Roomsurf College Roommate Finder

What To Do Before Leaving Your Roommate And Apartment For The Summer

By Ashley Paskill 

The end of a semester is a joyous time, especially if it means summer break and you get the summer off. However, before you pack up, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that everything is set and that loose ends are tied up. Whether you are graduating or returning, there are things that need to be done to wrap things up. Preparing throughout the semester will help you not be as stressed out while you deal with final exams and projects at the end of the semester.

 

 

Apartment

Leaving a place you called home for a semester or even a year can be difficult. You likely had memories that will last a lifetime and had a lot of things happen during your time in the apartment. If you are moving to a new apartment next semester or if you are leaving, the last moments in your apartment from this year can be bittersweet.

Sublet Your Apartment

If your lease is not up but you are going home for the summer, ask your landlord about subletting your apartment. Many students take summer classes and need somewhere to stay. However, check with your landlord or your contract to make sure you can sublet it. If you can, set up a meeting with your landlord to find out what to include in the sublet contract and to find out what the process is for setting up a sublet. Even if you are not living in the apartment with the person who is subletting your apartment, if something happens, you are responsible for any damage or broken rules.

Leave a note for the next tenants

Ask your landlord if you can leave a note for the next renters about the apartment. For many, writing is a great way to deal with the emotions that come with change, such as leaving a place that has become a home away from home from you while you are at school. Write about the diner next door where you and your roommates would eat at during late study nights. Tell about the memories you have had, such as parties or friend visits. Provide tips for the next renters about hidden gems of the apartment and things that are not as pleasant that they should know. Think about what you wish you knew before moving in a write about that. This will help you deal with sad emotions that come with changes while helping to provide tips to new people.

Have one final party

Throw an end of semester party or get-together in your apartment. If you were known as someone who constantly had people over, there is no better way to end your time in your apartment than to do just that. Have a celebration after finals are over to rejoice in another semester or even year complete. If your guests spent a lot of time at parties in your apartment, ask them what their favorite memories of the apartment are. If you opt for a smaller get together, have your guests sit in a circle and go around the circle, sharing stories and memories of the apartment.

Thank your landlord

Be sure to thank your landlord for allowing you to live on his or her property. Your landlord had no obligation to choose you and your roommates for the room. Also, your landlord probably helped you out when something needed a repair, even if it just meant calling someone to come in to fix it. Although it is not expected, at least send your landlord a thank you card or letter. It'd you can afford it, send them a gift card or another small gift for all they have done. Have your roommate pitch in. When you have the final walkthrough, give the note and gift to your landlord.

Notify your landlord that you are moving out

If you are not moving back into the apartment once your lease is up, give your landlord notice that you are moving out. Check with your local laws or lease contact to ensure you do not face legal or financial penalties. Write a letter stating your intentions. If you need to leave before your lease is up, check with the contract and contact your landlord as soon as possible to figure out what can be done. As mentioned before, you can sublet your apartment to someone taking summer classes.

Clean and repair your apartment

Make sure the apartment is clean and that any necessary repairs are made. Many contacts spell out what needs to be done in terms of cleaning and repairs. Also, some landlords have a fee for cleaning the apartment after you leave. During your final walkthrough with your landlord probably, see if you can get some money back based on your cleaning and repairing efforts.

Schedule a final walkthrough with your landlord. This will be used to determine if the apartment is clean and damage has been taken care of. If possible, have your landlord come to your apartment before the final walkthrough to see if there is anything that needs to be taken care of. That way, you have a set list of things to do and you can be as prepared as possible.

Reflect on your time in your apartment

Take time to reflect on the lessons you learned while living in the apartment. If it was your first apartment, every first experience with the apartment was new. In the days leading up to your departure from the apartment, write down things you experienced for the first time and lessons you learned from things that happened. This will help you in case something similar, like something breaking, happens in a future apartment. Before you leave for the last time, take a deep breath and look back at your apartment once more.

Remove your belongings

Make sure you move all of your belongings out of your apartment. Once you hand in your keys, it can be next to impossible to get something you left behind back. This is especially true if your landlord hires someone to come in and clean between tenants. If there are things you do not need or are unable to move all at once, you can either sell them or put them in a storage facility until you can take them to where you are living. Many times, there are things that you do not need to take with you since you can buy them later.

When moving out, there may be things you do not want or need, or that are not logical to take with you. If you are looking to get rid of things you are not taking with you, have a yard sale. You can even get other students who are moving out involved so they can get rid of their things as well. There are even ways to sell stuff online, such as various Facebook groups or eBay. If you know someone who is moving into an apartment and is looking for something you are getting rid of, you can give them the item for free.

 

 

Roommate

Chances are, if you are graduating or studying abroad next semester, you and your roommate will probably go separate ways. Even if you well both be on campus in the fall, there is no guarantee that you will be roommates again. Before you go your separate ways, even if it is just for the summer, plan to stay in touch and have a memorable past few days together. Hopefully, you will be able to see each other over break or at least keep in touch often.

Plan a fun night in

Plan a fun night in for after finals and before moving out. Whether it is a spa night, game night, or movie or Netflix marathon, having something to look forward to after finals will make things less stressful. One last hoorah will give you something to remember when you are missing your roommate over the summer. Make it memorable and take photos of the occasion. Be sure to include time to talk about the time you spent together. If you choose to do a movie night or a craft night, make a scrapbook or a photo frame that include photos of you and your roommate. That way, you have something tangible to hold on to when you miss each other.

Exchange home addresses

Make sure you exchange home addresses. That way, you can visit each other. Also, you can be pen pals and exchange snail mail over the summer. If you go on vacation, you can send each other postcards from your journeys. While emailing, texting, and communicating through social media is quick, receiving mail that is not a bill is fun and special.  Even if you write every other week or once a month, it is something to look forward to. If you see something while shopping online or in-store that reminds you of your roommate, having the person’s home address makes it easier to get it to them.

Compare schedules for next semester

If you know that you are both going to be on campus next semester but are not rooming together, exchange schedules and arrange to meet up at least once a week. Going from seeing each other at your most vulnerable moments to only seeing each other sometimes will be an adjustment, so having a set time to meet up will give you both something to look forward to. If you have GenEd classes that you both need to take or are majoring in the same thing, see if you can take classes together and be study partners.

Make plans to visit each other

Over break, try to make an effort to see each other. If you live near each other, make a point to see each other once a month at least. However, if you live across the country or around the world from each other, it can be more difficult. Save up your money to go on a vacation somewhere together or to see each other’s hometowns. If you are unable to squeeze in going to each other’s homes in one break, alternate breaks. Communicating through digital devices or even snail mail keeps you in touch, but nothing beats being able to see each other face to face.

Plan for your next apartment

You and your roommate may be planning on living together again, especially if you have become close friends. However, you may be moving to a new location where the apartment has a completely different setup from your old apartment. Look at photos of your new place and figure out the living arrangements and furniture. Decide if you want to keep the same décor or if you want to change it up. If you decide to stick with the same décor, move your current items into a storage unit near your new apartment. If not, find a way to sell them.

Have a genuine talk about your experience

If you have a roommate, you might not be able to tell if you are being annoying and they may not know the little ways they get under your skin. Even if you did not get along, it is important to sit down and discuss your experience honestly to figure out how each of you can be a better roommate. It is possible that you both had a great experience, and the discussion is all about pointing out how good of a roommate you are. This is also useful information so that you know how to continue being a great roommate if you get another one in the future.

Tell your roommate that you are subletting

If you are studying abroad or going home for break and your roommate will continue living in the apartment, you may decide that you want to sublet your part of the apartment to help save on rent. As soon as you make this decision, tell your roommate. Make sure you include them in finding the person who will sublease the apartment since your roommate will be living with them. Also, include them in creating a sublease contract so you cover all of the rules and costs of the apartment.

Leaving campus for the semester is more than just finishing your final projects and exams. You have to make sure your apartment is squared away and that you leave your roommate on good terms. It can be stressful to deal with everything all at once, but if you take care of things throughout the semester, you can be prepared.

 


How to Avoid Being a Passive-Aggressive Roommate

By Kailey Walters 

Living with someone else in college is, let’s face it, not always easy. In some cases, being roommates with someone can actually be pretty difficult and requires both parties to put in a lot of effort towards maintaining a healthy dynamic. From sharing a confined space with someone else to working around each other’s sleep schedules, there are many potential conflicts to avoid.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend your college years tiptoeing around your roommate or putting up passive-aggressive Post-it notes to communicate. Rather, living with a roommate can turn out to be a very fruitful and wonderful experience -- as long as you both respect each other and work towards cultivating a healthy friendship. So, what can you do to keep up your end of the bargain and not be a passive-aggressive roommate? Read on for some tips and suggestions to help you be the best roommate you can be.

 

 

Maintain an open line of communication.

One of the most important things involved in sharing living space with someone is making sure you openly communicate with one another. If your roommate is doing something that bothers you, don’t let your initial reaction be the way of passive-aggressive sticky notes or giving the cold shoulder. Instead, openly discuss your concerns with your roommate by voicing your frustrations in a tactful and respectful manner. Maintaining an open line of communication is definitely the best way to handle conflicts to minimize the possibility of someone’s feelings getting hurt. Being able to communicate well also shows that you’re a responsible, mature individual who can handle conflict well. Besides, since you’ll most likely end up living with this roommate for the rest of the semester or the entire academic year (unless the situation becomes really bad), you have the incentive to not leave things on a bad note. Resolving conflicts and communicating honestly will allow you both to continue living peacefully in the same room for the time you’re there.

 

Be respectful.

Be aware of how your actions might be affecting other people around you. Sometimes you may get so accustomed to a certain routine of yours that you don’t realize how those around you, like your roommate, might take it.

The same goes if you’re on the other side of the situation. If your roommate is doing something that gets on your nerves just a little bit, don’t blow up and make a huge deal out of it; instead, stay calm. Handle the situation in a mature and respectful manner, primarily by voicing your concerns and being open with your roommate, as mentioned above.

 

Set some rules and boundaries.

Another extremely important thing to keep in mind when dealing with your roommate is establishing some house rules. Even if having a civil conversation with your roommate about your concerns doesn’t go quite according to plan, it can still be very helpful to set some basic boundaries so that you both know what to expect from each other. Sit down with each other and come up with some rules that you both agree are important to follow while the two of you are living together. (This, of course, involves openly communicating and listening to one another!) You may even find it helpful to write down these rules on a piece of paper or on a whiteboard/chalkboard of some sort, which can be displayed somewhere for both of you to easily see it.

 

Don’t leave passive-aggressive notes.

As you’ve probably gathered from the above information, passive-aggressive notes are the worst. Not only are they a way of avoiding direct, healthy confrontation, but they’re also a message to your roommate that you’d rather not talk to them. Plus, they’re just downright petty and rude. Avoid going down this route and make sure to have a real conversation with your roommate.

 

Don’t make an unnecessarily big deal out of things.

As already mentioned, it’s best not to make a big stink out of the things your roommate does that bother you. Of course, you may be understandably frustrated by the fact that your roommate leaves their unwashed dishes in the sink for a week, or that they have friends over every Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m., but what you don’t want to do is turn the situation into a heated argument. Doing so will only make things worse. Instead, take the time to cool yourself down and look at the situation rationally. You’ll be thanking yourself later, especially when you’re able to preserve at least a civil relationship between you and your roommate.

Being a decent roommate doesn’t have to be so hard. Take the time to think about your actions, your reactions, and how you want the relationship to go with your roommate so that you can avoid being passive-aggressive.


Good Questions to Ask Your Potential Roommate

By Alyssa Laffitte 

Choosing a roommate can be a daunting process, since you will be dealing with this person daily for a whole year! However, if you ask your potential roommates the right questions, you will learn if you will be compatible as roommates. Here are good questions to ask potential roommates.

 

What is your sleep schedule like?

 Many conflicts between roommates are due to differing sleep schedules, so it is definitely a factor you should consider when deciding on a roommate. It can be a big problem if your roommate stays up watching TV or listening to music on full blast when you are scheduled to work at 5AM the next morning. If you can, try to pick someone who has a similar sleep schedule as you. Of course, differing sleep schedules does not mean your roommate relationship is doomed; it just means you must learn to work with each other. You might have to start being extra quiet as you get ready in the morning or use only a lamp for illumination late at night. Your roommate should do the same for you. Learn each other’s sleep schedules and create a system that allows you to be respectful of each other’s sleep.

Are you a tidy person?

Another factor you should consider when choosing a roommate is their level of cleanliness. You will not be happy in your living situation if you are a neat freak living with someone who doesn’t prioritize organization (and vice versa). Make sure you and your roommate come to an agreement with how you two will clean the place, including how often it will be cleaned, and who should do each chore.

Are there any chores you absolutely hate doing? What chores are you okay with doing?

Continuing off the next point, you should consider dividing up the chores between you two. A good way to start this would be to ask about which chores they prefer doing, and which they would prefer not to do. If you are lucky, they might hate the chores you don’t mind doing and vice versa. For example, you don’t mind vacuuming the floors, while your roommate doesn’t mind doing the dishes; you can divide the chores that way.

Do you like to hang out in the apartment a lot, or only come home to sleep?

Before choosing a roommate, it’s important to know how often they plan to be in the apartment. Everyone appreciates some alone time in their place, even if they live with roommates. If your potential roommate says they like to be home ALL the time, you might need to make some arrangements so you both can get alone time in the room. On the other extreme, they might only want to come home to sleep. But more likely, they will be somewhere in between.

Do you plan on having many people over, hosting parties, or other social gatherings in the apartment?

You should know how your roommate envisions using your shared space. You don’t want to be surprised when they start throwing parties all the time, or if your roommate never wants to have people over. Throwing parties (or not) is fine, just double check that you and your roommate are on the same page about it. In other words, you and your roommate should have the same ideas for how you want to use the space.

 Do you plan on having many overnight guests over? What about overnight guests of the opposite gender?

Especially if your potential new roommate has a significant other, you should definitely discuss overnight guests (and specifically, overnight guests of the opposite gender). This also applies if your roommate plans to have out-of-state friends or family visiting often. Come to an agreement on this like:

●       How long are overnight guests allowed to stay over? One day? Three days? A week?

●       How far in advance should the other roommate be warned about an overnight guest?

●       Do these policies change if the guest is of the opposite gender?

What items can we share? Are there any conditions for sharing? What items are off-limits?

One thing that should be extremely transparent between you and your roommate are the rules on sharing items. There are many things you will obviously share, like the TV. You might only share these big things, and that’s okay! However, if you and your roommate are friendly with each other, you might be willing to share smaller things, like clothes, a hair straightener, or even food. If you decide to share, are there any conditions? (For example, should clothes be washed and folded before they are returned? Should the hair straightener be put away exactly as it was found?) On the other hand, discuss the items that are off-limits. Setting these boundaries will prevent many headaches!

Of course, asking these questions and getting the answers you want doesn’t guarantee a perfect roommate relationship. However, the answers to these questions will give you a better idea of your life with your new roommate.


Everything You Need to Know About Searching for a Roommate

By Lorena Roberts 


Finding a roommate in college can be one of the hardest, most overwhelming things you have to handle. As an adult, you're trying to juggle your grades, your finances, and your living situation -- which often all blend together as one starts affecting the other, snowballing into a much bigger issue than you really wanted it to be.

I remember one of my first roommate experiences was moving into a very tiny dorm room together. My first impression was: this is way too small. They don't actually expect us to coexist in this tiny space, do they? But soon enough, those four walls became homey enough, and we made it through the year.

Eventually, moving out of the dorms and into an apartment was my first experience having my "own space." I was thrust into a summer living situation with three girls I didn't know. Living with people you don't know is probably one of the most awkward situations you can put yourself in - so as you try to fill the other bedrooms in that cute apartment you just found, remember that it's better to live with people you're at least familiar with. Moving into an environment where other people have already commanded the space makes it tough to transition into your new home. So as you look for housing (whether it's in college or not), remember that the people you live with can make or break your housing situation.

Looking for roommates isn't an easy task. There are so many things you need to consider! Before you search Roomsurf, publish an ad on Craigslist or post in one of your many Facebook groups, there are several things you need to ask yourself:

 

 

1. What do you value in a good roommate?

Are you looking for someone who makes themselves scarce, are extremely quiet, and won't interfere much with your life? Do you value someone who's sitting on the couch when you get home from work?

Are you looking for a roommate who's actually going to become one of your best friends, or is this simply a living situation?

Before you start looking for a roommate, you need to ask yourself what you value in a roommate.

2. What are your boundaries for other people?

Similar to what you value in a roommate, you should consider your boundaries with other people (especially roommates!).

If you don't want someone who's going to burst into your room at 9:00 at night, you need to make that clear before you move in together. There's nothing wrong with establishing that boundary ahead of time. If you need your space, you need to make that clear in the beginning.

If you're looking for someone who's going to help you cook "family dinners" and will keep up with you throughout the day and the week, that's something you need to think about before you find a roommate.

Regardless of the way you want things, establishing that up front is incredibly important.

3. How many people do you really need to live with?

I find myself trying to squeeze as many people as I can into a house so our rent is as cheap as it can possibly be. You might have this inclination as well. But when it comes down to signing a lease for a year (or even six months!) you should consider what's going to make you most comfortable, not what's going to make it the cheapest situation.

Financially, living with roommates allows you to save more money than if you were living alone. However, consider filling all the bedrooms but one -- give yourself a little room to breathe. Whether you decide to turn your extra space into a home office or a yoga studio, having some extra square footage can be the difference between a happy living situation ... and not.

4. What's your ideal roommate situation?

Whether you're looking for someone to be all up in your business or quietly keep to themselves, before you start searching for a roommate, you need to ask yourself what you're looking for.

Allow yourself to draw lines. You're focused on a thousand different things in your life right now, so worrying about your roommates and whether or not they're going to be up in your business is not what you should be worrying about in your day to day life. So before you embark on a journey of finding a roommate, give some thought to what you want in the end.

5. What's your daily schedule?

For people who are really busy, and rarely home, having roommates it less of a big deal. For those of us who are only in school and spend the majority of our weeks at home, studying, with our pets, it becomes more important to find roommates who will be great matches when it comes to spend time together.

A lot of the roommate search is identifying who you are as a roommate. Do you spend a lot of your time at home? Do you scatter your things all over the house? Do you enjoy hosting parties?

Identifying these things within yourself can help you find roommates who will be a positive addition to your life. If you find roommates on a whim because you want to save money, it's more likely that you're going to end up with people you don't get along with, who actually bother you, and aren't a great addition to life. 

Where should you search for roommates?

People have all kinds of opinions on where you should look for a roommate. If you're in school, consider asking around in your classes or using Roomsurf. If you're a young, working professional, consider networking with other young professionals.

Depending on the stage you're at in life might determine where you should be looking for roommates.

People might tell you that Craigslist isn't an option -- you don't want to get stuck with a creep. But sometimes Craigslist can bring people into your life that you otherwise wouldn't be able to meet. As long as you're doing your research, interviewing heavily, and asking the right questions, I think it's completely fine to search for a roommate on Craigslist.

 

 

How do you interview a potential roommate?

Interviewing a potential roommate can be a bit intimidating. You have to feel comfortable taking control of the situation. If you are the one looking to fill up a house/townhouse/apartment, you are in control of who you pick. And definitely don't feel like you have to settle. We're talking about filling up your space with other people.  So what kinds of questions should you ask when you're "interviewing" potential roommates? Here are some suggestions:

1. How often do you clean?

If you're a super clean person, it's probably going to be important to you that your roommate helps out around the house. When your life is going at a million miles an hour, there are too many other things to focus on besides deep cleaning every Saturday. If you're a clean person and it's important to you that your roommate keeps things tidy, don't be afraid to ask them what their cleaning habits are up front.

2. Do you like to have people over?

Before you invite someone to live with you, you're going to want to know if this person likes to be the host of the party or attend get-togethers elsewhere.

3. Are you still friends with your old roommates?

If you're about to invite someone to live with you who isn't friends with their old roommates, chances are, there's a reason. Did they just not get along? Did things get nasty? How did things end?

4. What temperature is most comfortable for you?

Before you even have the chance to argue over how cool/warm to keep the house, approach this topic before you move in together. Having a difference in opinion on this could lead to arguments about the electric bill, which is something you want to avoid at all costs.

5. Do you use the whole house, or do you confine your things to your bedroom?

Knowing whether or not you're going to have to share your common areas with their items is an important thing to know before you move in with someone. Do they keep their shoes at the door, or in their closet in their room? Do they come home and throw their stuff down on the kitchen table, or do they carry their belongings to their own space?

Finding a roommate is always tough -- regardless of your age, profession, or situation. Throughout college, you're probably going to live with several different people. As you move into more places and live with more people, you'll discover the things that are most important to you. Some of it is just simply learning about yourself. Growing up at home, you probably didn't have to share your space with anyone other than your family. Inviting someone else into your home, to share your space, is a huge part of "growing up."

After you live with people, you'll feel like a different person. You'll know so much more about yourself, what you value in a person, and what's important to you in your physical environment.

If you get stuck in a tricky roommate situation, know that this is temporary, and soon enough, this will be over. If things get really tough, look into ways you can evict your roommate (but obviously as a last resort!).

Keep telling yourself that by living with roommates, you're saving yourself all kinds of money and you're learning how to exist with other people in your space. It's part of being in college; it's part of growing up; it's part of becoming who you are.

Before you begin the search for roommates, identify what you're looking for in another person. You're going to be sharing your living space with people - so you need to make sure they're halfway decent. Do you need to agree on politics and foreign affairs? Probably not. But is it important that they clean up after themselves, make themselves scarce, and don't throw huge parties every week? Probably.

Diving into the journey of finding roommates can be overwhelming. Set deadlines for yourself. Give yourself a few days to come up with the perfect social media post, network with your classmates, and find creative ways to solicit roommate interviews. Don't rush yourself -- think of questions that are solid and that truly matter to your happiness.

Before you ask someone to move in with you as a roommate, it's best that you really put time into getting to know their living habits. Otherwise, you've just stuck yourself with someone for a year without really knowing what you're signing up for. And being a young professional, or in college, living with people is the last thing that you need to be worried about from day to day.

 


How to Start Off Your Roommate Relationship Right

By Kaitlin Hurtado

 

You can easily spend hours diving into the world of posts about roommate horror stories - most people do have some stories of things going south between roommates with varying levels of severity and drama. However, you do not necessarily want to be able to say the same for yourself and your own experience with roommates. No one should want to actively seek out their very own roommate horror story where their roommate stows away leftovers that go hidden in the back of your fridge until it is a pile of unrecognizable goo, or to be locked out repeatedly when their roommate decides to bring over their significant other without warning. Roommate horror stories are bound to happen with people living in such close proximity, but there are a few things you can do to lessen your chances of building your own roommate horror story.

 

One major thing you can do to improve your relationship with your roommate is to start off your roommate relationship right from the get-go. First impressions can go a long way when it comes to someone you are going to be sharing living spaces with, and if you are wondering how you can possibly go about starting off your roommate relationship right, read on:

 

 

Make an effort to get friendly

While movies may depict the ultimate dream of roommate relationships as having each other as life-long best friends even after you can no longer call yourself roommates, just being on friendly terms can be more than enough in reality. You don't have to be best friends with your roommates. Yes, it is nice to make new friends, but you may be leading two completely different lives with different classes, work schedules, and friend groups. At the end of the day, you just want to be comfortable with the person you are sharing a living space with.

 

At the beginning of your roommate relationship, be friendly. Take the initiative and introduce yourself with some small talk, just don't start unloading all your belongings without bothering to exchange names. When you see your roommates in passing - on your way to your room or in the kitchen as you grab something from the fridge, try saying hello or asking them how their day was. You'd be surprised that something as small as a smile or hello would do for your roommate relationship. You will come off as friendly and open, rather than standoffish if you were to walk past without acknowledging their presence.

 

Remember that being friendly is also respecting their personal boundaries. While you may want to become best friends with your roommate, they may just want to smile and say hello then head off to their room for some alone time in their own space. Respecting each other's presence in the living space is key when it comes to starting off your roommate relationship off right.

 

Negotiate a "roommate contract"

This can be as official or unofficial as you want it to be, but it is very important to sit down with your roommate as soon as possible to discuss your new living arrangement. While you have a list of pet peeves and practices that you commonly do in your living space, your roommate may have a completely different list that you are unaware of. Ask them to set aside some time so that you can both discuss what you expect out of each other during your time as roommates to help avoid conflict further down the road.

 

If you are wondering what possible topics you should cove, consider the following topics:

●       Guests. How many guests are you allowed to bring over, or when are you allowed to bring guests over? Is a heads up needed and if so, how much of a heads up do you need to give? Are overnight guests okay?

●       Uses of shared spaces. Shared spaces like a storage closet or your living room may have "obvious" functions, but you may want to use them for something else. Make sure that the use of shared space is okay with each roommate.

●       Using each other's belongings - is it okay? For some roommates, shared items like brooms or paper towels are completely okay to share, but things like butter or food items can be off limits. Establish what you are willing to share, and what you are not willing to share with each other.

●       Noise level

●       Cleaning schedule and duties

●       Pets

Establishing rules and guidelines early on in your living arrangement is vital to starting off your roommate relationship right. You don't want to do something consistently only to find out your roommate has been holding a secret grudge against you for doing that exact thing without knowing it bothers them.

 

Once your roommate relationship is off to a great start, don't let your efforts go to waste. Remember to maintain your roommate relationship!


7 Tips for Living with a Messy Roommate

By Brittany Loeffler 

 

The number one problem that arises between roommates is about cleanliness. Living with a messy roommate can create strong rifts between you two and can make your life stressful. If you are an especially clean person and a clean house makes you happy, you know just how consuming having a messy roommate can be.

Rather than getting bent out of shape about the mess, there are a few things you can do with your roommate to clean up the mess and help them live a cleaner lifestyle.

 

 

 

Create a Roommate Agreement

If you have a sense that you are about to live with a messy roommate, it’s a good idea to create a roommate agreement within the first few weeks of living together. A roommate agreement is a document that lists the rules of your home and what is and is not allowed to happen amongst the roommates. Within this agreement, you can create a rule stating that dishes must be done within 24 hours or you cannot leave your belongings in the common area.

Confront Your Roommate

If you find that your messy roommate hasn’t changed at all since writing the roommate agreement, the next best thing to do is to confront them. This doesn’t mean attack them for the mess that they left in the apartment. It means calmly going up to them and explaining how their messiness makes you feel. Use phrases such as “I feel” rather than “You are.” They are more likely to respond to your complaint if you make it about how you feel.

Clean Up Together

Maybe your messy roommate needs some guidance on cleaning up. Not everyone was raised the same way and may not know how to properly clean a house. This is a great chance to teach your messy roommate some valuable skills that they can take throughout life. Set designated cleaning days each week where you both clean up the apartment together.

Not only will you teach them how to clean, but you will also know that they are definitely cleaning and not just sitting watching Netflix when you asked them to pick something up. It will also cut down on the amount of time you two spend cleaning.

Have Separate Spaces

It’s important to have your own separate space away from your roommate. If you live in an apartment, make your messy roommate aware that your bedroom is private and is your separate space. This allows you to have some type of control over how messy or clean the space is.

If you share a dorm room, which can be even worse if you live with a messy roommate, divide the room into separate spaces. You will have one half of the room and your roommate will have the other half. If it helps, you can even put a line of colored tape on the floor to show how the room is divided.

Condense Their Mess

Remember when you were little and you would shove all of your toys and clothes under your bed or in your closet when your mom asked you to clean up? Your room looked clean, but it wasn’t really. To give the illusion that your house is clean, condense your roommate’s mess to one spot for them to clean up when they get home. This will also send the message that you are tired of their messy habits.

Clean Up After Them

If you really feel strongly about having a clean house you can swallow your pride and just clean up your roommate’s mess. After many attempts at trying to get them to clean up, you may not have gotten through to them. Now is the time to play “mom” and pick up after your messy roommate for the sake of having a clean and comfortable home.

Learn to Ignore It

This may be difficult for some people, but if you can look past the mess and ignore it, you won’t sacrifice your relationship with your roommate and will stop worrying about the mess. While some people let the mess of their roommate consume their life you don’t have to. Simply go on with your life and stop thinking about the mess at home.

How to Live with a Messy Roommate

Living with a messy roommate can be one of the most challenging parts of college. Before moving in with someone, discuss their level of cleanliness. Be truthful about what you consider to be clean or messy. If you do end up with a messy roommate, confront them about how you feel. Try to clean up the apartment together to save time and make sure that they are doing their fair share. Keep a separate space for yourself to keep as clean or messy as you’d like. Lastly, if they are still messy, you can clean up after them or just try to ignore it.


How to Decide & Gracefully Decline Living With Your Current Roommate Again

By Danielle Wirsansky 

 

College teaches you a lot of things. You learn a lot in school. You take classes. You earn a degree. However, college can teach you a lot more about life than what you can get from simply going to school. You learn about independence, taking care of yourself, juggling school and work, maintaining a social life and your grades, and what responsibility really means. You learn how to pay bills, how to cook, how to clean, how to prioritize, how to stay on top of your schedule, how to keep yourself out of trouble, and how to stay afloat.

One of the most important things you will learn in college is how to handle people in your life, whether that is going out and making new friends since you are making a fresh start out at college, keeping up with the friends there that you have already made, and maintain other friendships you may have already had. You have to learn to let people come in and out of your life as you both try to navigate your lives. You have to learn when to let someone go when they are not a good fit for your life or when they become a negative aspect of your life instead of a positive one.

This is especially true for your roommate while in college. Your relationship with your roommate will be one of the most important relationships you have during your time away at college for a lot of different reasons. Your home is your space to relax and truly be yourself, and a lot of the time, your relationship with your roommate can make or break that. It is hard to come home and feel relaxed if you do not get along with your roommate and so do not feel welcome in the common areas, or if your roommate dominates the living room and never lets you feel like the space is yours too, or if your roommate does not pick up after themselves even when reminded and clutter stresses you out. There are a lot of reasons why a roommate situation can be stressful, whether or not you like the roommate in question as a person.

Living situations create very intimate relationships, because your roommate ends up knowing a lot about your life, whether they are actively involved in it or simply live off the periphery. Being a good roommate takes a lot of work, and often, this is asking too much of a busy college student. A lot of the time, roommates are come and go. It takes a special chemistry for roommates to work well together and it happens very rarely. Some students can have a different roommate each year and never find a roommate that is just the right fit.

Even if you do not have that right fit roommate (especially if your do not have that roommate), you should definitely keep trying because having the best and right roommate for you will make your life easier, simpler, and much less stressful. So how do you know if your current roommate is the right fit roommate to live with again? And if they are not that right fit roommate, how do you get out of living with them again?

It is not an easy decision to make but you need to decide with enough warning that you and your roommate will be able to make plans for next year without either of you being stranded. And when possible, it is always best not to burn a bridge. You might love a person dearly, but that does not mean that they make the best fit roommate. Read on to learn the steps you can take to decide and gracefully decline living with your current roommate again!

 

 

Step 1: Decide What You Need in

Your Future Living Situation

The first thing you need to do is to decide what you need in your future living situation. Think about it this way: what changes could you make to the way you are living now that would make you more comfortable and less stressed out in the future?

Maybe your apartment is too far from campus, there are no bus stops close enough to your complex, and the commute to campus is too long and full of traffic. Or maybe your apartment is the opposite. It is way too close to campus for comfort. Everyone is partying at your complex and you can’t sleep or get your homework done. You hear all the noise of a football game. Traffic is crazy around your home.

Think about the set up of your apartment. Maybe you live in a 2/1 and you are just really done with having to share a bathroom. Being able to have your own bathroom would make your life infinitely better and you think you can afford a 2/2 apartment instead next year. Maybe you actually have several people living in the house and you think you would do better having only one other roommate instead of three. Maybe living without a washing and drying machine in your actual unit was one of the biggest mistakes of your life so far and you never have enough clean clothes.

The complex itself could be an issue. The apartments are not in great condition and the staff there does not really do a good job at maintaining it. Management is lazy. There are issues with the plumbing or the air conditioning or the dish washer or the washing and drying machine over and over again that never seem to be fixed. The garbage is always overflowing. Or maybe it is the other way around. Maybe it is too nice. Rent is too expensive for what you are getting and you feel like you could get a better deal living somewhere else. Maye they offer (and you are paying for) too many amenities that you do not use. Do you care if they have a gym? Or a volley ball court? Or a pool? Do any of those things matter to you? Whether you want or do not want those amenities, you should be trying to find a community where you only have to pay for and have access to the ones you actually want.

Figuring out what you are looking for (even if you cannot achieve every single line on your list) will help you figure out how to move forward for next year. When you know what is most important to you and what is non-negotiable, you will have an easier time making the next steps.

Step 2: Does Your Current Roommate Fit Into Your Plan?

Once you have decided what it is you are looking for in regards to your future living arrangements, you must then decide if your current roommate fits into the plan. Sometimes this is a difficult thing to figure out. You cannot read minds, so you do not know if what you are looking for or what your deal breakers are for the next year are compatible or not.

Start by remembering things that they have mentioned. Maybe they hate living in this complex and have a lot of issues with it while you love it and want to stay. It could be the opposite. Maybe you hate living there and they love the complex instead. Maybe they are the one who wants a 2/2 when you can only afford a 2/1 living situation. Maybe you want to invite more roommates to join in to cut down on living costs but they are quiet and do not want to add multiple roommates into the mix.

If you do not remember them mentioning any of these kinds of things, then now is the time to start listening. Listen when they talk and take note. Maybe they will mention their plans to study abroad next year, which means that they would only be able to lease an apartment for one semester rather than both. Or they will reveal that they are changing their mind about studying abroad. And maybe, if it it is you going off on the adventure, you need to sublet a place for one semester rather than stay in a place with a yearlong lease.

Lastly, if you do not hear them talking about these kinds of details, then you need to talk to your roommate and actually ask them what they are looking for themselves in a future living situation. It does not have to be a serious, sit down dialogue that could feel more like an interrogation. But you can casually ask questions and throw them into existing conversations to see how your roommate feels and if you are on the same page with them.

Step 3: Do You Even Want to Live With Your Current Roommate Again?

At the end of the day, the biggest question you have to ask yourself is if you even want to live with your current roommate again. They could have meet each and every one of your future living arrangement goals—they want to live off campus but near a bus stop, they want to live in a 2/2, they want a washing machine and dryer in the unit. But if you do not like living with them and do not want to live with them again, that trumps everything else.

Think back to the question at the top of step 1: does living with your roommate make you more stressed out than living without them would be? Then living with them may not be the best choice.

If they are sloppy and never clean, never pay their bills on time, never take out the trash, have their friends over all the time without asking, pry into your life or ignore you, whatever it is that they do that stresses you out, just know that you do not have to live with them again. And it is totally okay and within your rights not to want to live with someone again. Not everyone is compatible in a living situation. You have to put yourself, your health, and your well being first. And if you dread the idea of living with them again, then you know what your answer to this step has to be, even if it makes you nervous.

 

 

Step 4: Gracefully Decline Living

With Your Current Roommate Again

If you have decided not to live with your roommate again the next year, you need to inform them so that they can make other arrangements. This may seem like an awkward conversation to start, but it does not have to be. Remember the first word of this step: “gracefully.” You do not want to be mean or rude about the fact that you do not want to live with your roommate again.

You could sit down and have a straightforward conversation about how the living arrangement is not working and why, though this might be stressful an evolve into a confrontation. You could also just let them know that you have begun making plans for next year that do not include them without going too much into the details. You can also point out how some of your needs for the next year’s living situation are not compatible and so it sadly will not work out.

Whichever approach you go with, try not to burn your bridge with them. Sometimes, it cannot be helped and some people might not take this kind of news well. But you need to try and be the bigger person and just treat them with respect.

Step 5: Finish the Lease on Good Terms

Regardless of how breaking the news to your current roommate that they will not be your future roommate goes, just do everything in your power to finish the current lease on good terms. It may not be possible, but just keep your head high and know that you did everything you could to be the best roommate possible. And if nothing else, you learned some valuable lessons about yourself and others that will only make your next attempt at cohabitating go even more smoothly.

 

Follow these steps to help you navigate your future living situation and makes the best decisions possible for yourself so that you can be happy, healthy, and whole while in college!

 


Challenges & Problems: How to Deal With Roommate Conflicts

By Amanda Cohen 

 

 

 

Living with another person (or people) can be extremely challenging. Whether you’re living with your best friend, a family member, a random person, or a person of the opposite sex, it doesn’t matter. Getting adjusted to another person’s living patterns, especially in a smaller space than what you’re used to, is hard and there’s definitely a learning curve involved. If you’ve never experienced any sort of conflict with your roommate/roommates, then you’re the closest thing in this world to a unicorn because I truly have never heard of a perfect roommate situation where nothing arises.

 

However, if you’re like 99.99% of the population that lives with a roommate/roommates and have had issues, let me help. From living in a double then a single then a sorority house and then a five-person apartment and then a two-person apartment, I’ve pretty much seen it all. So, let’s get into it: how to talk with your roommate when situations arise!

 

Be forward, but not aggressive

For many of us, being forward and upfront is so difficult. We often worry that we are being mean if we state our concerns outright, but it’s honestly more inconsiderate to beat around the bush and let your issues with your roommate(s) fester. The most efficient and effective way to deal with roommate issues is to deal with it head-on, even if it seems scary. Even though you may think that texting is equally as effective, it’s not and many things can be misconstrued over the phone.

 

You don’t need to set up a meeting with a Gmail event or anything, but just pick a casual moment, like when you guys are watching TV, to bring up whatever issue you’re having. This is a great jumping off point and a great way to clear the air in an informal, kind, but straightforward manner. If your roommate becomes defensive, try to calm him/her down by saying that it’s not her fault and that you understand he/she would never do anything intentionally to bother you, but you wanted to talk about it because you care about your friendship with him/her.

 

Never be passive-aggressive

A perfect example of this is if your roommate never washes his/her dishes and just leaves them in the sink. Don’t just start leaving your dirty dishes in the sink to “give them a taste of their own medicine,” keep washing your dishes and even do their dishes from time to time. If you start not doing your own dishes, it will do more harm than good. Also, you may think it’s easier to not deal with your problem up front and just be passive about it (not even intentionally passive-aggressive), but eventually you will get so annoyed that being passive will turn into being passive-aggressive and then no one is happy.

 

If your roommate point-blank asks you if you’re angry about something, tell them yes and explain what’s upsetting you; don’t just brush it off and say “I’m fine” when you’re really not. If you want to make a roommate situation work, you need to be honest with him/her and honest with yourself. If you are about to enter a new roommate situation and you are starting to worry, make a preventative list and clear the air with your roommate(s) about your expectations and how you want to handle issues if they arise.

 

Everything is better with a plan

Like I said above, if you want to get ahead of negative situations before they even occur, sit down with your roommate(s) and set up an “agreement” of some sorts that is fair, doable, and not aggressive. It doesn’t have to be a contract or anything; rather, you can label it as a cute little list entitled “Household Etiquette.” Instead of explaining what this list is, I’m just going to give you some stuff to include on it:

●       Wash your dishes and pots and pans after use

●       Take out the trash when it’s full

●       Clean out expired foods items (that are his/hers) and throw them away

●       Wipe down countertops after dinner

●       Alternate who mops and vacuums the floors

●       Be considerate about having people over (i.e. if someone has a big exam, don’t throw a huge party)

●       Respect one another’s privacy and space

●       Be considerate of everyone’s schedules

There is nothing that you and your roommate can’t handle! Just remember (1) honesty is the best policy, (2) no one wants conflict to occur, (3) no one is upsetting anyone on purpose… probably, (4) handle things head on, and (5) passive-aggressiveness is never the answer.

 

Whether you are in a tiny dorm room, an apartment, or a house, you will have to make some compromises when a roommate (or roommates) are involved. Be straightforward, but also remember that being a good roommate is a two-way street; you have to be a good roommate as well in order to expect a good roommate in return.


4 Ways to Compromise with Your Roommate and What to Know

By Alicia Geigel

 

 

Making the transition from living on your own to with roommates can be a difficult one if you’re not used to the changes and responsibilities that come with it. I was an only child growing up, so for the most part, I learned to be independent and depend on myself for a lot of responsibilities. Living (with your parents) but by yourself for most of your life, you become accustomed to how you do certain tasks, unlimited privacy, and the perks of being independent. Moving in with roommates change up the whole game of living situations and will teach you more about yourself than you ever knew could be possible.

 

Roommate relationships, like any other relationship, require patience, temperance, and good old fashioned compromise. When you’re living with multiple roommates, things will not go 100% the way you want them to and your living situation will certainly not be perfect. As someone sharing a space with someone else, you may have to compromise on some of the original rules/ideals/standards that you established, and the same goes for your roommates. As you live with your roommates longer, you’ll learn more about their habits and idiosyncrasies and perhaps have to establish new rules, and that’s ok!

 

Living with another person takes a great deal of compromise because, at the end of the day, we are all different and have a different way of living. Are you about to move in with a roommate or currently live with one? Don’t know how to live with another person? Unsure of how to go about compromising on certain things? Check out these four key things to compromising on with your roommate below! Not only will they help you form a better relationship with your roommate, but they will also make your life easier!

 

1. Communication: You may not be the most talkative or open person, but when you live with someone else, you have to be strong and vocal about what you want. You have probably heard about keeping the doors of communication open over and over again in your life, but I can promise you that this is incredibly important, not only in roommate relationships but in all relationships. This rule applies to living with one roommate as well as when you are one out of four people living in a dorm. Regardless of how many roommates you have, you’ll want to make sure everyone is communicating effectively.

 

2. Chores: Let’s be real, no one truly likes doing chores (unless you're like me and sometimes likes cleaning to de-stress). You might be able to get away with not doing chores at home, but when you live with roommates, your lack of tidying up in the house definitely adds up. Before you even move in with your future roommates, it's important to establish some basic, ground rules of living. This can include alternating who takes out the trash every week, who cooks dinner on Tuesday nights, who washes dishes after dinner, who vacuums on weekends, etc. Compromising on chores, and alternating between which roommate does what chore each week, will help you keep a balanced home with your roommate.

 

3. Privacy: Privacy when living with a roommate/roommates can sometimes be violated, as it can just naturally (and accidentally) happen while living together. Just because you have roommates does not mean that you have to spend every second of every day with each other. Sometimes doing so can create rifts and tensions and sometimes it can be great, it all depends on the person. When living with a roommate, you sometimes end up having to compromise on certain things regarding privacy.

 

4. Bills: One significant element about living with someone (if you are in an apartment/house) is figuring out how to split up living expenses like rent/amenities/cable + internet. Taking on adult responsibilities and figuring out how to effectively split bills can be difficult and require some compromise on both ends. According to Leslie Tayne of Credit.com, “A major key for keeping the peace is making sure bills are organized. Figure out when and how bills will be collected and split each month, how they will be payed, and who is responsible for paying what amount.” It is important to compromise on certain things you want to spend money on, as balancing your budget is necessary to living with a roommate.

 

Sharing a space with another person is all about compromise; compromise of self, compromise of communication and privacy, and compromise of lifestyle. It’s never easy to shift what you prioritize, change certain lifestyle choices, and alter your ways of doing things. However, living with a roommate can introduce you to new perspectives on life and living habits that can expand your knowledge and benefit you in the future. Just remember to always be respectful of your roommate and their feelings, just as you would! Openness, respect, and understanding is the key to any successful relationship, especially with a roommate. As always, good luck!


Living with Multiple Roommates: A Guide to Harmonious Living

By Madison White

 

Your living space should be your safe haven, but sometimes a bad roommate situation can turn your space into a living nightmare. Getting multiple people to live harmoniously in one space may be a difficult task at times, but it definitely is not impossible. A great roommate relationship can add so much to your life in terms of friendship, entertainment, and comfort.

 

This article will detail different preventative measures you can pick while choosing roommates and the conversations you should have at the beginning of your lease. It also touches on the best ways to create honest and open communication, because nobody can avoid conflict completely.

 

 

 

1. You CAN pick your (roommate) family

 

This first step is crucial and must be done before you actually move in or make any living commitments. Many people jump into living arrangements simply because someone has propositioned to live with them. This often happens with friends or other people you know, but be aware, sometimes living with your best friends can be a nightmare instead of a dream.

 

If you don’t have any friends that are looking for a place to live, Lorena Roberts has some great advice on finding quality roommates.

 

It is definitely worth it to have a chat with your potential roommates about your styles of living before you move in. You need to figure out if people are messy or clean, quiet or loud, morning people or night owls. Ideally, you want to live with people whose lifestyles aren’t going to clash with yours, so if you learn that your potential roommate loves to blast music but you need absolute quiet to get any work done, you might want to reconsider living with them.

 

Try as best as you can to be very honest when discussing this. You may be tempted to portray yourself as a perfect roommate when in reality, you know that you have a few bad habits. It is better to be candid about some of your faults, and perhaps even mention how you are planning on fixing some of them. Hopefully, your honesty will inspire others to do the same.

 

Kaitlin Hurtado details some important questions to ask before moving in. They can help you determine your standards of living and see if they match up.

 

2. Share the financial burden

 

Just like in relationships, money is something that can tear roommates apart. Many people fall into the trap of letting one person handle all the financial responsibility. This is an easy way to create problems.

 

It is better for you and your roommates to sit down at the beginning of your lease and think of ways that you all can share the cost. Of course, you’ll all be paying for rent, but there are usually internet bills, electricity bills, trash collection bills, and other bills that will need taken care of. Try and let each person take responsibility for paying one bill if possible, even if the bills aren’t the same amount. Because bills will usually fluctuate, you will probably have to calculate whether you owe someone money for an expensive bill.

 

With this method, one single person isn’t paying for everything and getting upset while waiting for the other roommates to pay them back.

 

3. Share the household duties

 

Like finances, if you don’t organize a system for sharing responsibilities, you could be setting yourself up for future problems. In any living situation, there are always repeat chores that will need doing like taking out the trash, cleaning and vacuuming, washing dishes, etc. If you can delegate certain tasks to certain people from the start, it will hopefully prevent too many chores from piling up.

 

Make sure that you discuss what are household chores and what are personal chores. You can expect that people will be in charge of cleaning their own bedrooms, washing their own laundry, and potentially, buying their own food.

 

Try and be clear about which spaces are communal (living room, bathroom) and what spaces are personal. Roommates should always keep communal spaces in clean conditions as a courtesy to everyone, but if they want to keep a messy bedroom, that is their choice.

 

4. Communicate effectively

 

Hopefully putting all of these systems in place will prevent some disagreements; however, problems are still bound to arise in any situation. Everybody communicates differently, but some ways of communicating are more effective than others.

 

Before you fire off an angry text message because of some dirty dishes, think about whether that text is going to allow for open and helpful conversation. The likely answer is that it won’t, and your impulsive text will lead to more problems.

 

Try and get into the habit of talking face-to-face about issues. Instead of texting something like, “I can’t believe you left your dirty dishes on the table AGAIN!” try something like, “Hey will you be around tonight? I’d like to talk about our kitchen space.” This will give you some time to cool off and will also lead to a more productive conversation. Writer Brittany Hawes has some suggestions on how to settle roommate disputes.

 

A few types of communication to avoid: aggressive and passive-aggressive. Nobody likes receiving an angry text in the middle of a workday. Nobody likes it when you leave sticky notes around the apartment either. Always try and be upfront about what is bothering you without getting upset and placing blame.

 

5. Anticipate Issues

 

If you’re moving in with someone you already know, chances are that you know a little bit about their personality too. Are they a bit forgetful? Do they tend to leave certain things around? If you know that some things could potentially be an issue, try and solve them together before the issue really arises.

 

For example, if you’re worried that your roommate is quite forgetful and may not remember to pay the electricity bill on time, talk to them about what would help them remember to pay it. You could help them set reminders on their phone the day before. You could write a reminder in a place that they would see every day. You could even try and set up a bill pay system that will pay the bill from their account automatically.

 

It is crucial that when you are making suggestions, that you don’t come off annoyed or condescending about the issue, especially if you don’t face similar issues yourself. You should be working collaboratively to come up with solutions that will work for them and benefit everyone.

 

 

 

6. Don’t bottle things up

 

If an issue has arrived that you hadn’t anticipated, you have a few actionable options. You can tell your roommate about what’s bothering you when it occurs the first few times and resolve it quickly, or you can bottle up your anger for months and end up resenting them. That second option sounds pretty awful, right?

 

If something has repeatedly been getting on your nerves, it isn’t a good idea to let it fester for a long time. Odds are that your anger will build up and when it (inevitably) happens again, you could emotionally explode at your roommate, damaging your entire relationship.

 

Try and stick to the rule of three: if the action happens three times, then it’s time to talk to them. If something happens just once, and it isn’t something major, it could be a fluke occurrence and not worth your time trying to resolve what isn’t really an issue. By the third time, you can assume that this recurring behavior isn’t going away on its own and needs to be addressed.

 

7. Your living style isn’t the only living style

 

When you move in with new people, it can be especially difficult to understand their methods of doing things, especially if they are different to yours. Maybe they load the dishwasher in a different way. Maybe they hang their laundry to dry while you prefer to use a dryer. As a roommate, you need to differentiate what behavior is an issue and what behaviors are just different to yours. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to change everything about the way they live their life.

 

Being able to identify bad roommate habits from different living styles is essential. Let’s say that you need the house to be quiet past 10 p.m. so that you can sleep well. If you have a roommate who is up until 1 a.m. blasting music, then this is a real roommate issue that you need to address. However, if you have a roommate that just likes to sing in the shower at 8 a.m. when you’re already awake, you should probably let that slide.

 

The distinction will make it easier to find the perfect balance between bottling up all of your anger and picking a fight over every little thing.

 

8. Learn to manage friendship

 

Depending on how you came about finding your roommates, your situation could range from living with your best friend to living with a complete stranger. When it comes to having boundaries, these situations present different obstacles.

 

Living with your best friend sounds like a dream come true for many people, but what happens if both of you get in a fight over something? Living in that setting can be extremely awkward. What happens when hanging out isn’t as fun because you see each other all the time? How do you bring up an issue with the living situation without hurting their feelings?  Living with a best friend often means you’ll have to be extra cautious about your behavior.

 

It is best to approach things in a calm, constructive manner because very few things are solved when emotions are high. If you know how they prefer to communicate, it may be a good idea to present the issue that way. You need to look out for your own well-being, but you also need to try and maintain a friendship that you enjoy.

 

On the contrary, living with a completely new person presents its own challenges. It will take some time to know whether this person is messy or clean, loud or quiet, a morning or a night person. You likely won’t know at the start what their good and bad habits are.

 

Luckily, you will have the choice to really become friends or not. You will probably find out if you are destined to be best friends or happier just being roommates. It can be a lot easier to talk about roommate issues with someone who is strictly a roommate because you are less worried about how it will affect your relationship.

 

9. Find your own space

 

If something does go wrong between you and your roommates, the living environment can be extremely uncomfortable to be in until everything settles down. In case this happens, you should find a place that you can go to feel better that’s away from the stress of the household.

 

If you have a private bedroom, this could be a good place to go, but for some, this may still be too close to the conflict. Maybe you have a park that you love going to, or there is a great coffee shop nearby. Maybe there is a library that you enjoy being in. For some people, it could be the gym. It is nice to have a place (or two) that you can go to and relax in case your house/apartment becomes uncomfortable.

 

No roommate relationship is going to be perfect. Just like life, your relationship with your roommates will go through different highs and lows. By being proactive and seeking out roommates that have similar lifestyles to you, you may be able to minimize future issues. By talking about household expectations at the beginning of the lease, everybody will feel responsible for the upkeep of the space. By managing how you communicate with each other, you can resolve conflicts quickly. By being prepared for arguments, you will be better dealing with them effectively.

 

If you’re lucky, a great roommate relationship can turn into a friendship for life.