We all know the roommates GCSˡ rules: keep it tidy, do your dishes, do not be noisy and do not abuse of the bathroom. In general, this is A-Okay! But once said how can you push the idea a little further and make sure your roommate experience goes really well? The following are the five ground rules that should help you prevent any major conflicts with your roommates.
ˡGood Common Sense
Talk to each other
Let’s make it clear and simple: no one will ever be aware of your expectations and frustrations unless you talk about them. Staying grumpy and mumbling in your corner thinking that the others will understand the message you are trying to send is a communication tactic that has not shown any success so far.
In the same vein, when you live with roommates, you start to realize that they do not really share the same ‘tolerance level for dirtiness’ as you. What may seem completely normal for one, such as leaving the dishes to air dry, is not necessarily accepted by the rest. Before the situation turns bad, talk about it…
Listen to each other
We have been granted two ears and one mouth for a reason… It is great to learn to express what we think, but it is greater to learn to honestly listen to what the others are trying to communicate to us.
Pay close attention also to the body language of your roommates: there will be days when they won’t be the best company in the world. Stay tolerant and let them have their personal space and things will get back to normal in no-time.
Managing the hungry roommates
Unless you solve the problem by keeping an extra fridge in your and your roommates designated rooms, the space in the refrigerator is often the reason tempers escalate on the regular. Here are the most popular solutions to solve the challenge:
- Each one has their own shelf and no one borrows from the other without asking first
- Similar to point #1, but this time adding a shared shelf for condiments in order to lighten the load on the other shelves
- Going with it without any specific rules but always keeping a Sharpie to be used next to the fridge
- Having a self-service fridge for everyone, but that includes one shared expanse and bills and a lot of good will from each tenant
Managing the budget
The common jar is often the most suitable solution for all the group expanses (cable, internet, dish soap, etc.). Make a habit with your roommates out of putting the same amount of money monthly and keeping the invoices when you use from the fund to make payments. At the end of the year, you can reimburse each other in case of overpayment.
It might seem a bit intense but making a roommate schedule or calendar can often fix a lot of problems. Cleaning schedules have ended a lot of disputes (when they are followed obviously).
Same thing with evening get-togethers and parties in the apartment: write them down on the calendar. This way, your roommates can go out if they do not want to be in your way or join you and your company for a drink if they are feeling a bit more social.