People decide to get roommates for a variety of reasons. For some people it’s a financial decision, for others, the company of another person and the safety that comes with are the primary motivators. Whatever the reason, having a roommate, even one you like is likely to be accompanied by some issues. Here are the most common roommate problems people face and how to fix them.
Cleanliness or lack thereof
The chances that you and your roommate are exactly the same when it comes to your cleanliness levels are slim because cleanliness is highly subjective. Worst case, you’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, a neat freak, and a messy person. The easiest solution is to sit down together and create a task list. List all the tasks that need to be done and divide them up. You could also have a strict clean-up-after-yourself policy. If you’re flush with cash, you could just hire a regular cleaning service and split the cost.
What happens if you’re a housecat and your roommate a social butterfly or vice versa? Guaranteed conflict that’s what. If they love to entertain and all you want is to come home to a quiet house, then you may have a problem. It’s a problem that can be solved though. Set some ground rules on the frequency of entertaining, including how long the events last. You could also set a flexible policy on unexpected guests and inform each other about any activities or guests. In the event that one or both of you start dating or having sleepovers, you’ll need to talk about how best to make it work. If their partner moves in, you may need to renegotiate rent and other financial contributions.
A common problem you and your roommate may face is unbalanced financial contributions. Splitting costs like rent and utilities is easy but other things like food, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies may not be as easy. If you find that you’re spending more on shared things, you could benefit from drawing up a plan of all expenses and agreeing on who pays for what. You could also try different methods like alternating who buys things on different months.
Many a good roommate relationship has been ruined by noise from blasting loud music to slamming doors and more. Noise can feel like an attack and an invasion of your personal space. If you’re irked by the noise levels from your roommate, bring it up with them. It’s as simple as asking them to close the cabinets softly or reduce the volume of the music. A related problem is differences in your sleeping patterns where one of you is nocturnal and the other isn’t. Have a sit-down and go over your respective schedules, including trying to figure out the best times for both of you to have some downtime.
The key to a harmonious living arrangement with your roommate is open communication and flexibility. Be as graceful and patient with them as you would wish they were with you.
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