Choosing to have a roommate can be one the most enjoyable and financially rewarding choices that one can make when moving into a new apartment. However, with all of the advantages, there are sure to be some struggles. Here’s how you can have the ideal roommate experience:
Often times people sharing a home will have notably different schedules. This can cause strain on a roommate relationship if one of the parties fails to respect the other person’s schedule. This is why it’s important to discuss everyone’s schedules and do what’s necessary to accommodate your roommates’ needs. For instance, if your roommate is a night owl and you’re an early riser, make an effort to be quiet and non-disruptive in the morning. Respect also entails recognizing others’ personal space. Although the majority of your personal belongings may be kept in your bedroom, chances are you and your roommate will end up storing certain belongings in shared areas. Ensure that you treat these items carefully and ask them to do the same with yours. Make an effort to understand that each person’s background and lifestyle is different. Ask questions and stay open-minded to each person’s living requirement needs. Be prepared to make compromises on anything from décor to cleanliness, to make your apartment feel like home for both of you.
The most valuable piece of advice for being a good roommate is, to be honest. When you first move in with your roommate, set some rules. Sit down and openly discuss expectations for how you’ll maintain your shared living space. Once you’ve established an agreeable living arrangement for both parties, you should discuss how you will be dividing the living expenses. Sharing a space with roommates means that you could be sharing several costs of living, including rent, utilities, and food. An early discussion on how you can divide these fairly can avoid future disputes. If you are living in an apartment, your landlord may be able to assist in evenly dividing up rent and utility expenses, which are often due at the end of each month. As for food, have a discussion about whether it makes sense to split the cost of groceries evenly or if each member of the home should purchase their own food. If there are any issues throughout your time living together, take the time to communicate how you feel in a non-threatening or judgmental way. Doing so will allow you to resolve any problems in a mature and effective way.
A large part of living with other people is having to manage your own expectations. Ensure that discussions on cleanliness upkeep focus on shared spaces like the kitchen, living room, and bathrooms. Remember, you’re all sharing a home with one another, which means that you have to recognize that people have different habits, and not everything has to be done the way that you are accustomed to. Divide up responsibilities based your personal preferences and schedules. Take ownership of areas where you find yourself particular and let your roommate claim their desired tasks. You can write a list or chart dictating what is expected of each person on a daily or weekly basis.
They say home is where the heart is, so don’t let your apartment become a place of conflict and chaos. Stick to these suggestions and keep your roommate relationship as healthy as can be.
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