How to be an Awesome Roommate in 10 Easy Steps
Last week we showed you 11 great ways to be a better neighbor (click here to read article). So now that you’re loved by everyone in the building, how do the people you share a space with feel about you as a roommate?
With the housing market’s heated prices, sharing accommodation is a common and popular way to reduce costs when seeking an affordable living space. Having/being a roommate can either be one of the greatest or worst experiences you have at any stage of life. Here are 10 ways to help you be an awesome roommate and, if your roomie is also your best friend, how to keep your best friend.
1. Clear Communication
There are certain items that should be discussed clearly upfront such as rent, fee payments, groceries, schedules, guests, pets, allergies, etc. If it’s important to you or if it’s an unusual request, make sure you address it in a friendly manner from the beginning to avoid confusion and frustration.
2. Ask Permission
Whether you want to use your roommate's toothpaste or TV, if you didn’t buy it you need to ask for permission. Unless you’ve come to an agreement ahead of time, be courteous and ask if it’s okay to use or take something before you help yourself.
3. Safety and Security
Make sure to lock up when you leave your home. Both you and your roommate's possessions are at risk so double check you’ve shut and locked all the windows and doors before you exit the premises.
4. Do Not Disturb
Be respectful of your roommate and their personal space. Even if you're friends, some lines shouldn't be crossed. That line is their space.
5. Be Thoughtful
If your roommate's having a hard time or working extra long hours, for example, pitch in by doing a little extra around the house. They'll appreciate it and as long as they continue to be respectful, it’s better to work as a team.
6. Conquer Confrontation
No matter how great you and your roommate get along, there will be times when you won’t see eye to eye and that’s okay! You can have an opinion, disagreement or preference but keep in mind how you approach these topics can affect the outcome. You might be surprised to learn that you can be polite and direct at the same time (Gasp!) It’s a good idea to be both when addressing potentially sensitive issues.
7. Care for What You Share
There are common areas that need to be cleaned and maintained by all who use them. Make sure you’re tidying up after yourself or things could get messier with your roommate than the space you share.
8. Your Space is still Shared Space
In addition to cleaning and caring for shared spaces, make sure you apply that to your private room or space. Although it’s your space, if your room is filled with garbage and dishes your roommate could be affected vis-à-vis odors and pests. YUCK!
9. Privacy Please
You and your roommate might love hanging out and the conveniences of living together will give you more time to spend together but don’t forget to take some time for yourself. Just like any relationship, everyone needs their own time and space to focus on themselves. Make sure to set aside a bit of time to read a good book, catch up on your favorite show or whatever you're into!
10. Ponder Before you Post
With technology at our fingertips it’s become easy to share our lives on social media. However, not everyone wants to publicize their private life. If you’re posting to social media take a moment to think if there is any reason why you shouldn’t, like perhaps your roommate doesn’t want to be caught in their pajamas in the background of your next selfie.
Have you lived with roommates before? Was your experience positive or negative?