Avoid these seven things when living with a roommate
When you’re in your early 20s, moving in with your roommate can be the difference between the best years of your life, or admitting defeat and moving back in with your parents. Splitting the bills and having someone to share a pizza with might sound nice, but in reality there’s a lot of rules you need to follow and some things you should avoid doing.
Sweating the small stuff
It’s important to lay some rules down when you move in with your new roommate. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard and come off as the uptight, crazy bitch that leaves your roommate running for the hills. Nobody likes a nag, so if there is a couple of plates still left in the sink, or your roommates have missed their turn to sweep the floor, don’t work yourself up. Odds are your roomie is getting used to the new rules just like you are. It’s a waste of energy to call out every little thing, so pick your battles.
Eating other people’s food without permission
With most share house situations, roommates will generally do their own individual grocery shopping. Chances are you will all be eating on different schedules. So nothing is more annoying than thinking lovingly of last night’s leftovers at work and then coming home and realising it’s already been eaten. Don’t be this person. Buy your own groceries and eat your own food. Or at least ask first!
Being late with payments
Having your roommate always pick up your half of the rent is a sure way to fall into a whole lot of debt that will get you in trouble with your roommates and the landlord. And the last thing you want if for your roomies to have to pry the money you owe them out of your hands. So avoid borrowing money off anyone (parents included) and put some money aside each week to make sure you have the funds.
Always bringing dates home
This goes both ways. You should set some ground rules for partners/tinder dates/one night stands. Right now you’re probably thinking: It’s my house too, I pay half the rent, so why shouldn’t I be able to do what I want? Well you won’t be thinking that when you wake up to the sound of your roommates bed frame squeaking at 2am.
It goes both ways. It’s never cool to have strangers in and out of the house all hours of the night. Be respectful and don’t let friends/family/SOs live in the apartment rent-free for extended periods of time.
Bottling it up
It might be your roommate blaring loud music on way into the night, or it might be how they never does the laundry or how their hair clogs up the shower drain. If something has been bothering you for a long time, don’t keep it bottled up. Because the next time it happens you are bound to explode and turn a minor issue into a big one. Talk it out and agree on a compromise. It’s that simple.
Arguing over chores
A chore chart is always a good idea, but then again, you shouldn’t have to live by the chart religiously. Everyone should be cleaning their own dishes, but if you see a spoon or cup they’ve used then you might as well clean theirs too. It doesn’t always have to be every person for themselves and I’m sure your roommate will appreciate you doing a little bit extra sometimes – they’ll most likely return the favour.
Sophie is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts and is an aspiring writer, dog enthusiast and thrift shop fashion icon.