Living with a roommate is a great way to save money — but sharing your space can be difficult. Keeping the lines of communication open is key to a successful roommate relationship. Below, we’re sharing tips to help you handle three common roommate issues.
They’re Being Messy or Dirty
If you value order and cleanliness, living with someone who doesn’t can be a challenge. Whether they don’t pick up after themselves, always leave their dirty dishes out in the kitchen, or never offer to help clean the bathroom, you might find yourself frustrated — or feeling like a maid in your own home.
If you find yourself in this position, have a discussion with your roommate and divide up the cleaning responsibilities. Offer to take turns tidying up shared spaces, like the kitchen and bathroom, and consider choosing a designated cleaning day so they’ll stick with it. If they push back, be firm and remind them that you use the shared spaces, too.
They’re Borrowing Without Asking
Do you ever catch your roommate wearing your favorite top? Have you ever noticed that they’ve been eating your snacks? Sharing an apartment with someone means they have access to all of your belongings. It’s one thing to ask permission to borrow something, or to share snacks you split the cost of, but it’s another to treat your things as their own.
If you don’t mind sharing, then a simple, “Hey, you’re welcome to borrow that top, can you just ask me first next time?” should suffice. If you don’t want them borrowing your stuff at all, you’ll have to let them know you aren’t comfortable with it. Chances are they don’t even realize what they’re doing is bothering you, so don’t panic if you need to have this conversation.
They Aren’t Sharing Expenses
Living with a roommate means sharing spaces and, of course, expenses. Splitting up the rent and bills is easy enough, but what do you do if your roommate isn’t chipping in for cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and shared food?
Luckily, apps like Venmo make it easy to divvy up costs. The next time you pick up Clorox wipes or more paper towels, use an app to request half the money with a short note that says something like, “picked up some cleaning supplies!” and they will likely pay you back without any questions asked.