Living In A Joint Family? Some Space Demarcations You Must Make
A joint family has its own set of advantages but those living in such a 'big-family' often find it difficult to enjoy and demarcate space for themselves. The problem could be worse if there are many children in the house and you have to demarcate their play or study area, thus, sacrificing certain room. Geetanjali Bharti, a physiotherapist, recently decided to stay back home for a few months to help out her children while they prepared for their exams. Here's what she had to say, “All these years when I was working without a break, I had no issues. Even holidays were usually spent visiting relatives or going places. For the last five months, I have been at home and have realised, there is no space for 'me-time'. That is when I realised that I needed to go in for a low-cost renovation.”
With real estate becoming a pricier asset by the day, affording a 4-5BHK unit may not be everybody's cup of tea. Larger units even otherwise are hard to find in bigger cities where usually the demand is for 2 or 3BHK units mostly. If your house is too small, opt for a little renovation. If your house is a big one, space management becomes easier but demarcations should be considered too.
Research says that bedrooms should be used only for what it is meant for. Social gathering, a TV, a work laptop, mobile phones, children playing etc. can hamper your sleep quality. If you are in a joint family, you may not be able to shut the doors on others in the family but use it as a restricted space. Too much of the outside into this private space also means that you end up wasting your time in double cleaning and arranging linen.
Space for me-time
Everybody wants a break and while most of us would want to dash straight into the bed after a full day at work, some others might prefer a more serene space -- terrace, a balcony view, a meditation or puja room or even a play area. The house needn't be very big to help you with this. Try and make the house utilitarian rather than just spending on decoration. If you have children in the house, help them identify a certain corner/room/area in the house where they should play and keep their toys. Ideally, this place should be away from bedrooms or meditation rooms in the house. This way not only are you encouraging your kids to be more disciplined but you are also ensuring that their playtime doesn't spoil your comforts.
The common room
If the house is a small one, the living room always bears the brunt of becoming the common room where everybody can get together for a chat, a game of monopoly or a cup of coffee. If you can afford to create a demarcation such as an extension of the dining room or the living room where you can take your cups, snacks and the game together, it would ensure that not only does it leave your living room clean and tidy, for all the upcoming family-time together; you have the benefit of a designated space.
Kirtana Sharma, a teacher in a Gurgaon-based school says, “There were days when suddenly a guest would arrive and the living room would be in a mess and we would have had to tidy up the place before we opened the door for them. That's when we moved the venue for our family time elsewhere in the house,” she chuckles.
Vaani Tripathy, a home maker living in a swish 4BHK unit in Vasant Kunj, says that she has had a tough time telling children where to play and where they shouldn't. “We are a family of six adults and five children. While it may be easy to scold one's own children, scolding my jethaani's boy wasn't very easy. Initially, I had no issues with the children playing in our bedroom but when it started becoming a routine, I couldn't take it anymore. A year ago, we renovated the house to make the house comfortable for children too. They have a room for themselves and it is demarcated in a way that it doesn't disturb their study time either.” Never encourage children playing in the bedrooms.
A study room
You cannot overlook the fact that some work ultimately comes home as well. For days such as this, you must ensure that there is a space set aside. Don't carry your work into your living room or bedroom.
The store room
Suitcases under your bed and even over your cupboards? Well, that is just as unacceptable as it is unsightly. With a big family around you, you may have to keep your extra luggage in your own room, for example, woollens, cartons, old books, appliances with limited use in a particular season, such as electric heaters, gardening tools etc. If such things end up under your bed, you are cluttering up your room and much to your disadvantage, too.
More so, respect privacy and space demarcations. This applies not only to a joint family but even a nuclear one. However, the need to feel 'at-home' is much more important when you are cohabiting with an extended family.
Also read: 5 Home Maintenance Skills You Must Learn