We’ve all heard one and everyone has one: The roommate horror story. I have a few myself and I’m sure that a few people have one about me. But never fear! There are a few things that you can go to make the roommate experience less painful.
Of course, there is making sure that you are compatible as roommates. Do you both like your space? Do you like to entertain? Are you morning or evening people? Those details should all be worked out and asked during the interview process. Sometimes, like in college though, we don’t get the chance to ask tough questions.
There are, however, many other things that you can work out with roommates that are going to make living together easier.
Ahhhh everyone thinks this is the uncomfortable one but honestly it is the one that is the most important. Regardless of your friendship or your relationship with the other person, it is important to talk about bills. Don’t think that this is weird or rude. Once you know what is getting paid and how it will make everything in the future automatic.
- What bills need to get paid?
- Joint account or each doing half?
- Whos name are they in?
- Who pays for what maintenance?
- Share emergency contact information.
Public Spaces/Private Spaces
Public and private spaces should be known and respected. Everyone needs their own space. Likewise public spaces are a great place to connect with your roommate. Like a video game? How about a show. My old college roommate and I used to have a standing Gilmore Girls date and it was one of the best parts of my week.
- What spaces are public?
- Which are private? Are there locks?
- Where public and private papers and mail going?
- Are there parking spots?
- Who has what space in the fridge?
- Who buys shared items (toilet paper, cleaners)
- What is off limits?
- Decor? Should it be agreed upon?
We all have different lifestyles and ideally, you should know what kind of lifestyle your roommate has before move in. Still, it is important that people know just what the rules are and what boundaries you have. I personally need my sleep and my alone time.
- Is drinking/other behavior okay?
- Is there a quiet time? -I know this sounds childish but when you work at 6 am…not so much. Make sure you know what the noise levels should be. Head Phone rules are always a pulse.
- Are friends and parties okay or do they need to be checked with the other roommate(s)
- What about overnight guests? How many nights? WHats the difference in between visiting and moving in?
- Pets or no pets? Pet restrictions? Where can they do and not go?
- Moving out? How much notice is needed?
Make a chore chart. I’m not even kidding. There are a million things that can be found on Pinterest for chore charts (Along with a million other things). Try the app Anylist to keep in sync.
- Define what Clean means to you and what it means to your roommate.
- Dirty dishes- how long should they be left in the sink? Who cooks and who cleans?
- Who takes out the garbage?
Other Things to Remember
Never take or lend money to another roommate.
If there is a problem, address it right away. Dont let it bubble and dont talk to any other roommates you might have about it.
Check in once a week. It goes a long way to figuring out if there is anything that needs to be addressed and promotes open communication.
Trust that your roommate has good intentions. Even if it doesn’t seem like it.
Treat others the way you would want to be treated.
Share your schedules.
Consider roommate gifts and roommate time.