Although living in an apartment with another person is a great way to find a more affordable housing option, it can be challenging to share a small space. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do from the get-go to make sure both you and your roommate (or roommates!) feel comfortable at home. Below, we’re sharing some quick tips to help you be the best roommate you can possibly be.
Make a Plan of Action for the Bills
When you’re vetting a potential roommate or have already agreed to move in with someone, you’ll want to establish a system for paying the bills. First, decide who will be paying what bills (i.e. water, gas, WiFi, electric, Netflix). Then, since you and your roommate are going to be sharing space, you might want to discuss splitting the cost of household supplies, like paper towels for the kitchen, toilet paper for the bathroom, or household cleaning products. You’ll also need to determine the best way to reimburse one another, whether it’s using cash, check, or a mobile payment app like Venmo. Just make sure you have this conversation early on to avoid any late payments.
Communication is key when it comes to happily cohabitating with another person. You’ll want to set boundaries from day one, like deciding on a guest policy and divvying up household responsibilities—but you should also check in from time to time. For example, you should always shoot your roommate a text if you’re planning to have people visit the apartment, are heading out of town, or get sick with something that’s contagious. Keeping open lines of communication and staying honest is also important in case any problems arise because at the end of the day, you should both be happy and comfortable in your own home. Plus, if you’re communicating regularly, you’re less likely to encounter any unexpected problems.
Respect Their Space
Living in an apartment with another person—whether it’s a studio apartment , one bedroom, or two bedroom—means you’ll be sharing common spaces like the kitchen and living areas. Out of respect for your roommate, you should always clean up after yourself and avoid using any of their things without permission. If you’re sharing a bathroom, be sure to take turns cleaning it—and the same goes for the kitchen, too. If you have laundry in your unit (or in the building) try to take your clothes out in a timely manner so you aren’t hogging the machines. Just keep in mind that you’re sharing your space with another person, so you should always be considerate of their feelings—especially if you expect them to be considerate of yours!