Best Tips for Living with Roommates
Living with roommates can be an interesting and fulfilling journey. This shared experience requires a delicate balance of communication, respect and compromise. Let this blog be your go-to guide for the best tips when living with roommates.
Set Clear Guidelines
Once you are settled, meet with your roommates to discuss house rules. These can include appropriate noise levels, what temperature is most comfortable for everyone in the apartment, the policy for borrowing someone else’s belongings and more. One of the most common arguments roommates have revolves around visitors. Therefore, create rules around when to inform your roommates that you are having visitors, how many is enough and how frequent they can come to your home. As well, avoid future arguments by outlining designated spaces early on. Write all this down in a roommate agreement and have everyone sign it, confirming that everyone agrees to the terms.
Hold Regular House Meetings
Schedule monthly house meetings where everyone is required to attend. This will be the perfect time to discuss any grievances and allow for open communication. Having these recurring meetings will help maintain a stress-free and peaceful living environment. If a larger issue arises, a last-minute meeting can be called. Keep in mind that everyone has different schedules, so make sure to plan your meetings accordingly.
Respect Your Roommates Boundaries
It is important to respect the privacy and boundaries of the people you are living with. When borrowing their belongings, ensure you have double checked the roommate agreement and asked that person’s permission first. When discussing these topics, use ‘I” statements – such as “I don’t feel comfortable letting you use…” – and find ways to reach a compromise that everyone is okay with.
Divide Household Responsibilities
Roommates often disagree about who is doing the work and how often they’re doing it. To avoid this, divide any household responsibilities evenly among everyone. Break down all your shared expenses – such as groceries, bills, rent and more – and who will oversee covering what. You want these to be distributed fairly and evenly, so keep note of who agrees to what responsibility. If one person is in charge of managing the payment of expenses, determine what the due date is for the transfer of funds from the others. As well, create a cleaning schedule. Assign tasks to each person and how often they must be done. Set the cleaning schedule to be continuous and consistent – such as every other week – so it ensures the apartment is clean and all expectations are being met.
Whether you are moving in with best friends or complete strangers, it is important to keep in mind that everyone is different. When planning events – both as a group or individually – remember the schedules and lifestyles of your roommates. This includes when they work, sleep and any other activities they may engage in throughout the day. We all also have different habits, so encourage harmony by cleaning up your own mess. Also, wear headphones when listening to music or videos to not disrupt the rest of the house.
Resolve Conflicts Constructively
Disagreements are likely to occur, so if you find yourself embedded in one, resolve the issue constructively. This means approaching the situation calmly and objectively, listening to both sides of the story. Work to find solutions as opposed to placing blame. Being proactive instead of reactive will help resolve issues quickly and effectively.
Prepare for Emergencies Together
There are a number of unexpected incidents that can occur throughout your tenancy, so share an emergency contact list with everyone. This can include personal, work and parental phone numbers. Also, if someone has any serious medical conditions, make sure to note those along with any steps that need to be taken or medication that should be nearby. Establish an emergency plan, such as what to do in different scenarios and where to meet.
At the end of the day, make sure to treat your roommates and the space in the way that you want you and your belongings to be treated – with respect. Keeping these tips in mind as you go on this journey together will help foster a positive and harmonious living space for all.