Sharing an apartment can have major perks from lasting friendships to split rent to an in-house pet sitter. However, it can also cause some headaches for roomies when it comes to on-time rent payments, cleanliness, frustrating idiosyncrasies, and quiet time hours. Getting along with your roommate is beneficial for a happy apartment living experience. The last thing you both want to do is constantly butt-heads, argue, or live in misery inside your shared space.
Having house rules in place between roommates is a great way to squash any uncomfortable situations that could arise. After you have settled into the apartment, have a sit-down with your roommate to discuss what rules you would like to see in place and vice versa. Now this may seem awkward at first, but having an open and direct discussion on rules –and agreed on by both parties- will be favorable in the long term. Both roommates should discuss the obvious concerns: people who are allowed over, people who can stay the night, financial commitment, communal room cleaning responsibilities, and quiet hours; along with the not-so-obvious concerns: pet-sitting, purchasing of communal household goods, and cleanliness of individual bedrooms.
Respect between roommates can make living with each other a great experience. Respect each other’s things: don’t take food, clothes, or possessions from each other without getting the approval to do so. Remember that roommate who used up the last of your personal coffee creamer without asking you or the one who took your favorite boots out of your closet without so much as a heads-up? – Yeah, you do. You don’t want to be that kind of roommate nor live with one.
I’m going to piggyback off respect here. If you need to enter your roommate’s room for any reason, make sure you ask their permission first and explain why you need to go in. If your roommate is home, it’s always polite and respectful to knock first and be invited inside. Would you like it if someone walked right into your personal space unannounced? –Probably not.
A lot of people forget about compromising – it’s either my way or the highway. If you and your roommate are disagreeing about who should get what part of the dresser or where you can hang your AC/DC poster, then you should both calmly discuss the pros and cons of the situation and come to a compromise you both can live with. Roommates should be able to display personal belongings and achievements with pride in the home they share together.
Lastly, but certainly not least, having a roomie date night is a fantastic way to bond and stay afloat in each other’s activities. Whether you meet up for sushi, order take-out and binge watch a Netflix series, or go to a baseball game together, spending a few hours with your roommate will help you both maintain a lasting connection.