Having a roommate is fun for a while until the novelty of it all wears off – and that occurs relatively fast. For most people, having a roommate is not exactly a preferred situation. However, if you are strapped for cash, a roommate will help ease the burden of ridiculously high living expenses.
So, if you are in this sort of situation (forced to live with someone else), there are many solutions to coping with this other person. In probably every scenario (except for the freak accident ones where everyone gets along just fine and does not annoy the other person), your roommate’s habits eventually end up becoming the cause for a potential World War III. The little things (leaving hair in the drain or moving something you strategically placed, ends up being the cause for a fight.
To deal with little tiffs such as those, there needs to be designated spaces. People who live together often end up feeling as though they have no privacy, but if there are designated areas or rooms that belong to only one person, then someone needs who needs to blow off some steam can retreat to their area of the house or apartment.
If everything is shared, people tend to end up going crazy and then the whole roommate situation ends up imploding – or exploding.
For things you do share, such as the grocery bills or buying toiletries. It is best to go half and half. However, if you do decide to each chip in the same amount, then you also have to agree on the things that you are buying. It can’t be a one-sided shopping list. The best thing, however, is to just buy your own groceries or toiletries and leave the rent and utilities as the only shared bills.
If you are separating the bill on things like toiletries or groceries, it is wise to respect that and not start digging into or using the other person’s supplies. This is the most common rule of living with someone else and making it work, and yet it is the most broken rule of roommates as well.
When it comes to cleaning, in general, it is best to find someone who shares the same cleanliness habits as yourself. Otherwise, you will end up always cleaning everything, or you will be the person that your roommate curses under his or her breath. People should pick up after themselves. Creating charts and cleaning assignments seems like a good idea in theory, but it just ends up becoming trivial and ultimately pointless and juvenile. If you want a clean pad, you should be rooming with someone who is already clean.
Other basic “rules” of having a roommate really boil down to common sense more than anything. For starters, don’t just jump at the first roommate opportunity that presents itself. You need to find someone who is reliable and who you know will pay the bills.
Once you get past that, you also have to factor in the annoyance factor. Just because you are friends with someone, it does not automatically mean that you will be able to live with them.
Getting a roommate does not have to be an overcomplicated process. It mainly boils down to thinking before actually jumping in and signing a lease or other contract.