Tips on surviving roommates
Sharing a living space
Sharing a living space with a roommate can be difficult. It also seems to get more and more tricky when you have are living with many people. I have had lots of experience living with roommates and have come to find that making a set of ground rules makes it much easier. It sounds a little over the top but a healthy set of established boundaries can go a long way. This way you and your roommates know what is expected from each other. These tips will help avoid confrontation and misunderstandings.
Finding out if you have the same standards as far as cleanliness is a good place to start. If one person is extremely neat and likes everything to be in its place at all times and the other person is a complete clutter bug this can cause problems. If you are sharing a living space it is best to clean up after all your messes as soon as you are done with them. This is not always possible in every situation. There are also simple things that accumulate over a period of time such as garbage. I found it is best even if it sounds childish to establish a system. This could be as simple as one person always takes care of the trash and the other always does the dishes. You could also work out a more complex system where the chores alternate. These systems are great ways to share house keeping chores, but you and your room mate should always clean up after yourselves. Leaving your personal messes around for someone else to find is just plain rude.
You and your roommate should go over which cleaning products are preferred and which are not to be used in case of something like an allergy to bleach. After you figure this out, you should put together a list go out and purchase these things and split the cost.
Kitchen areas and food
Do you and your roommate want to share meals and food? If you do share most meals it would probably be best if you shared the cost of groceries. You can budget out your meals and figure out how much you each have to spend on food. If you do not share most meals finding an individual space to keep your is probably best. You can each choose specific drawers in fridge and shelves in the cupboards. It is also a good idea to establish which foods if any you are willing to share. If your room mate starts to eat up all of your favorite cereal sometimes it easier just to store it safely in your room.
Another kitchen topic would be appliances. If you or your roommate have things like special coffee makers or rice cookers, basically any kitchen appliances. If you do have things like this it may seem a bit silly but you should make sure you both know how to use and clean all of these appliances. This will ensure that if your roomie decides the want to use your espresso machine they don't break it in the process.
The easiest ways to share a bathroom I have found are
- Have your very own shower rack.
- Have your own soaps shampoos and such either on this rack or in your drawer.
- Each person in the house should have a drawer in the bathroom to keep there personal care products in.
I have come to these conclusions from my experience with sharing a bathroom with many females. Sharing make up, shampoo, hair brushes leaves to much room for disputes and other hap hazard issues. A perfect example of one of these issues would be, if your roommate was to accidentally pass along head lice to you by using your brush. This could be unintentional but still really frustrating for you.
I do however think that the cost basic toiletries like toilet paper should be split even. Everyone uses the bathroom.
Generally in my experience the one with the master bedroom pays more. Unless the other individual gets another personal space such as a small room for a personal office. Your bedroom is your personal space. I suggest having a lock on your bedroom door. This is a deterrent for nosy roommates. If you and your roommate are good friends you may decide against this. I have found this does come in handy when your roommate keeps going into your room to borrow your favorite sweater without asking. I believe that all personal items and decorations should be kept in your bedroom unless agreed upon. This keeps your stuff from getting broken or damaged.
Be sure to be respectful. Establish a time when things like the radio or t.v. and other noise pollutants must be turned down or off. You can set up a schedule that works for the both of you. Also do this for early mornings. This is something you want to talk to them about. You never know you might work a graveyard shift and need some peace and quiet at noon. The point is everyone wants to be as loud as they want whenever they want, but if you or your roommate start to loose sleep the end result will leave you both pretty unhappy.
Living in your own place can be a blast. In my experiences I have learned that you get what you give. Be nice, understanding, tolerant and sociable and you could just end up with a new life long friend. I hope these tips are helpful to you. My best wishes to you and your roommate good luck!
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