Welcome to Roommates,
Today we’re covering how to be the most awesome roommate who ever existed. Sometimes, people truly hate their roommates, but that won’t happen to you, because you’re proactive and are taking steps to be the best roomie ever. That’s important, because just like any relationship you’ll ever have, it takes mindfulness and an awareness of your own behaviors to keep things on the up-and-up with your new companion.
Lesson 1: Think of Yourself as a Guest
Yes, you live there, but your landlord has welcomed you into his home. He’s taken time to arrange it how he wants, and has probably decorated too. The amount of time he’s invested into the place will likely correlate directly to how sensitive he is about keeping it a certain way. As a great houseguest, you’ll need to not only leave things how he has them, but take steps to improve the home as well.
Lesson 2: Keep Your Personal Belongings in Your Room
If your roommate is as awesome as you are, he’s probably cleared some space for you in the kitchen, bathroom, and other key areas of the home. It’s certainly ok to take advantage of this, but don’t overflow into other spaces. By keeping your stuff in your own space, you’re helping the home stay tidy, and showing respect for your landlord’s personal space.
Lesson 3: Adjust to the Flow of the Household
Whenever possible, follow whatever routine is already established in the household. If your work or school schedule has you coming and going at add hours, simply adjust your behaviors while you’re in the home. Avoid being super active or noisy when the house winds down for the night, try to have meals around the same time, and try to wake up around the same time in the morning. Being in synch helps reduce conflicts, because it minimizes the chances that anyone is missing out on sleep due to scheduling conflicts, and makes it easier to keep up with regular meals.
Lesson 4: Don’t Rely on Your Landlord
Although your landlord has specific responsibilities to you, you should make sure you stock any specialty products you need. If you’re cleaning a bathroom, don’t ask him to purchase a specific cleaner, because it’s what you normally use. Pick it up on your own. You also shouldn’t rely on him to feed or entertain you. It’s great if you can share meals together and go out or watch a movie from time to time, but be considerate and ensure that you’re not infringing upon his desires by taking up his time.
Lesson 5: Be Considerate When You Have Guests
You’re responsible for your own guests, and they should know all the house rules, too. You should also be aware of how many guests you can have at one time, and what hours are acceptable to have people over. Even if your roomie doesn’t set guidelines, try to limit houseguests to hours when he’s normally awake and isn’t studying or working from home.
Lesson 6: Understand that Some Things Must Be Handled in a Business-Like Manner
It doesn’t matter if you’re BFFs with your roommate or have any other kind of relationship with him, some things are simply better handled in a professional manner. It’s important to have polite discussions about policies and household rules and it’s essential to pay your share of the bills on time, if not early.
Lesson 7: Be Prepared to Bend without Breaking
There will be times when your roomie is behind in chores, and an awesome roommate will take this opportunity to shine by picking up the slack. There will also be times when your goals and desires aren’t in alignment, and compromise will be necessary to keep the household happy. The Internet is rife with passive-aggressive roommate notes, and although they’re hilarious to read, they’re never fun to receive. Try to put yourself in your roommate’s shoes, and find little things you can do to ease the strain. If he’s as awesome as you are, he’ll reciprocate when you’re having a tough time, too.
Lesson 8: Be Ready to Bail Your Roomie Out
If you’re truly epic, you’ll learn your roomie’s unspoken distress calls. Hopefully, you’ll never be in a situation where you need to bail him out of jail, but there will likely be times he will be eternally grateful for an ear, a cup of coffee, or some take-out.