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The “What To Do” Guide to Having Roommates

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Whether you’re rooming with a long-time close friend, a handful of your fellow classmates or even if you roommate was a complete stranger until the day you started sharing a bathroom – whatever relationship you have with your roommate, there are some “do’s” and “don’ts” to sharing a living space. Luckily we have compiled the ultimate guide of what to do when you live with roommates.

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1 – Be clear, fair and honest from day one. This is important. Discuss each other’s’ schedules and lifestyles and be honest about your pet peeves and preferences. If you can’t handle a mess, vocalize that from the start. Also remember to be fair. If you work 3rd shift and need to sleep during the day, your roommate may need to consider their volume during day time hours. With that said, expecting silence at 3:00 in the afternoon could also be unrealistic.

2 – Consider your roommate when you want to have company over. You may not have to work or go to class in the morning, but maybe your roomie does. If you’re planning a get together, run the idea by your roommate to make sure that won’t hinder anything on their schedule.

3 – Clean up after yourself. Although it sounds like common sense, common sense is not always as common as we may think. Especially in common areas, it is very important to clean up after yourself. Kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms can quickly become cluttered and dirty and roommates pointing fingers to blame for the mess. If you make sure to clean up after yourself, you don’t have to worry about the mess being your fault and your roommates feeling like you don’t pitch in.


1 – Don’t take or use your roommate’s things without permission. This rule is a pretty important one that again might seem like common sense, but if it’s not yours, you should get permission to use it before you use it. Not after, not while, before. Clothing, gadgets, cookware, toiletries, you name it – you need permission to use it!

2 – Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you want to be happy, you have got to be good. Everyone has little annoying quirks, everyone has pet peeves. Living with another human is challenging, it is about compromise and it is about having patience, compassion, consideration and respect for one another. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If there’s really a problem, address is right away. But if you’re upset that your roomie brushes his teeth funny, get over it!

3 – Don’t be closed minded. Again, no two people are the same. People can have very different lifestyles, preferences and beliefs. Having total intolerance for something won’t get you very far with your roomie. Try your hardest to have an open mind and respect other people’s opinions and beliefs. You may even be daring enough to try something new. Go ahead, it couldn’t hurt!

There you have it! Living with roommates can be tough, but it can also be a lot of fun. As long as you have common ground, respect and a positive attitude, you’re all set!

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