Growing up, your “roommate” was most likely your younger sibling. And while she may have borrowed your clothes and tattled to your “landlords” (aka your parents), there was a certain amount of comfort given that you are, in fact, related. And while everyone gets jazzed to fly the coop for college and leave behind their childhood bedrooms for more “adult digs,” that doesn’t mean the roommate thing goes away with this new found freedom. Now, instead of dealing with your little sister, you are forced to co-habitat with someone who doesn’t share your last name.
Roommates are something everyone will experience at one time or another. Whether you’re in college and sharing a teeny tiny bedroom with three other roommates or sharing a one bedroom apartment in New York City with complete strangers the situation can be quite overwhelming and make you second guess ever complaining that your sister snores…
But before you pack your bags and reside to living at home forever, follow this advice to make living with a roommate a breeze.
1- CommunicateTalking is the key to everything. In order to have a good relationship you have to talk about how you feel. If something is bothering you talk to your roommate about it. However, make sure you are willing to compromise and explain your reasoning.
Photo by @thatchiclex
2- Be Upfront about ExpectationsWhen you are first moving in, be upfront about what you expect. Nothing is worse than getting mad at your roommate halfway through the lease about something they didn’t even know bothered you.
Photo by @kelciequinn
3- Be RespectfulTreat others the way you want to be treated. You hopefully already live by this motto; but when living with roommates it’s even more important. Be respectful of not only the person but their stuff. Ask before borrowing anything and always return stuff in the same condition you found them.
Photo by @maddyhaller
4- Clean Up After YourselfThis is a roommate deal breaker. (Is it just me?) Your roommate is not your cleaning lady or mom. At least try and pick up after yourself. Clean your own dishes, don’t leave the common areas a mess, and, yes, you may have to scrub the toilet. Although it may not be how you want to spend your Saturday, having a clean dorm or home will lift the mood and keep petty roommate tiffs to a minimum.
Photo by @amarachiikeji
5- Spend Time TogetherNothing will make you more connected to your roommate than spending time together both at your shared residence and away. If you don’t put in the effort neither will they. Ask your new roommate to grab a cup of coffee. Make it a Sunday ritual to go grocery shopping together. Offer to borrow your parent’s Netflix password for a girl’s night in. You never know you might meet your new best friend. (I certainly did.)
Photo by @coolstorykals
6- Be FlexibleWhether your still searching for a roommate or already have a place, being flexible is a must. Whether that’s making compromises on decor, negotiating shower schedules, or sharing fridge space, being flexible not only makes you a more understanding roommate but shows you care about the other persons well being.
Photo by @mmoor
Although living with a roommate may not seem like your cup of tea, it really can be the best time of your life. Look at the positive and try to make yourself the best roommate that you can possibly be and hopefully you’ll receive that in return. How do you and your roomies live in harmony? Let us know in the comments below.