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, and childcare while they give us a roof over our heads while we're looking for long-term jobs and a home. It's working out really great! Here's how I've been helping to make our Family Compound feel like a functional space….

19

How does one go about creating an old-ladyship home?

As a single woman of 68, and living in France far from my family, I am beginning to look at end of life issues — such as how to age gracefully in place, how to create a support group and face the last how-ever-many years with dignity, control, and pleasure. I have been discussing creating a shared home with four or five other women and wonder if anyone else thinks of this.

8

Reconnecting with my family by changing the way we do dinner

As children, eating dinner with our families was a nightly occurrence, but as adults we seem to have fallen out of the habit. About a month ago, we decided to try an experiment: one day a week, each one of us would commit to making dinner for the family. We've been incredibly pleased with our arrangement, which has led to some unexpected benefits…

205

5 ways to cope with hoarding

I didn't expect hoarding to impact my life in such a big way. I grew up in a house that made constant donations to whatever organization would come by our front door — at least three garbage bags each month, minimum. Stuff came in, stuff went out. This was my normal. And then I met the man who would one day become my husband. And then I met his parents. And now hoarding is a very real and stressful part of my life. Here are some of the challenges of dealing with hoarders, and how we cope with them…

25

Living with my partner isn't like living with a roommate

The other day when my boyfriend was at work, I texted him to say "I'm exhausted and I just want to warn you that the dishes aren't done. I'll get to them tomorrow first thing."

His response: "I hate to tell you this, love, but you're an adult now. You can do the dishes whenever you want!"

My reaction in my mind: "Not true. I have a responsibility to my roommate to maintain this house in the way that I would want to live in it." Then I caught myself and thought for a minute. Does living with your partner mean that maybe, just maybe, the entire home is now under our shared dominion? And that, within reason, I can decide what gets done when, just like he can? I still wasn't sure.

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10 life lessons learned from my first apartment

Attention young Offbeat Homies: At some point, you will cease to live with your parents or in a dorm room, and will very likely live in a cheap apartment, quite possibly with roommates. I hit this particular milestone my Junior year of college, and here's what it taught me…