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Roommate Needed but Not Wanted: Tips on Living with a Roommate

MyApartmentMap - Aug 16, 2011

So you’ve been living on your own for quite some time, huh? But, it’s starting to be super expensive and the economy is just not helping, so taking on a roommate seems like a great idea. Although you feel like this is the worst thing since your third grade school pictures, it really isn’t. There are so many benefits to having a roommate(s) that your decrease in personal space really won’t be as bad as you think. Granted, there are some bad parts to living with a roommate but at the end of the day the money you will be saving is well worth it. Also, just think now you’re splitting responsibilities so you’re not stuck doing everything. You will have less space, no doubt, but that doesn’t mean you will be in each other’s way. There will be some adjustments that you will have to make, probably the biggest is realizing you actually now have roommates. Here are some tips for easing your new living situation.

Weekly meetings

Weekly meetings are good for a number of reasons. Most importantly is to talk out problems that are going on in the house. If there are concerns or issues this is a great time to bring them up. Also, it’s good to get to know your roommates a little bit. This may be the only time that see your roommates, so make the most of it.

Schedules

During the weekly meetings make a schedule for the next two items on the list, sharing supplies and chores. The schedule will clear up confusion and make sure that everyone is contributing to the apartment. The chores schedule can also have a schedule with what to buy, for example whoever is responsible for the bathroom also buys toilet paper that week.

Share supplies

It’s important to take turns buying supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies etc. It’s also important to talk about how much each person will buy at a time, for example 12 rolls of toilet paper every time it’s your turn. This way there isn’t one person just buying everything.   

Share chores

Splitting up chores so that everyone shares the responsibilities are a good idea, as discussed above it is practical to make a schedule. This way all of the roommates can rotate their chores. Another positive about this is that you don’t have to do the same chore constantly.  

Don’t be afraid to clean up after them

It’s okay to clean up after your roommates from time to time. If there are dishes in the sink that aren’t yours, it’s not the end of the world if you clean them. People are busy and have different personalities. Some just don’t care to have a clean house, but if this is something that is important to you then clean. This is your house too. I learned this lesson early and it has helped me out a lot.

Share utilities

Although this may seem obvious, it’s important to split up the utilities. There are different ways you can split them, the most common being by the number of people that live in the house. Another way to split utilities is by the number of people, but then adjusts for everyone’s share. For example, if one person has an AC, big flat screen television, plus two computers and another person only has a fan, than the first person will be using more electricity.

Keep common areas clean

Shared space is for everyone. So my one rule that is imperative is to always keep the common area clean. If you want your room to be a mess, go for it. But make sure to clean up after yourself in the common area, no matter how busy or tired you are. This is a good way to avoid tension and problems with your roommates. Your roommates cannot complain that your personal space is messy, but it is possible to complain about the common space.

Houseguests

Always communicate with your roommates if you are planning on having house guests. Granted, sometimes house guests are unexpected but it’s always respectful to inform your roommates. Also, ask for the same respect back from your roommates when they have house guests.