If you’re looking to find a new place but don’t want to spend all of your money on rent each month, a bright, shiny new roommate might be the solution you’re looking for. Roommates have the potential to be awesome – I mean, have you seen “Friends”? You have the opportunity to make new friends and save money on your rent at the same time. Here are some tips to make sure you have the best possible experience.
Keep Each Other’s Schedules in Mind
When you first move in, post copies of your respective schedules in a common area where they’re easily visible. (This tip is essential if you’re in college.) If you see your roommate has an 8:00 a.m. class on Thursdays, you should probably reschedule your raucous weekly Scrabble tournaments from Wednesdays to Fridays. If you’re mindful of your roommate’s schedule, your roommate is likely to do the same for you. You’ll prevent a lot of tension if you get your schedules out there in the beginning and keep each other in the loop as time progresses.
A Little DIY Can Go a Long Way
These simple DIY hacks can stop roommate drama before it even happens:
- Use an over-the-door shoe organizer to store bathroom supplies and de-clutter the bathroom area.
- Make colorful magnets to mark whether the dishes are clean or dirty.
- Install hooks near your front door for spare car keys in case someone is blocked in.
- Use colored bins to separate the shoes you leave near the front door so you don’t get them confused when you’re running out the door. (This idea is especially helpful if you live with several other people.)
- If you share groceries like milk, eggs, toilet paper or laundry detergent, make a communal grocery list on a white board and keep it on the fridge. Next time one of you stops by the grocery store, pick up the necessary items on the communal list and track how often you do so.
- Mount a cork board in a communal space and use it to post bills and other important notices.
Talk It Out
Like any relationship, it’s best to bring up any issues when they happen. If your roommate’s ferret keeps you up every night, don’t let the sleep deprivation drive you crazy. Calmly discuss how you feel with your roommate the next morning. By doing this, you will, hopefully, nip the situation in the bud and prevent future arguments.
Pay on Time
Being roommates means sharing everything – including your utility bills. Give your roommate plenty of notice before each bill is due so he/she has plenty of time to get the funds together and has no excuses for paying their chunk late. If you’re living with several people, apps like Venmo can help you divide the checks equally and show who still needs to pay up.
Do Your Dishes
This age-old concept is simple but important. The central quality of a good roommate is being courteous – of your dishes and everything else – and aware of the fact that you’re sharing your space. If you clean up after yourself and try to be conscious of the other human being you’re living with, things should go great.
Do you have any awesome (or awful) roommate experiences? Or some tips of your own? Share them with us in the comment section!