Living with roommates is both a great and challenging experience. You and your roommate can enjoy each other’s company and you’ll save money on rent. However, each person has their own living habits, and you may not like all of your roommate’s.
Communication is a two-way street that leads to a good relationship, so be sure you take some responsibility. Here are five easy tips on how to be a good roommate:
1. Clean Up After Yourself
Cleanliness is the first habit you should adopt if you want to create a good living environment. Your roommate doesn’t always want to be the one to take out the trash, wash the dishes or scrub the bathroom, so be sure you do your fair share.
You can become a tidy person by making a conscientious effort to be consistent about the way you clean. For example, commit to washing your dishes as soon as you’re done eating or vacuum at the same time every week. You’ll form a habit quicker if you perform tasks the same way, at the same time every day or week.
2. Be On Time With All Payments
You live in this apartment, so you share the financial responsibility that goes along with it. Don’t put your roommate in the difficult situation of covering your costs. Failing to get utility and rent payments in on time leaves your roommate with the burden of taking on the finances.
Consistently failing to come up with the money will lead to a tense relationship, fast. You can avoid missing payments by being diligent and responsible. For instance, if you know you have to cover rent with that paycheck, set aside money for rent immediately rather than going out for dinner or shopping first.
3. Keep the Noise to a Minimum
Learning how to be a good roommate also includes monitoring your noise production. You and your roomie may have different sleep schedules, so you should respect them by not interrupting their slumber.
Establish a time of day with your roommate in which you both agree to keep the TV volume low or to use headphones when listening to music. You might impose this rule between the hours of 10 p.m. and 9 a.m. Additionally, never blast your stereo, no matter the time of day. Your roommate could be trying to read or study.
4. Be Respectful When Hosting Guests
You may love your significant other, but that doesn’t mean your roommate does too. Be respectful when having guests over, especially those of the overnight variety. Discuss the ground rules that will make both of you comfortable.
You might be able to have a significant other over a few nights a week, or they may not be allowed to stay in the apartment when you aren’t home. When you have several friends over, keep the noise down and invite your roomie to join the fun.
5. Communicate Effectively
Open communication is the key to developing a harmonious relationship. Don’t wallow silently in frustration—let your roommate know what bothers you. Of course, you shouldn’t start a screaming match, just gently let them know you aren’t happy with certain behaviors. Conversely, ask your roomie if they are comfortable with your habits. If they mention an issue, be open to compromise.