5 Tips for thriving with roommates
Communication is huge. You’re both adults, so if anything needs to be said just say it!
I get it. Your roommate should be a mind reader :) But they’re not and the best way is to actually tell them what’s on your mind. Feel uncomfortable having the conversation? It can be awkward the first time but gets easier the more you do it. Having people over? Let your roommates know who’s coming and what to expect. They leave the kitchen messy? Let them know so they can try to keep things in order. Your best best is to communicate with them via text or messaging if having the conversation in person is uncomfortable.
Good friends don’t always make great roommates
You hang out all day with them so surely you must be awesome as roommates? Wrong. Needless to say you don’t haven’t had to have hard conversations on rent, cleaning, noise etc and of course you haven’t lived up close and personal before. A bad living situation may mean you lose a friend. After all it’s much harder to find new friends than it is to find roommates!
Exchange emergency information and government issued identities with each other
You found that random roommate on craigslist, you should definitely get a copy of their ID just to be safe. It’s also important to exchange emergency information. Who should they reach out in case there’s an urgent situation? Don’t make them guess at the last minute!
Communicate about HOW both of you get things done together
Chores are a pain to do, but they’ve gotta get done. But “cleaning a bathroom” isn’t scientifically defined ;) You should agree beforehand what clean looks like and keep giving each other feedback frequently or else you will end up becoming resentful. Small things make a huge difference so don’t let them stop you.
Use technology to prevent the misunderstandings before they happen
There’s an app for that! I use the Zently app that really helps me live better with my roommates while some people use Venmo or Paypal. Zently helps me split bills and rent and does the math for me. Check it out here to get $20 off your first month’s rent.
Decide how you will split expenses with each other
Money is probably the most painful part of a roommate relationship but decide upfront how expenses are to be split, what expenses are split, how they’d be split (for example if you cook daily, does your roommate expect you to foot a larger part of the bill?).
Jennifer is a freelance content writer who lives in SF. Jen loves hiking, making new friends, and having long conversations over a glass of wine. You can reach Jen on firstname.lastname@example.org