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A guide to getting along with your roommates

December 14, 2022 | By Roomrs

 

For most people, living in New York City means bunking up with a roommate or two. Due to the high cost of living, sharing an apartment with someone else makes overall costs cheaper. Of course, everyone's situation is different, but living with a roommate can make for a very fun and rewarding experience. Besides, there are things you can do to help avoid conflict and cohabitation issues.

 

Keep reading to uncover a few tips and tricks to help you get along with your roommates better.

Come up with a roommate agreement

A roommate agreement is essentially a contract that needs to be signed and approved by everyone living in the apartment. It does not need to be a complicated, drawn-out document; just something that essentially lists the “dos and don’ts”. This is important because it makes everyone aware of the house rules upfront. You may be thinking this is an unnecessary step for you and your roommates, but disagreements are inevitably bound to happen at some point. It’s better to have something in place that you can refer to.

A roommate agreement may include the following guidelines:

  • Quiet hours start at 11pm

 

  • If you’re having a guest over, you need to send a courtesy text beforehand

 

  • No parties on weekdays

 

  • Split the cost of all toiletries and household items

 

  • Agree to discuss conflicts openly and honestly, and aim to come to a solution without arguing

 

These are just examples, but your roommate agreement can include any and all things that you think are important for your current living situation. Make sure your roommates are all in agreement and aim to come up with this list together. Also, include consequences and courses of action to take if rules are ever broken. That way, you can deal with the issue quickly, so it doesn’t turn into something bigger than it needs to.

Respect each other’s schedules

Make each other aware of your schedules, including what days you have work, school, or need to complete important assignments or exams. This makes it easier to be more considerate. If you know your roommate is studying for an exam or needs to wake up very early the following day, you’re likely not going to blast music in your room until 1 is.

 

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Don’t devalue personal space

Yes, you may consider your roommate to be one of your closest friends; but don’t use this as an excuse to cross boundaries, or invade their personal space. It doesn’t matter how social someone may appear, we all need time alone to reset and recharge. If your roommate goes into their room and closes their door, it’s safe to assume they want to be alone. If you’re unsure, ask for their permission before coming in.

Create a cleaning schedule

We’re all adults, and should be able to clean up after ourselves without a reminder. However, some people are not as tidy as others. If you find that you’re spending most of your time cleaning up after your roommate, and it’s beginning to put a strain on your relationship, come up with a cleaning schedule. A cleaning schedule lists clear-cut duties that each person has every week. This could be things like washing the dishes, taking out the trash, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, etc. Make a list of the things you'll feel need to be done, and assign a task to each person. That way, one person doesn’t get stuck with cleaning all the mess.

Split the cost of household items

Money is always a touchy subject and can be the source of a lot of conflicts. Make sure to always keep things fair by splitting the cost of household items (such as toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc). If it’s something that everyone in the house uses, everyone should be paying for it. It’s recommended that you buy in bulk, and just split the cost of the order. This makes It less likely that one person will have to keep replacing the toilet paper every time it runs out. This is even something you can put in your roommate agreement if you feel like it will help avoid an altercation.

Communicate Openly

Above all, don’t be scared to openly and honestly communicate your feelings with your roommate. If something is bothering you, speak up! That way, you can come to a solution more quickly. If you don’t let your roommate know what's bothering you, you may end up resenting them.

If you’re someone who doesn’t like confrontation, this can be difficult to do. But it is much harder to suffer in silence and keep living in a way that makes you unhappy.

 

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Want a roommate but not sure who might be a good fit? Roomrs works with you directly to make sure your roommate is best suited for you!

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