In the ten years between 2005 to 2015, the number of adults aged 25 to 34 living with other housemates grew 39 percent. There are lots of reasons to have a roommate, from needing to keep rent costs down to liking the social aspect of living with other people.
Regardless of your reasons for living with a roommate, there are times when sharing a home with another person can get tricky. Even if your roommate is your best friend, different schedules or habits can make living together difficult.
Instituting a few simple rules and being conscious of your own behavior can go a long way in making a challenging roommate situation more bearable. After all, you should always feel comfortable and respected in your own home.
Below, we’re providing roommate advice that should make your living situation a lot happier, for you and others.
Read on to learn more.
1. Establish Rules for Tough Situation
One of the best pieces of roommate advice to follow is agreeing to some clear-cut rules. Ideally, you and your potential roommate would do this before moving in together, but it’s never too late.
Think of all the tricky situations that might come up that you would want standards for, like what happens if someone is going to be late on the rent or how to split any repair costs that will inevitably arise.
Being proactive about establishing these rules — rather than trying to come up with them as a reaction to an actual instance — will help keep emotions out of it.
2. Play to Your Strengths
Division of labor should be equal between you and your roommate, but that doesn’t mean you each have to take a turn at the same chores.
If you love vacuuming but hate doing the dishes and your roommate is happy to do the dishes but hates vacuuming, there’s no reason for you both to suffer.
Just make sure that you both agree to the terms of any chore agreement you make and can hold each other accountable. You should also both be willing to revisit the decision if one person changes their mind.
3. Have a Scheduled Check-In
On a recurring basis — once a week or once a month — you and your roommate should sit down, just you. Schedule this check-in ahead of time, and stick to your schedule.
It’s important to be able to discuss issues that have come up since your last check-in, or to determine if the old rules you made are still working. Letting things go unspoken can easily lead to resentment and an impossible living situation.
4. Have a Life Outside of the House
Even if you and your roommate are close friends, it’s important that you don’t do everything together. You live with this person, so having some social separation is healthy.
That doesn’t mean you have to avoid them, and there may be opportunities for you to go to events together or co-host other mutual friends for celebrations at your place. But you also shouldn’t feel guilty if you need some time apart.
5. Document Expenses
Living with someone necessarily leads to shared expenses, whether it’s the bill for the Internet you both use or a grocery run for milk to share.
Keep a shared document where you can track who is paying for what, and add everything to it, no matter how small the expense seems at the time. Handling money in a practical and straightforward manner ensures everyone is contributing their fair share.
Ready to Put This Roommate Advice Into Action?
Living with a roommate can be complicated, but whether for financial reasons or social ones, it’s often worth it. So long as you follow these simple tips, you can establish a roommate relationship that works for both of you.
To explore housing options for living with roommates, please contact us.