Living with another human being can be a source of conflict no matter how close the other person is to you. Sharing a space, being in each other's faces — these are all bound to add up and cause grief and tension. No one wants to be in a living situation like that, so there are obviously steps you can take to avoid all the roommate drama.
As per usual, the best thing you can do to be a better roommate is communicate. I've struggled with this myself, because no matter how close I am to my roommates, being honest is though. Telling someone when something is bothering you is a skill that gets easier to accomplish every time you set your mind to it. Just keep in mind that the more you bottle up, the less you accomplish. Who wants to live life constantly bothered by little things? So if you have a problem with your roommate leaving trash all over the house, tell them! No use keeping it in and exploding on each other during an inopportune moment.
Being a roommate is about being a considerate person. You are part of an ecosystem that needs balance. That means that your goal is to maintain civility while at the same time living your life. You and your roommates will become friends (because that's inevitable), but that doesn't mean you stop trying to be the best roommate possible. Everyone likes and needs a good roommate. Here are some ways you can keep your Good Roommate Game strong.
1. Make A Chore Chart
This will stop you from having so many passive aggressive fights over dirty dishes and garbage.
2. Label Everything
This way your roommates and you don't have to worry about food going missing. Plus, you can be nice and buy something for them if you see they are low.
3. Write Down Your Work Schedule
This makes doing things and having people over a lot easier. Also, getting to know someone's schedule is also a good way to keep each other safe if you notice someone isn't home at their usual hour.
4. Always Give A Head's Up
If you are going to have people over or are planning on occupying a shared space, you should be courteous and give a quick head's up.
5. Be Courteous Of The Shared Spaces
Since both parties will be sharing a space, it is only right that everyone cleans up after themselves.
6. Take Out The Trash
Don't wait until someone asks you to.
7. Don't Leave Your Hair In The Shower
You know what's not cute? Clogged drains.
8. Clean The Sink
I think seeing those toothpaste globs on the sink takes off years from your life. So try and get those to minimize as a roommate.
9. Do Your Own Dishes
This tiny step will make you a favorite in the house.
10. Ask Them If They Need Anything From The Store
When my awesome roommates ask me if I need something from the store, it makes my entire day better.
11. Headphones Are Your Best Friend
Trying to get work done while there is a blaring YouTube video on is terrible. Don't be that roommate.
12. No Significant Other Drama In The House
Try not to bring the drama into the house when it comes to your relationship. It's your relationship. Nobody else should have to listen to it against their will.
13. If You Break It, Fix It
Don't be that roommate that pretends it was just ~like that~ when you found it. You're fooling nobody and inconveniencing everybody — buy a new appliance online and be done with it.
14. Remember Birthdays
Get them a cupcake or something. It's a small gestures that will really make them feel appreciated.
15. Be Kind To Their Parents
When your roommates have happy parents, your roommates will end up being happy. So be nice and try not to cause too much concern about the apartment/living situation.
16. Breakdown Pizza Boxes
Everyone likes the person who breaks down pizza boxes. (And everyone LOVES the person who takes them out to the recycling.)
17. Divide The Fridge And Freezer
Keep things organized and well separated so nobody has to root through your food to find theirs.
18. Be Respectful Of Bedtimes
A great night of sleep = great roommate relationship.
19. Be Kind To Pets
I offer to dog-sit all the time. It's fun, and hey — it could come in handy if you need to pick up a job that requires experience.
20. Always Knock. Always.
Don't walk into a roommates room without knocking. JUST DON'T.
21. Code Words For Safety
Hopefully you'll never have to use them, but you'll know if you ever get a call or text with the code word, they need something from you and you'll be able to help them — and, of course, vice versa. Safety first!
22. Turn Off The Lights Whenever You Leave The Room
This saves everyone money on the energy bill.
23. Ask Before Borrowing/Using Things
Common courtesy, of course — but always worth the extra reminder.
24. Stand Up For Yourself
What I like about my roommates is when they stand up for themselves. It makes me feel like I can do the same. Small roommate injustices are inevitable, and the ability to be honest with each other about them is key to resolving it.
25. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
I said it before, but I'll say it again, because this is the Golden Rule. Communication is the only way to fly. This stops a lot of problems and makes being a better roommate a cinch.
Images: Giphy (9), NBC