Whether you are a twenty something or have moved into your 40s or 50s, moving in with one or more roommates is a practice that is so common today. It is a great way to split expenses, save some money, and/or simply enjoy some else’s company. Whatever the reason, there are a few actions you should probably keep in mind when making this big change. To minimize or avoid altogether any disagreements, issues, or cohabitation problems, here are a few helpful hints as you begin your new venture.
Talk about Expenses
One of the biggest issues people face living with roommates is the matter of money. Between utilities and rent, there should certainly be some guidelines for each person. Everyone in the home should know exactly what the costs are and when payments are due. If only one person is in charge of knowing these details and gathering the money to pay bills, there is a strong likelihood of that person getting frustrated. Share the responsibility equally to avoid this problem.
Encourage Open Communication
If there is an issue, remember to talk about it openly! If you or your roommate are stewing over who didn’t change the toilet paper or who left a mess on the kitchen counter, it will only create a rift between the two of you. Be polite in your concerns when bringing them up. Do not let them fester or else, things will build up and you may end up feeling bitter toward your roommate.
Know that You Don’t Have to Spend ALL Your Time Together
Realizing that being roommates does not mean you must hang out at all times is something that you should both realize right from the get-go. Sometimes, introverted people get paired up with extroverts. It can be tough to find a balance with two clashing personality types. One may want to hang out often and even get offended if the other person needs some space. This is where communication comes back in. Be open and honest about your alone time, if you want it. Make sure no one feels excluded so that both of you can learn to appreciate what a good dynamic you can create
Create a Chore List
Similar to your expenses, everyone should know what exactly they should be contributing to the home when it comes to cleanliness. If you are both clean freaks – great! You may not even abide by the list but, just in case, you should probably create one. Make the list a rotating one too so no one gets stuck doing the same terrible task (like cleaning the backroom) every week.
Finally, try to be patient. There will some be some moments when your roommate really rubs you the wrong way or forgets to take out the trash one time. When it comes to the little things, try to let it go. Being communicative about bigger issues is important but don’t let the small things get to you. Everyone is different and we have to remember this when we move in with another person. There are bound to be some hiccups along the way. No person is perfect and no situation is perfect. Keep a level head and your roommate-roommate relationship will be much healthier.
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