First, we have the living room — perhaps the most coveted of all shared spaces. Sure, we all need to hit the bathroom and whip up some eats in the kitchen, but these days, the living room feels like the equivalent of a wide-open field, especially when you’re probably spending most of your time in your bedroom. Although the Dixie Chicks have always encouraged us to use "Wide Open Spaces" to make our big mistakes, you simply can’t risk that sort of thing while sheltering in place. Even one misstep can send your roomie (or you) over the edge. That said, it’s important to grievance-proof the room with the best TV-and-couch setup.
The first rule of hanging out in a common space? Make sure you have a way to enjoy the comfort and ignore the nuisances. These Sony WH-CH710N Wireless Noise-Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones can help you do just that, allowing you to work, listen to a podcast or just zone out — even if your roommate insists on marathoning Tiger King at the same time.
And if you’re all hanging out in the living room at the same time, you might also want to invest in some extra seating. Although you don’t necessarily have to stay 6 feet away from folks in your household, you might really, really want to, and an easy solution to that is a nice storage ottoman. Both comfy and functional, an ottoman that also lets you pack away a few extra blankets and pillows can not only keep the living space tidy but give you a little more space to enjoy each other’s company from across the room.
Having a movie night? Whether you’re precariously balancing red wine on an armrest or looking for a safe place to put a shared bowl of popcorn, this handy couch arm table has your back — er, food and drink. Bonus: It’s a great way to keep your phone, glass of water and more on hand if you’re working from home on the sofa.
Speaking of movie night, if you and your roommates are constantly camping out in the living room — or if you’re like me and have several remotes, PlayStation 4 controllers and other gadgets you constantly want on hand — it’s time to invest in an organizational caddy like this one to store all your couch-side needs. A clutter-free space makes everyone feel just a little bit less on edge.
Want to take cleaning to the next level without being passive aggressive? Having a third party can help, and by third party, I mean an iRobot Roomba that will just handle the cleaning for you.