Fall is here, and so is the new academic year. For some of you, it means back to the dorms, and for others, you’re probably trying every way possible to save your pennies, so that means sharing an apartment. Even if you’re not a student anymore, the rents seem to be getting higher and higher in almost every part of world. Living with a roommate is a great way to save on costs, but it comes with a different kind of price tag.
Living with a roommate can be awesome. Sharing rent, utilities and grocery bills with a friend or acquaintance a really smart way to stay on top of your finances. But on the other hand, home should be your sweet haven, and all the money you’re saving may not exactly feel worth it when you can’t feel your best in your own home. And that, unfortunately, can happen too often. No matter if your roommate is your friend or someone you just moved in with because it was convenient for the both of you, living together is not sunshine and rainbows all the time. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.
A relationship with your roommate is a tricky one and you’ll naturally want it to be positive, because how much would it suck to have a home that’s not nice and relaxing? But it happens. So stay with us and make sure it doesn’t happen to you!
Make a cleaning schedule. First things first. This is the matter that should be discussed as soon as you start living together, because if it’s not, eventually someone will (feel that they) clean more and be frustrated over it. Distribute chores evenly, and please don’t think it will just come naturally, because it doesn’t. Hang a schedule onto the fridge door, and stick to it.
Discuss food and finance. Will you be sharing food and cooking for two, or only buying groceries for yourself? Not agreeing on this from the get-go might lead to some unpleasant surprises, so make sure you’re on the same boat. Will you split the bills in two or just set up some sort of a piggy bank for stuff for household? Talk it through.
Clean your own mess. This probably doesn’t need to be said to a smart, respectful Feather Girl like you, but just in case. Yes, we know sometimes you’re in a hurry and just cannot delay for two more minutes to clean your bowl and mug. That happens. Just don’t let it happen too often! Don’t leave your makeup all over the bathroom and your clothes in the living room. Leaving clutter in common or shared spaces is just a no-go when you live alone.
Respect her time and space. Of course you can invite friends over–it’s your place after all. But your shared apartment is someone else’s place too, and that someone else might have a big test or important interview in the morning and would appreciate peace and quiet. (And you know the walls can only block out so much noise.) Ask if she’d mind before sending out the invite—it’s much nicer than having to apologize after the fact.
Do nice things for her. Offer to pick up her laundry if you know she’s busy. Make her a cup of coffee when she’s got a deadline. These things create a bond and spread some good energy. And who can resist a cup of joe anyway?
Be there. Living with a roommate is not just a necessity, but an opportunity to make friends. After all, it’s amazing what you can learn about someone when sharing a roof. You might as well put it to good use. Good luck!