Choosing the perfect roommate is a process which could make you feel like Goldilocks. Goldilocks spent time tasting different porridges and sitting on different chairs in order to find the one which was just right for her. And sadly you’ll have to sift through a lot of potential roommates in order to find the perfect fit for you. Roommates come in all shapes and sizes. You could encounter the roommate who steals all of your food or the one who leaves their clothes sprawled all over the floor. Luckily, if you do your homework on the potential roommate way in advance, you could avoid a bad match.
Here are a few ways to make your experience with a roommate pleasant.
Lay down the rules
You should lay down the ground rules early on. Anytime you place two people under one roof, there will be a few differences. Which is why you should talk about what you won’t be able to tolerate. For example, you should discuss if pets are allowed in your apartment or if you can have people sleeping over. Rules are important so your roommate knows the boundaries and which lines not to cross.
If your roommate has annoying habits, like talking loudly on the phone for hours or playing loud music, you should have a “talk with them. Let them know how their behaviour is affecting you and try and come up with solutions to the problem. Unfortunately, you can’t change a person who does not see a problem with their behaviour. And if they don’t, you might have to choose to another roommate.
Imagine having a major chocolate craving, you go look in the kitchen cupboard to find where you perfectly stacked it and find a crumpled wrapper. Some people don’t know how to draw the line and will take other people’s food without their permission. You should label your food and, in extreme cases, lock your containers.
Other kitchen crimes involve roommates leaving piles of dishes and pots in the kitchen sink, putting empty ice trays in the freezer, or not emptying the dishwasher when the dishes have been cleaned.
You should set clear rules on when dishes should be done, decide on cooking schedules and be clear if you have reservations about sharing food.
If you’re sharing a bathroom with other people, make sure you don’t take too long in the shower or forget to replace toilet paper, and, and after washing your hair in the shower or sink, ensure you clean up after yourself.
Respect your roommate
If you can see your roommate studying or preparing for their presentation, make sure you give them their space. Don’t try to engage them in conversation or pick that time to whip out your guitar and start playing a tune.
We all have different tolerance levels for temperature. Some people like it cold and some people like it hot. Temperature wars can get dirty and uncomfortable because it’s personal. Whether you’re freezing to death or you feel like you’re sitting under the scorching sun, you should come up with a compromise and find a temperature that would be ideal for both parties.
Conflicting working hours
Choose a roommate who has a similar schedule to yours. If you’re a working professional and your roommate is a student, your time schedules could clash. If you desperately need your beauty sleep and your roommate has to switch on the lights at 2am (because that’s when they work best), this could cause conflict between the both of you. Some people can’t go back to sleep after being woken up and this may cause conflict.
You roommate could love hogging the TV while sprawled all over the lounge suite the whole day or prefer playing video games. But the problem is they don’t know how to share. The easy way to navigate this situation is to set up a TV timetable in order to be fair. If that doesn’t work out, you can each buy your own TV sets for your rooms.
If your roommate constantly brings people over to the apartment for a sleepover, you may find it intrusive and uncomfortable. You need let your roommate know you also pay rent and need your space.
Common courtesy is often not so common. And finding the perfect roommate can be hard a process. Let your roommate know from the get-go about any house rules you want to set. Cleaning schedules, noise levels and other rules should be discussed early on in order to see if you’re suited for each other.