Roommate etiquette forms as a base to healthy relationship boundaries while co living. Whether you grew up sharing a room with your siblings or you’re an only child with a bedroom all to yourself, living with someone new can be challenging. As exciting as it is to move into a new apartment and forge new friendships with your roomies, it is equally important to know where to draw the line and maintain some privacy.
Here are some steps you can take to make sure that co living with your roomie is a fabulous experience that you can cherish for a lifetime.
Roommate etiquette 101: Establish Boundaries
Most people have trouble co living with others because the people they are living with lack any sense of boundaries. Setting healthy relationship boundaries with your roomies is the best way to make sure that you can maintain a pleasant and non-hostile atmosphere. Communicate with them early on regarding how you want to live, what your boundaries are and especially what your pet peeves are.
While everyone has to adjust and compromise when co living with other people, that doesn’t mean that you need to live in an environment where you don’t feel comfortable. Communicate!
Respect personal space
Once healthy relationship boundaries have been established, make sure you respect them! Don’t go barging in on your roomie if they’ve made it clear that they want to be left alone. Similarly, don’t put up with it if someone else is invading your personal space. Make sure you respect their time, space and boundaries – and that they respect yours. This is the secret of successful co living!
If your roomie does something you don’t like, speak up! At the same time, if your roomie tells you that you overstepped the line, don’t take offence. These things are bound to happen in the beginning, just apologize and do better next time.
Lay down ground rules
Setting some ground rules are a part of roommate etiquette and healthy relationship boundaries. They can co living a 100 times easier to navigate and a lot more comfortable.
Don’t want loud music disturbing you when you’re trying to go to sleep? Set quiet hours when no one can be loud and disturb others. Hate seeing dirty dishes in the sink for days on end? Create a schedule and reasonable time frame within which all the chores should be done. Do not want an endless parade of guests going in and out of the house? Set up a rule with your roomies on how many guests are allowed in your home, especially if someone wants to throw a party.
Have some ‘me’ time while co living
Now that you’re living with others, it’s even more important to set some time aside when you can be alone. Even though it does not come under roommate etiquette as such, but is still important at an individual level.
Having some ‘me’ time, while co living is essential for your mental health and well being. You can go for a run, read a book, watch movies, bake, get (or give yourself!) mani-pedis… the list is endless! The point is to do what relaxes you and makes you feel rejuvenated. Just make sure you tell your roomies when your ‘me’ time is, so that they don’t disturb you.
Create your own safe haven
When you are co living with someone else, there are not a lot of places you can go within the house to be alone. Roommate etiquette includes feeling comfortable in your space. That’s why it’s important to have a designated spot that acts as your safe haven in the midst of communal living.
If you have your own room, creating your haven is a lot easier, but if you don’t, no worries! Just pick a corner and turn it into your safe space! This can be a study table or a gaming corner, the choice is yours. This is one of the most fun parts of living on your “own”, you get to create and decorate your own space!
Basic roommate etiquette: Don’t be a moocher
While it’s true that sharing resources and supplies is inevitable to a certain extent when you’re co living, don’t depend on your roomies for all your supplies. This could possibly be one of the quickest ways to sour your healthy relationship boundaries with them!
Instead, you should take care of your own supplies and take note if you’re running out. Have a weekly/monthly schedule for shopping for essentials such as groceries, medicine, and household supplies. Make sure you and your roomies are on the same page about which supplies are communal and which are personal so none of you impose on the others.
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