A Perfect Guide to Living with Roommates
Roommates can be super chill, there’s no denying that. They keep us company, occasionally cook us dinner, and even ease a little financial strain (you know… rent and other bills).
There are some aspects of having a roommate that aren’t so chill— aka: having loud, aggressive sex from 12am - 4am… Yeah, most of us can live an entire lifetime without hearing exaggerated pleas of pleasure. As roommates, we need to follow some unspoken rules that coincide with a healthy household and lifelong friendship.
This is a guide to show you the ins and outs of having a roommate so that you have the BEST experience.
You’re not back at home (*cough*… Mom and Dad’s)
We’ve heard this a thousand times, but I think people like to forget— it’s not your roommate's responsibility to tell you what to do and vice versa. It’s not fair if one of you need to ask each other to do dishes or pick up the bathroom. One of the most common discrepancies between roommates is keeping a tidy house— so don’t be a slob and everything will be just fine.
Keep the mess to your room, bra.
Use the force… Of labeling your food.
It would be nice to leave food that you plan to eat in the cupboard, and still have it there when you return, but when you’re living with roommates, it’s easy to start seeing some food (and lots of beer) disappear.
If you’re open to the idea of sharing your food, go for it, but if you’re anything like the rest of the population— it's not too chill… And if you’re living on a strict budget like I was, forget it. I found it difficult loaning a fellow roommate a piece of paper on the extra-tough months… yeah.
So eliminate the not-so-chill with a healthy system that works! Sectionalize your kitchen, and make sure you label what’s rightfully yours. If this system doesn’t seem to work, have a constructive conversation with your roommate and tell them to stop freeloading. I’ve even heard of roommates locking their food up in like, some crazy cage something… Perhaps it’s a bit extreme, but I guess if it works…
Let’s just hope it doesn’t have to come down to that.
Developing a community… of stuff.
There comes a point when we must compromise. It would be absolute nonsense to have individual toilet paper, ketchup, salt/pepper— you get it. We’re roommates, we’re here to help each other out, so long as it’s not one sided.
Go out and buy a cheap calendar or make a chart. Make sure that you two (or more) are alternating between whose turn it is to buy the toilet paper. It’s effective and fair. Don’t be the one who uses everything up and waits for someone to replenish the stock… Trust me. They notice. (Insert link to roommate chart ideas for chores, shopping, dates, etc…)
IT.IS. TIME. FOR. BED!
If there is one thing that's more sacred to me than my cellphone, it’s sleep. As the years progress, it appears that I will never get enough of it. No matter who you are or where you live, you’re going to want to sleep. I don’t care if you’re a neighbor, family member, Santa Clause—when I say it's lights out for me, I MEAN lights out.
This goes for you and your roommate. Respect each other’s sleeping habits. Make sure it’s okay that you have a friend over, or decide to invite the entire community to rage face— communication is vital. You wouldn’t like to be kept awake the night before an exam, or an early shift… So do yourself and your roommate a favor, respect the sanctity of sleep.
A quick piece of advice:
-Wear headphones if you listen to music around the clock.
-Your feet are not made of lead- pay attention to how you step.
-Is the volume on the TV too loud?
-Is it really necessary to scream at the top of your lungs when things get… erm… hot?
Joe’s staying over for the seventeenth time this week.
Boyfriends and girlfriends. This one is tricky. It’s nice to have our lovers with us whenever we can, in fact, we love it so much, that we forget how annoying it is for a roommate.
In the roommates mind, this new “roommate” is living for free, making messes, being loud and disrupting the overall aura of the house.
Maybe it’s not so bad, and maybe your roommate is cool with the man friend staying over five nights a week— just do them a solid and make sure you ask them how they feel. If you can (even if they are chillax with the situation), try and divide the time between your house and theirs, being respectful will get you so far with not only your roommate, but your future relationships too.
ENJOY your experience
More than likely, you won't have a roommate forever, and while it can seem like a pain in the rear-end now, you'll look back at your time spent sharing your home with fond memories— well, hopefully anyway.
Long story short- be respectful, communicate your feelings, be as tidy as you can, and remember to set time aside to hangout with your roommate. These are going to be some of the best times of your life, and you don't want to waste it over petty arguments.
If you're looking for a roommate, make sure you find your Perfect Match®... Roommates.com can help you with that!