Living with another person isn’t easy. You have to consider your roommate’s perspective on everything that you do at home. But with these simple tips, roommate living can be optimal, enjoyable, and even teach you a lot about yourself. I mean, who doesn’t want to come home to a friendly face, dinner, and a movie night?Here are the four simple steps on how to be a good roommate. Stick around to the end for some extra roommate etiquette tips and major do’s and don’ts.
1) Be considerate of your roommate(s).
Being considerate may be the most fundamental rule in living with roommates. Before you make any decision, first think about how your action may affect the other person and the shared space. If there are any red flags there, avoid doing that thing. This can be as basic as keeping the apartment clean, not leaving half-eaten food out, and being quiet when your roommate is sleeping. Living with roommates as an adult is different from living with roommates in college. You’re not in college anymore; you can’t just make a mess and expect someone else to clean it up. Live responsibly, and be considerate.
2) Set ground rules early on.
You’ve heard this through and through before (thanks, college RA’s). Set rules early on, and you’ll run into fewer tense situations in the future. Talk through a policy for guests, rules around smoking, and possibly most importantly, a system for chores. Actually discuss household chores — who’s doing the dishes, who’s cleaning what day — and even decide which goods in the apartment are shared goods and which are personal. If you know these boundaries, then it’ll be easier to live together and not step on each others’ toes.
3) Talk, talk, talk.
Always communicate. If something is annoying you, mention it before it becomes a serious problem. Being passive aggressive just worsens the situation. For instance, if your roommate has habits that bother you — leaving the lights on, not cleaning the food gunk in the sink — then you should feel comfortable telling them about it. This is your space too, so you want to mitigate any uncomfortable situation from arising.
4) Share = keyword
Obviously, you share the physical apartment space with your roommate, but you actually share a lot more than just that. As mentioned, you share your thoughts and are open with each other. You share cleaning responsibilities, and some roommates even share food. You also share a lot of time together. A lot of us who live with roommates give up privacy in some parts of our routines (such as cooking dinner or lounging) in exchange for saving money, joining a community, and gaining access to shared activities (i.e. coworking, exercising, gathering, and entertainment) that enrich our lives in other ways. And that’s what makes living with roommates worth it.
As promised, it’s time for some straightforward roommate etiquette tips. These are golden rules that won’t fail.
- Replace the toilet paper if you’re the last to finish the roll. Don’t be that person who leaves half a square.
- Take out the trash when it’s full. Don’t wait for trash day.
- Clean up after using shared spaces — the living room, kitchen, bathroom — and leave them the way you found them.
- Always ask before using (or eating) something that you didn’t buy. Most common items of concern: olive oil, cold pizza in the fridge, coffee maker.
- Sign this roommate agreement template.
Living with roommates at Common
Living with roommates has never been easier than at Common. Our coliving homes across all major US cities are designed for sharing, optimal spatial protocol, and considerate elements. That means you’ll never run into tense situations with your roommates because we provide all household essentials, free weekly cleaning, and incredible amenities. Try coliving today.
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