Living on your own for the first time is a heck of an experience. Getting out from under the watchful eye of mom and dad and living by your own rules feels like the ultimate freedom. That is at least until you live with an unstable roommate who doesn’t quite live by the same rules you do.
Living with someone who doesn’t respect the house rules can be a nightmare. Before you agree to live with a roommate, here are some things to discuss together to make sure it’s the right fit for everyone.
Set Up Visiting Hours
It’s fun to entertain and meet new people, but sometimes that 8 a.m. final is more important than having friends over. If you aren’t able to relax, study or even eat a bowl of cereal in peace because your roommate’s friends partied hard the night before and are sleeping in the living room nursing a hangover, be ready for some serious resentment.
Designate days of the week that friends can come over. This will help to make sure that you are both still getting to socialize and enjoy your downtime.
Chore Chart It Up!
Not everyone has that incessant need to keep things clean and tidy, and that’s okay. But there’s always that one roommate who will leave a passive-aggressive note on the counter about the frying pan you left in the kitchen sink after cooking dinner last night. How can you avoid your roommate’s quiet wrath? Just set up a chore chart. A chore chart will spread out cleaning responsibilities among you and your housemates and make taking out the trash or changing the toilet paper roll seem pretty easy. And guess what? It really is.
Know the “Language” of the Space
It’s safe to say that if your roommate has their bedroom door closed, they probably don’t want to be disturbed. If their door is open, they’re probably willing to have a chat and hang out. Knowing when and when not to “bug” your roommate is just good rooming practice.
Pet Parenting 101
If your roommate agreed to let your dog live in the apartment, don’t take advantage. Just because your roommate said you can have a dog, that doesn’t mean you get to ask them to take Fido out out for potty breaks or ask them to “babysit” on a Saturday night. If you have a pet, you are solely the one responsible for it, that includes any havoc it may wreak on your roommate’s rug or the sliding screen.
Keep an Inventory
Keep track of all of your things. Take pictures of the apartment and furnishings to have a record of their original condition. If you have a roommate who has damaged, destroyed, or even stolen any of your things, you have evidence to support. If you don’t keep a detailed list, good luck on winning any custodial arguments.
One way to help you back up your claims is with renters insurance. The fact of the matter is until you live with a roommate you don’t know what you’ll need to ensure that your peace of mind and personal effects are secure. Renters insurance will provide the stability you need in the crazy situations you and your roommate find yourselves in.
A lot can happen when living with a roommate. For some, we meet our best friend for life, and for others, well…we meet someone we hope to never meet again. By establishing some ground rules and using solid communication, you can turn an uncomfortable living situation into a better one.
Have you ever had an unstable roommate? How did you handle it?
Photo courtesy of: vilandrra