- 3 Reasons Why Living with a Roommate can be the Best Thing Ever!
- How to Find Amazing Roommates
- 7 Tips to Living with a Roommate
- 1. Be the Change You Want to See
- 2. Dealing with Common Roommate Problems
- 3. Setting Ground Rules so the Landlord Doesn’t Interfere
- 4. Managing Finances (Hint: It’s Not as Simple as Splitting the Rent!)
- 5. Setting Boundaries in Between all the Sharing
- 6. Fun Activities Should be Part of the Daily Chores
- 7. Let’s Talk About Pets
- Peace Resolution 101
- Help! My Roommate is Too Difficult to Handle ?
- The Best Apps to Make your Co-living Experience Feel Like Sunshine
- Living with a Roommate Successfully is One Step Closer to your Dream Apartment Life!
Did you know that almost one-third of US adults are living with a roommate? Co-living has become a sustainable choice for many as the cost of living increases in cities.
But as it turns out, not all of them are having a great experience. There are many factors that affect your relationship with roommates and once in a while, some roommates just don’t pan out so well. Living with a roommate demands you to share resources and get along with different people. Not exactly a piece of cake for everyone!
Finding “the one” to share your home with can be quite an adventure. Here’s a practical guide by Roomi on living with a roommate. This blog covers everything from how to find a good roommate to how you can work out a great relationship with them.
3 Reasons Why Living with a Roommate can be the Best Thing Ever!
Living alone is difficult. Period! It’s not just the rent or doing every chore yourself; living alone can get lonely from time to time. Living with a roommate could solve these problems – and more!
Saves you a big chunk of rent and housing resources
This is the biggest reason why most young adults start living with a roommate. Imagine how much you could do with the money saved on lower rent- not to mention electricity bills and other utility expenses!
Helping hand in home maintenance
Staying in an apartment comes with a ton of responsibilities, and it’s a relief to share the load with someone. Having one person to vacuum the floors while you clean the kitchen can save so much time.
Expand your social circle
If you enjoy meeting new people, living with a roommate could be perfect for you. You can find a new network of friends and have some amazing experiences to cherish.
There are a bunch of pros of having a roommate rather than living alone. But it’s important to know the ins and outs of cohabitating with someone before you sign a lease together. Many people jump into roommate situations without knowing what they’re getting into, which can lead to problems later on.
How to Find Amazing Roommates
Living with a roommate is all about trusting a stranger. Sounds unnerving, right? To put your faith in someone you barely know! But if you start off in the right direction, the pay-off is worth it. Trust us!
Online tools and communities are a great way to begin the hunt for the perfect roommate. Roomi is one of the best roommate finder apps out there. You can get in touch with people who need roommates near you and talk to them before the meeting. It is a safe and secure platform to connect with like-minded individuals coming from similar backgrounds.
Once you have shortlisted some candidates, you can set up calls or interviews at a time that suits you both. Learn more about what you can expect from your first shared living experience before you jump into anything!
Make a list of questions that really matter to you – and communicate!
Some good questions to start you off include…
- Do they have pets?
- Do their friends and family often come to visit?
- Are they comfortable sharing chores?
- Will they be home most of the time or often have plans elsewhere?
Start off with clear communication before living with a roommate to catch any red flags. Of course, you won’t be able to get all the details in the first meeting. There is always scope for surprises down the line, but hopefully, they’re not all bad!
7 Tips to Living with a Roommate
Finding great roommates can take a lot of effort, and once you get a good one, you don’t want to lose them! So, here are some tips on living with roommates… think of it as your Official Survival Guide from Roomi.
1. Be the Change You Want to See
First things first: start by being the “good roommate” when you are living with a roommate. Be the person you want your roommate to be with you.
- Communicate your feelings without getting angry. Be a kind and good listener who is empathetic to your roommate’s problems.
- Respect the privacy of your roommate at all times- whether it’s about physical space or personal problems.
- Always be careful of hygiene and cleanliness, especially in common spaces. Things like sharing a bathroom with roommates may seem small but can lead to big conflict.
Related: Support your Transgender Roommate
When living with a roommate, it can be easy for us to set unforgiving standards for others. Don’t forget that you’re not perfect either (although you might disagree!) and reflect on your own actions before playing the blame game.
2. Dealing with Common Roommate Problems
What are some of the most common roommate conflicts that arise when you’re living with a roommate?
- Sharing spaces like the living room, kitchen, and bathroom
- Sharing the WiFi
- Splitting bills
- Cleaning common spaces
- Running errands
- Invading private space
- Too many people in the house (What to do if your roommate’s significant other won’t leave!)
The intensity of the problems can vary depending on how you react to them. Having some ground rules can help to a great extent but you must also be careful of some small loopholes.
For example, you’ve made a cleaning schedule for everyone to follow, and everyone has agreed. The next day you wake up and find the kitchen sink full of dishes that you didn’t use. You knock on the door of your roommate and it’s empty. They are already out for the day. ?
It can make you feel mad. Maybe you wait all day to confront your roommate, with those dirty dishes in your eyesight, and later you argue about it. But is that really going to help?
The best way is to calm down and assume that maybe your roommate had something urgent that made them skip the chore. Ask them about it and try to understand their reasons. Once you have listened, you can tell them how it was difficult for you to manage your breakfast on time because they didn’t do the dishes.
3. Setting Ground Rules so the Landlord Doesn’t Interfere
Whether you are inviting a new roommate in or already living with a roommate, there are always a few expectations – the “ground rules”, as we like to call them. You’re expected to clean your own dishes and empty the garbage when it gets full, for example. Not everyone is as lucky as Rachel to have Monica do all the cleaning!
Basic roommate etiquette is essential for everyone to follow. It’s what stops people barging into other bedrooms, or tucking into their roommates’ food, for a start!
Setting house rules for roommates is no easy task. Begin with regular house meetings to get everyone on the same page regarding chores and errands. Divide the daily and weekly tasks for everyone to follow. Go together for tasks like buying groceries; you might find it’s a fun, bonding activity!
Learn from the characters of the Big Bang Theory to see how roommate rules can solve half of the fights and tensions in your house.
4. Managing Finances (Hint: It’s Not as Simple as Splitting the Rent!)
Living with a roommate demands you to become an adult, and managing finances is paramount. Splitting the rent and paying utility bills on time is important for everyone in the house. However, if your roommate has a genuine reason to not pay the rent on time- it’s okay! Financial situations may go up and down once in a while for everyone. It’s okay to wait a day or two if your roommate is not able to pay the bills, but you can send them a gentle reminder to let them know that it’s rent day. ?
Splitting bills with roommates can get even more complicated when you make lots of shared purchases. Grabbing margaritas at the weekend, ordering pizza for dinner, or buying furniture for the home? All too often, one person fronts the bill and the others take far too long to pay it back.
This can again cause a lot of anxiety and unnecessary stress. Unless you guys are mathematicians, there are some excellent apps that you can use for splitting bills with roommates.
5. Setting Boundaries in Between all the Sharing
Living with a roommate is all about learning to share while maintaining boundaries. You share a small space including the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Check out some ideas for sharing a closet.
Sharing food with roommates can often be more difficult than you first think, as they might have different dietary requirements or mealtime routines.
Have a clear discussion on which groceries can be shared and what is off-limits. And if you are a Joey who doesn’t share food, it’s okay to let your roommate know. Just remember: that also means you can’t help yourself to their snacks… no matter how good they may look!
Boundaries especially come into play when you talk about privacy. The bedroom is probably the only place that is completely private, so always ask permission before entering. If you share a bedroom, you must respect their personal belongings.
Despite this, sometimes we forget where the lines are. Say, for example, your laptop suddenly stops working one day and you decide to work on your roommate’s laptop. And what about sharing wifi with roommates?
It seems natural to hack resources but this is a strict no-no. Ask politely to avoid any dramatic run-ins. If your roommate isn’t comfortable sharing their stuff, respect that and move on.
Taking it to the emotional level, relationships that involve regular interaction require boundaries. When you are living with a roommate, you need to understand when you can be great buddies and when you need to give them some space.
Not all roommates want to share their personal problems and there are a couple of things that might surface when living together. You may have an introverted roommate who doesn’t want to go into every detail about their life. Aim to be a friend when they need you, but always make sure to respect their boundaries.
On the other hand, living with an extroverted roommate could require you to set your boundaries clearly. If you find yourself living with a roommate that constantly wants to socialize, make sure you’re on the same page so you can enjoy some alone time, too.
6. Fun Activities Should be Part of the Daily Chores
Once you’re crystal clear about the boundaries, there is so much freedom to enjoy when living with a roommate. You could arrange a fun outing once a week or invite friends over for a house party on special occasions. But beyond that, you must also have the time in your daily routine to talk and chill out.
People who spend time with their roommates every day have a greater chance of having a satisfactory roommate relationship. Simple acts like going out for a morning walk together can help you get along better.
Doing chores with roomies makes the dreaded deep-clean more fun. Once a month, why not plan a “family dinner”, where you all go shopping and cook a feast together? There are plenty of roommate bonding activities to look forward to when you are living with a roommate.
7. Let’s Talk About Pets
This one is a bonus for anyone dealing with a roommate’s pets or those with a pet of their own. Pets are just like roommates – except that they are animals and they don’t pay rent! Pets are the responsibility of their owners, but when you have roommates and pets living together, there’s a lot to keep in mind!
As a pet owner living with a roommate, you’ll need to make sure everyone else in the house is cool with your furry friend. Let them know from the outset that you come as a package. And don’t expect your roommates to take care of them – the grooming, feeding, and cleaning are down to you.
On the other hand, if you are living with a roommate who has a pet, you must let them know if there are any issues. Whether the dog is barking at night, or the house is becoming less hygienic, point this out to the pet owner. They should take responsibility for this.
Peace Resolution 101
So, you have made the house chore chart, you are clear with your boundaries, and have happily agreed to deal with the pet situation. That’s a lot of healthy compromises and yet one fine day, it could all fall down and there could be a dramatic fight that you can’t avoid. Boom!
It’s alright to feel disappointed and not talk for a while. Let the dust settle down and perhaps, the intensity will fade away. Never hold a grudge due to any political drama with roommates. Everyone has different opinions based on unique experiences, and often it’s best to agree to disagree.
Maintaining peace with your roommate can test your patience. Listen with an open mind, react rationally, and keep the communication flowing when living with a roommate. Just because something your roommate has done has hurt you doesn’t mean that you should cut contact. It will just create tension – something you definitely don’t want at home.
Check this guide to resolving common roommate problems with the right usage of language.
Help! My Roommate is Too Difficult to Handle ?
Despite all the peace resolution hacks, everyone comes across unique roommate experiences that can be difficult. Read on to learn how you can continue (or not) living with a roommate who is just impossible.
Living with a creepy roommate– Some roommates look really fine when you first meet them but after some weeks or months, you realize that there is something really off! It could be some of their habits that creep you out. Remember Eddie who moved in with Chandler in Friends?
Try to talk it out. Perhaps, you have been misinterpreting certain actions because of your own biases. If this doesn’t help, it might be time to cut your losses and say goodbye!
Living with a slob roommate– The best way to get slob roommates moving? Divide the household chores and use your convincing powers. No need to shower your rage but tell them calmly how their laziness is affecting both your health and mental peace. If no rationale or public concern can move them, try updating your lease with a clause for cleaning.
If your roommate is generally acting off recently, this could be a sign that your roommate has anxiety. Handle the matter with sensitivity and see if you can help.
Living with a noisy roommate– Are you waking up in the middle of every night because your roommate just cannot shut up? Or does your roommate talk too loud on the phone and you can hear every bit of their private conversation? Or worse- you find out that your roommate talks behind your back!
It’s okay to knock on their door and let them know that they are disturbing you. If they don’t quiet down, get some earplugs or white noise. Don’t hesitate to make a noise complaint to the building owner if living with a roommate is making your ears hurt.
Related: How to deal with roommate smoking in the apartment
Going too well? Maybe you are in love!
Living with a roommate can be fun for many but what if you are eagerly waiting to spend time with them? You two do everything together – from cleaning to cooking to washing to working. You tell each other about everything in your life. You text each other like crazy even when you are home, and you can’t stop some romantic thoughts from creeping in from time to time.
Well, damn! You might be falling in love with your roommate. We recommend checking for signs to make sure that the feelings are real. Opening up about your feelings can mix up the living situation so you better think wisely before risking it. But if it all goes well? You might have a modern-day love story on your hands!
The Best Apps to Make your Co-living Experience Feel Like Sunshine
Sharing chores, making lists, doing calculations, and getting groceries on time! Woah, you are an adult now. Living with a roommate does make you grow up pretty fast.
However, we realize that it can get tough after a point. And confusion among roommates can also lead to tension build-up. Check out the latest apps for roommates to find solutions for your harmonious apartment life. Whether it’s grocery shopping or keeping track of chores, your smartphone can be of great use here.
Living with a Roommate Successfully is One Step Closer to your Dream Apartment Life!
After all, it’s not that difficult to get along with your roommates. No matter what you do and where you go, living with any person comes with a set of compromises.
Living with a roommate is a great option for everyone to consider at least once in their life. So, why not get the best of this experience? Make some new friends and learn the lessons of adulthood together!
Finding new roommates is easier than ever before. Check the Roomi app and find the best background-verified candidates according to your own terms. Potential renters can connect with you and you can talk freely about your issues before you meet. Get ready to begin a new chapter of your life now!