How To Get Along with a Roommate
Having a first-time roommate as a freshman in a college dorm or renting your first apartment with someone can be a life-changing experience. Great friendships can form or deepen with importance from a shared experience in those temporary living spaces.
Alternatively, divisive fights, arguments, and bad blood can result from living with someone for an extended time. Friends can become enemies when each does not fully understand how to get along in a different setting other than hanging out at the mall or playing video games in the basement. These tips will help those about to make that big move.
Tip 1: Establish Ground Rules from the Begining
Roommate fights tend to start with assumptions. Playing music too loud, uninvited guests couch surfing, and the secret adoption of strange squeaky animals are all situations that should be discussed from day one of the move-in with your roommate.
Having all parties agree on behavior in the living space keeps each other from doing things that were not expected. Make sure to have clear and concrete rules on what is acceptable and what is a dealbreaker. This should be done before deciding on whether to move in or not. In the case of dorms, you may not have a choice based on your preferences, but checking with university staff may help in some circumstances if there is a legitimate reason for a new roommate.
Living with pets can be joyful, but some people may be allergic or prefer not to live with them. Talk with your roommate about what types of pets are acceptable and allowed. Most apartments require a pet deposit fee, which can result in severe consequences such as eviction if not paid.
Tip 2: Make a List of All Items
This is a good idea for several reasons. Human memory is terrible at remembering many details over extended periods, especially the mundane.
Make a list of items you bring so you do not confuse who owns what items. It will result in fewer fights in which cooking pans and similar game controllers are theirs after sitting a couple of years on a shelf, not being used or cared about. This can keep one humble when they are mistaken and helps keep everything organized for later when one moves out.
Tip 3: Decide On Sharables
Plenty of items can be shared with roommates to help divide the cost of living, such as community dish soap, bulk laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies. Having more roommates can even out these costs.
Everyone should have a meeting to decide if each will use these items and if the shared cost is fair. If there is one who does not want to share, then there will be an expectation for that person to buy their own.
Some other sharable items can be less used, such as seasoning for food, baking ingredients, or filtered water (the filter itself or the upfront cost of the equipment). Fights will be prevented when each roommate knows not to eat each other’s snacks simply because ‘they thought it was ok’.
Tip 4: Set Boundaries
Every person is different and requires different boundaries while living together. Some people are introverts, others are extroverts, and many are both. Conversations like these can be awkward and impact friendships. However, without this exchange, negative actions can ruin excellent relationships. It is all about compromises on when and how long activities are done.
Each person may need time to themselves versus enjoying the company or attention of the roommate. Be honest when you want to have movie marathons or party nights with friends, compared to having a quiet night to study and relax. Ask each other what signs you can give to have private time alone or with a significant other.
Tip 5: Work Out a Schedule
Roommates share the same resources and should make a defined schedule to help accommodate everyone relatively in their living space. It should be based on who has to get up in the morning for class or work and when they get back. This can assist in the morning scuffling to the bathroom or figuring out each other’s self-care routine.
Personal and hygiene habits are most often overlooked due to their intimate nature, yet, it is a source of stress when not given prior arrangements. Cleaning, taking out the trash and emptying the shared dishwasher can be assigned on a wall-hung whiteboard or given the default rule: if you make a mess, you clean it up.
Tip 6: Be Accountable
All roommates may say they will do something but will forgo it when it comes. This goes for one’s self. Accidents happen, and people’s minds lose track of time. Going against the roommate agreement or being a hypocrite will only end in bad times and hostility. If you mess up, tell the truth, and accept the consequence, even if it is not easy.
Some things are made worse by covering up incidents and keeping secrets. Helping each other out and making amends can create a great roommate experience.
Tip 7: Don’t Take Each Other for Granted
Roommates come with all different types of personalities. Certain people are pushovers and can be taken advantage of due to their fear of confrontation. Ask them what they genuinely think about an issue without judgment and to be open about what they want out of the roommate relationship.
On the opposite side, bossy roommates may also need to be confronted. Make sure to de-escalate the situation and make objective arguments from what was agreed upon before and use empathy to put yourself in their place.
Tip 8: Communicate
It is easy to have a conversation about hobbies or small talk that does not go off the rails on controversial topics. Discussing emotions and sensitive topics can become almost taboo. Some issues take a nuanced approach before asking more profound questions, while others require an ideal time free of urgent matters. It is good not to put it off for too long.
Talk about problems when one roommate does something the other does not like or finds irritating. Even the trivial and mundane things can matter to another in ways you don’t feel the same. Tapping or singing aloud is regular human activity, but some people who have not gotten used to these things may find this intolerable.
Tip 9: Know When to Get Outside Help
There are unpredictable circumstances that go beyond knowing how to deal with roommate issues. In times of distress, having the correct emergency numbers to call for each situation is very important. Post them on the fridge or have a copy to carry with you conveniently. Contact the Residental Advisors, University faculty, or trusted friends for help if it is a dorm.
Apartment landlords should have the applicable information, such as local police and poison control. Having plans with other family members or friends is a good idea, even if it is a scenario where a good roommate has to move out due to other reasons. This can be stressful with finding a second roommate. A backup plan is practical to have for uncertain times.
Are You Moving in With a Roommate?
We hope you have gained valuable knowledge reading our blog “9 Tips to Getting Along With Roommate.” However, if you are planning to move into a place on your own, with family or a roommate, let Charles Moving and Storage help you with our seamless moves. We aim to make our customers moving experiences fun, exciting and stress-free. We offer everything you need. Do you want us to pack and unpack? Do you need moving supplies? How about storage? Do not worry; we offer everything you need to make your move a fabulous experience.