I am so excited to bring y’all this post today!! It is written by my friend Linda!! Check out her 10 Commandments for Roommates!
There are many benefits to having a roommate. You have easy access to recruiting a partner in crime to indulge in whimsical adventures, like going to the grocery store at 2 am to buy ice cream on a Friday night. Your wardrobe, book collection, and movie collection expands; Your social circles broaden. Your cost of living decrease. There are many great perks to having a roommate. Sharing a happy home life with someone takes work though. Just like any relationships, roommates need to treat each other with care and respect. To help navigate your relationship with your roommate, here are Ten Commandments for Roommates.
- Communicate clearly how the bills and grocery list is going to be split. I’ve seen a lot of unnecessary drama because roommates avoided this uncomfortable conversation. Just a few minutes of awkward dissecting of expenses and how they will be split can save a lot of stress in the future.
- Always ask for permission to use your roommate’s things. Never assume. Your roommate will appreciate the courtesy.
- Do your part with keeping the common area clean and tidy. Talk about how often you should do the cleaning. Take initiative. When I saw one of my roommates do the dishes, I made sure to either do the next one or vacuum the living room. Neither you nor your roommate are the maid. Share the burden! A clean home really makes for a happier life.
- When looking for roommates, consider picking someone with similar sleep pattern and lifestyle. Trust me, you do not want to be tiptoeing around your home because you work the night shift and your roommate doesn’t.
- Discuss expectations about significant others and their time spent at the apartment. If you feel your significant other should be around when you’re not or needs a key, definitely make sure your roommate feels safe and comfortable with that idea before implementing! Your roommate is on the lease and should definitely have a say.
- Be respectful and nonjudgmental. I’ve lived with roommates of different religions and cultures. I myself am of Vietnamese descent. With diversity, comes different foods and behavior. My Muslim roommate would fast during Ramadan. I would bring home the oddest foods from my Mom. We refrained from wrinkling noses and judging. If you’re curious, have a conversation! Your horizons could be expanded with an open mind.
- Sometimes you need to vent. It’s normal! If you’re going to vent about your roommate, don’t do it at home. Walls are thin.
- Respect privacy. Mail, belongings, and bedrooms are all private. Respecting boundaries is part of respecting your roommate as a person. Do not look through your roommate’s things without explicit permission.
- Be considerate. A shared home means your actions and behavior have an impact on your roommate’s home environment. If you guys share the bathroom, do not take extra long showers while your roommate waits for his or her turn. Consider your roommate when you play your music and TV shows or invite visitors over.
- Communicate. Anytime you become confused about something or have an issue, don’t be shy to bring it up in a non-confrontational way. I suggest posing a question instead of accusing. The sooner your communicate your issues the quicker it can be resolved. Oftentimes, conflict is a result of misunderstandings instead of malicious intentions.
Linda is a twenty something Texan. She blogs at http://linda.curious-notions.net while living in Austin, Texas, and writes for an apartment-relocation service that helps you move free in the Austin area. She does at least one new thing a week and endeavors to eat the world.