Ever moved in with a new roommate only to spend most of the time in your apartment arguing over bills or who took the last slice of bread? Maybe you’re all new to this roommate business and aren’t sure what to expect. When you’re getting prepared to live together, it’s a good idea to go over a few things before your move-in day. Take a look through our handy checklist on what to go over before you move in.
Go through the living arrangements.
You’ve already viewed the apartment and you both might have different ideas when it comes to the layout. Agree on which room you’ll each be taking, and what will go into the shared living space. Think about shared items for the living room area, such as TVs or gaming consoles. Kitchen items should also be discussed, otherwise you might wind up with two microwaves or too many glasses for your cabinets.
Talk about any pet peeves before they have a chance to become an issue.
Everyone has them — those little things that can become annoying very quickly. Are you a neat freak? Can’t stand dirty dishes in the sink? Do they go to bed early while you play ear-shattering club music all night long? These things can add up. Be honest with each other and set some expectations. While being a good roommate does require patience, it’s also good to get these things out in the open sooner rather than later.
Discuss the bills and agree on how they’re paid.
This is an important one, as keeping on top of bills and rent can have ramifications for your ongoing credit score and ability to rent in the future. Depending on how the lease in your apartment is set up, you may have shared bills such as electricity, water and gas on top of your rent. There’s also bills for phone, internet and cable should you choose to get them. Write out an agreement that you both sign that divides up the responsibility, whether that is 50% each or another way.
Figure out what you can — and can’t — share.
You get up in the morning to get some breakfast, only to find that your roommate has taken your last yoghurt. Maybe you used up the last of her moisturizer the other day. In a shared apartment, there are always things you don’t want to share. Discuss them before the move-in day. For example, you may want to set up a “house fund” where each of you contributes $10-$20 per week to buy cleaning supplies and shared food such as coffee or bread. Keep shared items in one place, and things that are just for you in another to avoid confusion.
Having a roommate can be a great thing when it comes to apartment life. Sharing the bills and rent can certainly help out, and if you plan correctly, it should be relatively smooth sailing. How did you plan to move in with your roommate? Do you have any tips or tricks for setting up the perfect situation?