July 15, 2016
There are many advantages to sharing your apartment with others, not the least of which is being able to save money by splitting various expenses. However, with each individual having his or her own unique habits, routines and lifestyle, cohabitating with one or more roommates can be downright challenging at times. The following tips will help you keep the peace and maintain a positive living environment for everyone within the home.
Set Expectations Ahead of Time – One of the biggest issues many roommates face is frustration over divvying up household duties, whether it’s taking out the garbage or cleaning the bathroom. Avoid potential conflict by determining ahead of time who will be responsible for what and how often each task should be tackled.
Make Communication a Priority – Another common problem that people living together often encounter is tension caused by lack of communication. If something is bothering you, don’t let it fester. Speak up, talk it through and work toward a resolution. Develop systems and strategies to help keep everyone on the same page in order to avoid misassumptions and misunderstandings.
Respect Each Other – Just because you share a living space doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set certain boundaries. These could be as simple as asking before borrowing or knowing when to knock first, but having respect for one another is absolutely essential.
Be Willing to Compromise - Even the most compatible individuals will find that they don’t always see eye to eye with one another from time to time. The key to a peaceful living situation is recognizing that sometimes compromise is necessary and knowing when it’s time to do so.
Get it In Writing – Verbal agreements are binding in most cases, but remembering exactly what was said and agreed upon can be challenging after the fact; this can potentially lead to tension and frustration down the road. To avoid this, document as much as possible in writing and get signatures from all parties. That way you’ll always be able to refer to something specific whenever questions or conflicts arise.
Use Technology to Your Advantage – You’re lucky enough to be renting in the digital age, so why not take advantage of some of the many tools and technologies available to you? For example, try using an expense-sharing application to take the guesswork out of splitting the bills or leverage smart buzzer technology to make access control simple and straightforward.
Follow the ‘Golden Rule’ – The bottom line is, if you want to keep the peace with your roommates, you should start by treating them with the same dignity and respect as you’d like them to treat you. Think before you act or speak and remember that small gestures of kindness and generosity can go a long way toward creating a positive, harmonious living environment for everyone.