The Do’s And Don’ts Of Sharing An Apartment For The First Time

5 people sitting together on the table when sharing an apartment as roommates

Congratulations on finding yourself an apartment with nice roommates! You’re finally ready to move out and take on the responsibilities of making house rules and living arrangements. It’s exciting and filled with hopes and dreams of living your best life, becoming best buds with your roommate, and all the niceties that come with sharing an apartment.

But now you find yourself wondering, would you be able to truly be yourself with strangers around the house? Would you be able to feel at home when sharing an apartment?

While you’re thinking about things like these, one important thing to keep in mind is that a roommate relationship is usually a two-way street. And what you give, is what you get.

So let’s take a look at a few crucial do’s and don’ts when sharing an apartment with roommates for the first time.

The DO’S when sharing an apartment

1. Make and follow a roommate agreement

Now, you must be wondering how to write an agreement for sharing an apartment. Does it have to be intense like Sheldon’s roommate agreement from The Big Bang Theory? Well, that depends, on how intense you and your roommates are as people.

Secondly, many people would think if you’re sharing an apartment with friends as roommates, you can probably forego an agreement. But you shouldn’t do that. An agreement will ensure your friendship stays intact. Additionally, it will help keep your roommate relationship and home environment sane.

So how should you write an agreement for sharing an apartment, and what should you include in it?

It all comes down to the basic chores and duties of being a roommate. Start with the rent and bills. Calculate who owes how much and when. Additionally, include clauses about pets, about calling people over, and the notice period that needs to be given before moving out. These should cover the most important house rules and living arrangements that need to be agreed on by all roommates when sharing an apartment. Further, you should feel free to add clauses that are important to you such as quiet time in the apartment, or the hours you don’t wish to be disturbed, etc.

2. Divide the chores

The one thing that could wreak havoc in a peaceful shared apartment is not being able to manage house rules and living arrangements as a team. So it’s important as roommates to agree on who is in charge of what chore.

You could try a weekly chore division so that everyone gets to do something different each week. Or you could try to hand over permanent responsibility for a particular chore to each of the roommates if that’s something you all agree on.

Just remember to take everyone’s input so everyone knows and likes what they’re supposed to handle. And sharing an apartment is going to be a cakewalk from thereon.

The DON’TS when sharing an apartment

1. Cross boundaries

Boundaries are very subjective and can differ from person to person. But the ones we’re talking about here involves basic house rules and living arrangements that make personal boundaries clear. Here are some of the basic boundaries you shouldn’t be crossing so you stay out of the annoying roommate zone.

  • Don’t go around snooping in your roommate’s rooms when they’re not around.
  • Try to not be too friendly, or totally antisocial when you’re starting out.
  • Don’t make your roommates uncomfortable by having people over all the time, or an SO who never leaves.
  • Gossiping about your roommates behind their backs is a big no no.
  • Don’t take their food or clothes without their permission.

And whenever you can, pause and ask yourself how you would feel if you were at the receiving end. Trust that this will make sharing an apartment a lot easier.

2. Make an issue about everything

Living with roommates with proper house rules and living arrangements in place is tough. They can easily get on your nerves, just for the reason that they’re around so much. But to be a good roommate, and get that treatment back in return, you need to make sure you try and nip things in the bud as often as you can.

So if certain roommate behaviors annoy you, try telling them straight away instead of keeping it all in and letting it explode the one day they leave their stuff lying around on the couch.

If your roommate’s habits interfere with your way of living, then, by all means, talk to them first and turn the conflict mode on if they don’t comply. But if their behaviors just activate the mild OCD in you, then try to let it go instead of constantly poking them.

In conclusion, when sharing an apartment with roommates, it’s best to have empathy for your roommates and try to look at the bright side of things as often as possible.

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers stay aware of do’s and don’ts when sharing an apartment? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!