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Living with a roommate can be a great experience or a nightmare.
Your experience all comes down to the mutual consideration and respect you have with your roommate, and that includes setting a few boundaries in the form of roommate rules.
If you are currently living with a roommate or you’ll be moving in with one soon, here are a few tips to make living together a breeze.
Get On The Same Page Right Away
In any roommate situation, the best thing to do is set a few ground rules right away. Ground rules for roommates will put you on the same page so everyone knows what to expect from everyone else.
There are a few, basic rules you need to set right away. Those rules include:
- Division of bills and house expenses
- Cleaning schedule
- Borrowing of items
- Responsibility of pets
- Agreements on shared spaces
- Safety measures
By getting together with your roommate and deciding on these rules first thing, you will save yourself a lot of misunderstandings that could lead to disagreements in the future.
Follow The Golden Rule
Basic roommate etiquette is to follow the golden rule by treating your roommate the way you would like to be treated.
This means if you are a night owl who loves cooking multi-course meals at 3 AM, but your roommate is a light sleeper whos room is next to the kitchen and has a 6 AM early morning start, you probably should save your late-night cooking for the weekend.
If everyone practices the roommate golden rule, there will be less of a chance of hurt feelings and a much better chance of harmonious living.
Don’t Avoid Conflict
Perhaps one of the more uncomfortable household rules for roommates is to face problems head-on instead of avoiding conflict.
While avoiding or ignoring problems may seem to be the best option in the moment, it’s a practice that allows small problems to grow and grow until they become too big to be ignored. At that point, the small problem that could have been resolved is now a huge problem that may spill over into other areas of your life, like mutual friends and co-workers.
By addressing issues immediately, in a friendly and calm manner, you can resolve the small problems before they affect your home environment.
Hold Weekly Roommate Meetings
Staying in constant communication is a great way to make your roommate arrangement successful.
You may want to hold weekly meetings with your roommate to go over the shared finances, any new situations that may come up and any responsibilities that have not been addressed.
The weekly meeting is also a great time to ask how to be a good roommate, in general. Your roommate may have a busy week and need to swap chores or you may need some extra support during the upcoming week.
Talking over these things is a great way to build mutual trust, respect, and a supportive environment.
Practical Roommate Rules: The Bottom Line
Living with roommates doesn’t have to be a bad experience. By implementing a few of these roommate rules, you will cultivate a stress-free living situation.
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