Want a place to call your own, but not sure how to wrest it from the rest of the family? Successful manspacers suggest these strategies:
1. Make a trade-off. Offering to move your junk out of plain sight is perhaps the most common space-claiming tactic, says "Manspace" author Sam Martin. "Usually your significant other is more than happy to agree to that," he notes. You want a pro...
1. Make a trade-off. Offering to move your junk out of plain sight is perhaps the most common space-claiming tactic, says "Manspace" author Sam Martin. "Usually your significant other is more than happy to agree to that," he notes. You want a proper setting for your collection of 15th century Swedish halberds. She wants a ban on medieval weaponry throughout the rest of the house. Problem solved.
2. Claim it will save your marriage. Won't the two of you get along better if she's free to work on her needlepoint without the distraction of you forging horseshoes on your home-blacksmith anvil? "I think it's important that you share some interests but also each have interests of your own," says Loren Hulber, who admires his wife's organic greenhouse (when he walks past on the way to his collection of restored vintage sports cars).
3. Choose the room nobody wants. "When we moved to this house," says Neil Hever of his Allentown, Pa., manspace, "The room had electrical wires hanging from the ceiling." That, plus its small size and A-shaped frame rendered the space unappealing for any conventional use. But with some drywall, rewiring and added shelves, it became a perfect showcase for Hever's military collection. Not confident of your fix-up skills? Check out the free seminars offered by many hardware stores and home improvement centers.
4. Make yourself useful. "I don't worry that he spends too much time there," says Beth Strickland of husband Bill's home bike shop. "If anything, he should spend more time there, working on my bike." If your proposed domain will feature any kind of work space, tout the potential benefits. Maybe a home office will enable you to write that best-selling novel. And if the desktop doubles as a bar for you and your buddies, what better way to get the creative juices flowing?
5. Be patient. Some homes just don't have room for a manspace. But keep the option on the table, Martin says. "A lot of guys have to share space in a laundry room or garage. But they'll make an agreement with their wives that when it comes time to move, the new house will have a place for their stuff."