Article | 3:32 min read

10 Tips for Being a Good Roommate

Life Events

You’re moving into an apartment or dorm – whether you’re living with someone new, or you’re a seasoned roommate, use these tips to be the best roommate ever!

You’re excited to move into your new space, but you’re nervous about the roommate situation. Use these tips to be the best roommate ever.

  1. Get to know your roommate's schedule
    You and your roommate might run on different clocks – some days you may need to be up early, while they get to sleep in, and vice-versa. The most important part of being a good roommate is to be respectful of each other’s needs. If you know your roommate needs to get up early, be mindful to let them sleep, and they’ll return the favor.
  2. Take responsibility for specific chores
    Doing the dishes or mopping the floor can be boring, but most likely you both contribute to the mess. Sit down with your roommate to discuss which housekeeping tasks you both want to do, so you can split the chores evenly. If they take out the trash, you’ll wash the dishes. That way, you have specific responsibilities you are both required to fulfill, and can both enjoy the satisfaction of a clean living space.
  3. Communicate with each other
    Nothing causes more animosity than being passive-aggressive. Everyone has bad habits, and no one expects you both to get along 100% of the time. However, if any issues arise, you might need to be the bigger person, and address things head-on. Resolving the issue will take strain off of your relationship, and create a happier place to live.
  4. Keep your bathroom clean
    Your kitchen sink is supposedly the dirtiest place in your home, but the bathroom is a close second. If you and your roommate share a bathroom, it’s especially important to make sure you keep your mess to yourself. You probably don’t want to clean up your roommate’s mess from the bath or sink, and your roommate feels the same. Being mindful of any messes you make, can set a good example for your roommate as well.
  5. Cook enough for everyone
    This is a great way to strengthen your relationship, and save money. Whether you’re trying a new recipe or making an old favorite, it’s likely you’ll end up with more than one serving. If you enlist the help of your roommate to cook, you can complete the steps in half the time, and share the meal together. Plus, if it goes horribly wrong, you’re not stuck eating your failed concoction all by yourself.
  6. Splitting the bills
    Make a list with your roommate to decide what bills you will share: utilities, Internet, cable TV, streaming services, and more. Be mindful of your roommates’ other bills — car payments, student loans, or insurance — and work together to cover your monthly expenditures. Set calendar reminders for when bills are due, and prepare by establishing a plan of action.
  7. Pet Policy
    Before moving in with your roommate, ask them about their allergies and pet preferences. Although having a pet may sound fun, how will it affect your daily routine? If everyone agrees about owning a pet, delegate the tasks and responsibilities. Decide who will feed, clean, and groom the animal. If your roommate moves out of the apartment, who will keep the pet? Set expectations for pet care, and ensure fair contributions.
  8. Respect their space
    While living with a roommate, it’s important for you both to communicate what’s off-limits – whether it’s rooms, technology, or food – setting boundaries is crucial for being respectful of each other’s space. If you borrow an item, treat it with care, and ensure you place it in its original spot. On the other hand, if something is broken or lost, be transparent and offer to replace the item.
  9. Communicate about guests
    Be considerate of your roommate by informing them of potential guests. Communicate about guest preferences: staying all night, visiting times, or number of guests. Give a notice prior to having visitors, so you don’t surprise them. This simple piece of communication can prevent relationship strain. For example, if you’re inviting your family to stay for the weekend, let your roommate know, so they can prepare as needed.
  10. Golden Rule
    Finally, our last important tip, treat your roommate the way you want to be treated. Provide your roommate with the same level of respect you would want to receive. Assume positive intent, and work together with your roommate to encourage a comfortable living atmosphere.
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