Sharing space with roommates can be challenging in the best of times — and that isn’t mentioning the other times. You know, the instances your roomie requires your food without requesting (or replacing it), leaves a huge mess for others (you) to clean up, or attracts a significant other home to stay for weeks (or months).
With a new school year here, and a lot of individuals moving into new flats with fresh roommates and good goals, let’s get a couple things straight about roommate etiquette — and save a great deal of headaches down the road.
Better: Pass this along to your roommates, so that you can all start off on exactly the same page.
Sealy Design Inc..
Be social. You certainly don’t need to do everything together or become the very best of friends — but hiding out in your room constantly and decreasing every time that your roommates invite you to do some thing sends a negative message.
Component of what could make living with roommates pleasure is hanging out together. Likewise, do not form a clique and exclude a different roommate from actions. If a roommate situation isn’t working outside, address it directly.
Chat decorating area. That means that you need to all get equal wall space (if you need it) to hang art in common areas, and you should work together to decide on furniture arrangements and accessories. To each his or her own in bedrooms, however shared space actually should be shared.
When you move in, it can be a fun bonding experience to undertake a household project together. Reach the local flea market together, paint a bit of furniture, or collaborate on a artwork wall.
A Gallery Wall for Every Personality
Maggie Stephens Interiors
Keep common areas clean. Maintain your own personal items from taking up permanent residence in common areas. The living room shouldn’t be a dumping ground for heaps of unfolded laundry, teetering stacks of magazines, or crusty cereal dishes!
Whenever you are finished with something, put it back. Just because your roommate seems to always leave her things laying around doesn’t mean that you should, also. Especially in households with a couple of roommates, messiness is a slippery slope. Set a good example, and it’s more likely your roommates will follow suit.
Betty’s Room, LLC
Look after your own pets. If you’ve got a pet, do not expect your roommates to help care for this. Even if they had been excited to have a furry friend in the house, it isn’t their obligation to perform the dirty work.
If you would like to request your roommates to take care of your furry friend when you are away on a trip, inquire first (do not assume they’ll do it) And offer to pay them or treat them the next time you go out. If it’s your roommate who has the pet, it is fair to expect them to take care of daily pet duties — and offer a pet fur-removing brush for your couch.
Madison Modern Home
Do your own dishes. This has become the most common roommate complaint of all time — do not allow it to be around you! Do your own dishes immediately after meals, and if your roommate cooked dinner for the two of you, get in there and wash up after. When handling roommates who do not wash their dishes, try speaking with them straight first, aiming for a tone that is firm but not angry.
In an extreme instance of dish-neglect, try removing a few of the dishes out of the cupboards entirely (if you will find tons) — fewer dishes means the pile of dirties can never get too poor. Let your roommate know how serious it is for you, and begin keeping separate dishes. Their dirties can go in a dishpan out of sight under the sink until they are ready to deal with them, and your clean ones could be stored wherever you like (even on your room if necessary).
Sarah Phipps Design
Decide how to take care of groceries and stick with it. A roomie who eats your food without inquiring is up there with the person who renders the dirty dishes piled up in the sink. Let’s hope you never need to live with somebody who does both.
The best method to avoid conflict around food is to agree early on how you will handle groceries, and stick with it. Here are three common ways to take care of the food situation, along with pros and cons:
Discuss everything. For some, sharing meals and splitting costs evenly works out with no hassle. Conflicts can arise if one of you has friends over a great deal and feeds stated friends from the (allegedly) equally shared meals stash. Should you go this route, make clear that the food is for roommates only. Independent sides of the refrigerator. Shop separately, and keep your mind off your pet’s meals. This can be a wise option if you have a tendency to buy very different sorts of meals (i.e., 1 roommate is vegetarian, yet another loves meat). Share staples, split the remainder. This compromise sounds good, but can be a little tricky in training. Make sure that you agree on what’s on your list of staples, and trade off paying for them.
Cynthia Lynn Photography
Share bathroom cleaning (and other onerous tasks). Nobody wants to clean out the bathroom or take out the garbage, but it has to be done — and when one ends up doing the dirtiest jobs all of the time, tempers can flare.
Set up a chore chart someplace easily viewed with housemates, and use it to rotate tasks. Common courtesy dictates that every person should pull her or his own hair in the drain after showers, and replace the soap or TP if you apply the last of it.
Don’t monopolize the TV and stereo. With notebooks and iPads, sharing the TV is not as much of a problem as it once was, but it is still not fair to hog the huge screen. Each roommate should have the chance to watch favorite shows and get an equal chance to DJ the sound system. And no judgments — everyone is permitted to watch (or listen to) total junk from time to time!
Create a landing zone to take care of mail. Especially among the first-apartment set, keeping track of bills can be problematic — and it only takes one missed payment to wreak havoc on your credit score.
Make things easier on yourselves by setting up one spot where email always lands as soon as you walk into the door.
Make a spot for a charging station for devices, and you won’t lose them.
Taylor Jacobson Interior Design
Be respectful of your roommate’s schedule. If you understand your roommate must get up early, be polite and keep noise down at night.
Always speak with your roommates about celebrations in advance, and bypass it if a roommate asks you throw the party another weekend.
Respect personal space and possessions. Do not go into a housemate’s room when they are not home, and do not use or borrow whatever theirs without asking. Should you share a bedroom, do not sit or put stuff on your roommate’s bed. And should you borrow some thing (with permission) and it gets stained or damaged, it is your responsibility to have it cleaned, repaired or replaced immediately!
If your roommate was taking your things without asking, have a conversation with her about it as soon as possible. She might have only assumed it was OK with you, so be clear about how and what you are prepared (or not willing) to share. And be honest: If you frequently borrow your roomie’s shoes, do not get your feathers in a ruffle if she dominates your sweater.
Sealy Design Inc..
Keep up with your laundry. Big, stinky piles of dirty laundry can win you no more lovers, even when the piles are comprised to your room. Keep that laundry moving, or make regular trips to the laundromat if you don’t have access to a washer drier.
For roommates who neglect laundry, step one is getting them to keep it contained for their own space. Offering to go along on a shopping trip for additional hampers could be enough to get the message across.
Practice the golden rule. See to your roommates as you would like to get treated. When something is bothering you, then tell them in a clear but polite way instead of letting bad feelings fester. And remember that small, fine gestures — such as bringing home flowers to your dining room table or a bag of biscuits to share — could go a very long way to exude calmness.
Tell us Share your best (or worst) roommate tales in the Remarks!