Whether you’re subletting this summer or looking to move into a new place in the fall, you are bound to run into some issues with your roommate(s). However, there are some things you can discuss with them beforehand that will help you nip some of these potential issues in the bud.
According to an article we read on ApartmentTherapy.com, if you’re sharing a room, you will want to discuss your tendencies when it comes to listening to music and watching TV. Some people would prefer listening to music or watching TV with speakers, and other people would be fine with headphones. You’ll want to see what each other’s preferences are and maybe come to a decision as to what times the speakers can be used.
Even if you aren’t sharing a room you want to be sure that you establish the use of the TV and/or stereo. How will time be divided up amongst the roommates? Will you have quiet hours?
In an article we read by Missy Slink in Yahoo! Voices, she explains that you will want to determine what items will be for community use and what items will not. Will you share food? If so, what foods will you be sharing? Will you be sharing things like a vacuum?
You’ll also want to determine how and if you will be sharing things like toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning products. Will you each buy your own? Will you be splitting this, and if you do decide to split this, how will you divide the cost amongst the roommates?
If you’re sharing a room, this is especially important to discuss beforehand. If you’re roommate goes to bed at 10 pm and you go to bed around 3 am, you’ll want to establish how you will manage this. Does this mean you’ll switch to a desk lamp to study? Can you watch television when they go to bed?
If you each have your own room, you will still want to discuss this so that you can properly set quiet hours. This way you won’t be disturbing someone while they are trying to sleep.
When you’re sharing a space, you’ll want to figure out what the guest policy will be for your room/apartment. If you plan on having a lot of friends over, or you have a significant other, you will want to figure out when they can come over, when they can’t, and when guests should go home. You may also want to determine what the ground rules will be for guests in terms of using shared items.
As someone who has had roommates who leave all the doors unlocked, this is definitely something you want to discuss beforehand. If you are someone who likes to make sure everything is locked up when you run to get coffee, or when you go to bed at night, you will want to talk about that beforehand with your roommate.
If you’re sharing a room, you’ll want to determine if you want to share room decorations, or you want to set up your own spaces. If each have your own separate bedrooms, you will still want to establish decorations for the common areas.
You want to establish beforehand how and when you will raise concerns with one another should they arise. It may be a little awkward to establish this beforehand, but you don’t want to be that roommate who leaves passive aggressive notes around when they get frustrated. That won’t end well.
By establishing some ground rules beforehand and making sure you can live comfortably together, this will help you have a better roommate experience. Just remember: the space belongs to both of you.
For tips more tips on how to ensure fairness between you and your roommate(s), check out Splitwise and their blog at http://blog.splitwise.com/