A lot of people these days are finding themselves living in a Camden apartment with someone else, i.e., a roommate. This someone else could be a friend, a family member, a best friend, a significant other, an acquaintance, or even a stranger. We have also seen many roommates split up or break their leases because they could not get along.
How did they get there? What could have prevented it? There are basics that everyone should know when living with a roommate. Then there are the specifics depending upon who you are living with.
Find out how to live drama-free with anyone by following some easy tips to make sure you and your roommate stay roommates:
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Discuss Common and Personal Space
You each need to understand what is personal space and what is shared space, which will help establish boundaries right from the get-go. And trust me, you need those boundaries.
Go Over Chores
I have heard one too many stories about how a friendship fell apart because the trash can overflowed. Make sure you get on the same page with what you each define as clean. There are several levels of cleanliness. While one of you is happy with a quick pick-up, your roommate may want floors scrubbed and baseboards wiped. Once you decide who is doing what, make sure you stick to it.
Open communication is a must! You need to be able to talk about anything roommate related. If you don't think you can figure out to communicate with your new roommate to avoid conflict, ask them. You can't let it get to the point where you are about to blow up over a cup left in the sink. Make sure to discuss your issues before it gets to that point.
Pay Rent on Time/Go Over Bills
You both need to know when rent is due and set it up so that rent is paid by each of you on the SAME DAY each month. Make sure you come up with a fair way to split the rent, and you both agree from the very beginning. Also, establish what other bills, such as electric, will be paid by whom and when.
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Set Ground Rules
Ground rules are essential. Plain and simple. Know what is acceptable and what is not. Figure out when each other will need to sleep, how quiet you each like it, talk about groceries, thermostat settings, TV schedules, all of it. Don't have unreasonable expectations, either. You'll already be setting yourself up for failure.
You aren't going to agree 100% on everything all the time. The happy place with roommates is the middle ground.
Sharing is caring. You will have common areas, and you won't need two sets of dishes. It would be best if you let go of a 'what's mine is mine' attitude on some of your things. There is no reason two adults can't share certain items with smiles and sincerity.
Be Friendly, Available & Keep It Light
When living in close quarters with someone, it is imperative to keep things light. Try to prevent tensions from rising and causing a rift in your roommate situation. When you are in the presence of your roommate, make sure you are smiling. You know, have some fun. Ask them how their day was. Hang out from time to time. Be there for them if they need you. You will be surprised by how kindness breeds more kindness.
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We hope these tips help quash any roommate disputes that may happen. Remember to be open and communicate with your roommate! Are you working from home? Here are a few tips on how to work from how with a roommate.