There are so many benefits to living with roommates, like decreased monthly rent and constant companionship. But let’s face it: Almost everyone comes across roommate issues at some point, whether they involve keeping the apartment clean or wishing your roommate knew what it meant to have an inside voice.
If you want to keep the peace between you and your roommate, here are a few must-have home essentials that you’ll want to keep around:
1. Noise-Cancelling Headphones
When you live with roommates, you know that privacy is often hard to come across, even when you’re in your room. Trying to study when your roommates are in the living room blasting music, having a party or watching TV can obviously make it pretty hard to concentrate.
This is where noise-cancelling headphones come in very handy, and trust me, they’re worth the investment. When you put these headphones on, you’ll have instant peace and quiet. I certainly would have enjoyed having a pair of these when my roommate decided it was a good idea to use the blender at 6 a.m.
2. A Chore Schedule
There’s a lot of chores to be done around the apartment, like taking out the garbage, cleaning the floors, doing the dishes and cleaning out the fridge. You would think that with several roommates, all of these tasks would get done easily and quickly.
But the trouble with living with multiple people is that everyone assumes the other person will do it. This will keep happening until the garbage in your kitchen is literally spilling out onto the floor. Here’s how to keep everyone on track with their chores and preserve the cleanly nature of your apartment: a chore chart.
Map out who does what and on what days, and post the schedule up on the front of the fridge where everyone will easily see it. This way, there’s no excuse for the dishes not to be cleaned or the carpet not to be vacuumed.
And if a certain task doesn’t get done, you know who to politely remind. It may take a few weeks to work out the kinks, but eventually, all of your roommates will get into the habit of checking the schedule and actually adhering to it (I hope).
3. Power Strips
When I was in college, my three roommates and I would all sit in the living room together while we did our homework. However, four people means four laptops. When you consider everything that’s already plugged into the walls in your living room, like lamps and TVs, there is probably not a lot of extra outlet space.
Keep you and your roommates happy (and avoid potential arguments) by investing in a power strip for your living room. This will free up outlet space so that everyone can hang out and charge their computers, phones, etc., at the same time.
4. A Shower Caddy
You may not be in a dorm anymore, but that doesn’t mean that you should ditch your shower caddy. This item will help maintain an organized bathroom and keep you and your roommates sane.
Without caddies, shampoo and conditioner bottles, body wash, razors, etc., all get mixed up with one another, and soon enough, nobody knows what is whose. Hang a second rod in the shower to make it easy to hang your caddies and ensure that your roommates don’t use your products by mistake.
5. Kitchen Labels
When I lived with roommates in college, the dishwasher never seemed to be empty, and there was a reason for this. Yes, we were lazy, but it was also because nobody knew if the dishes in there were dirty or clean.
Therefore, they would sit in the dishwasher while dirty plates, cups and bowls built up in the sink. The bigger that pile gets, the less people want to tackle it. An easy way to fix this problem is with magnets—one should read “dirty” and the other “clean.”
Place the appropriate magnet on the surface of the dishwasher. This way, all of the roommates will know when they can put away the dishes and when they can load dirty ones in there.
Feel free to also create labels for other items throughout your apartment, like your food or any other personal items that you have sitting out in common areas.
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