No two co-living situations are the same. Every person is different – and so is his/her in-home priorities and tendencies. It’s important to take this interpersonal variation into consideration when renting with roommates. Successful co-living situations are more a matter of awareness than luck, so we’ve come up with some tips for those of you looking to navigate new apartments, new roommates, or new cities.
Here are things to take into consideration to successfully co-exist in a co-living environment:
- Keep it clean. This tip is the most apparent but remains one of the most common points of contention between roommates. Most people vary in their cleaning habits and tolerance of messiness. Dishes, laundry, dust, recycling – everyone has their sanitary vice. Make sure you communicate yours as well as educate yourself on your roommates’. Most importantly, pay attention to their habits. Actions speak louder than words. If you’re not on the same page, say something. You deserve to live in a space up to everyone’s standards!
- Get out of the house. Even if you’re a homebody, it’s good to get your body out of your home. It’s a big world out there…aaaaand your roommate(s) likely want some alone time in your shared space. As do you. If everyone in your home is on the same schedule – working during the day and home at night – consider heading out of the house one night a week so you afford your roomies the same courtesy of planned alone time.
- Create a shared calendar. With 2+ different schedules, it can get hard to keep bills and events in order. We suggest creating a shared calendar to keep track of the important stuff – rent, utilities, trash nights, vacations, business trips. This way, you can set reminders for both roommates 1) to ensure bills are paid on time 2) all parties are aware of when the other will be out of the house. Logistics and communication are keys to successful co-living situations and a frequently-updated, House calendar tackles both!
- Keep running lists. Thinking along the same lines, you should also consider creating a list of supplies (and who last purchased them). In passing, toilet paper, paper towels, condiments, hand soap, detergent, etc. aren’t overwhelming expenses. But they can add up quickly if only one person is take responsibility to replenish low stocks. Establish a system when you move in — are shared resources split evenly? Purchased in alternation? It’s best to leave no room for contention by keeping a running list of such supplies, who bought them, and when they were purchased!
- Be honest. Remember when your mom said “Honesty is the best policy?” Turns out she was right. Bottling up thoughts and emotions only lead to tension. Feelings of resentment adds toxicity to roommate relationships, and your home life should be the least stressful part of your day. If you have any issues with how your roommate handles the aforementioned topics, do yourself a favor and say it sooner than later.
Remember, the best tip for a co-living relationship is communication! It’s important to say what you think and feel to prevent any toxic situations from arising. If a disagreement does arise, check out our tips to Resolve Roommate Disputes Quickly and Easily!