7 Ways to Get Along With Your Roommate

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Charles Dickens was most definitely talking about living with a roommate when he wrote this. Living with another person sure has its ups and downs. For one, rent is cheaper and you have someone to watch your favorite shows with. But then you also have those uncomfortable moments of not knowing how to ask them to clean up their dishes, or for once, take out the trash.

Having a roommate comes along with uncomfortable territory, but there are some surefire ways of making it better or worse.

The Note

If you ever want to get along with your roommate, there’s one thing you should never do — leave a passive aggressive note. Leaving a note saying, “Next time could you please buy your own milk,” is the fastest way to gain an enemy. You’re saying more with that little note you just left. So, before you decide to communicate through pen and paper, think about the weight of that note.

Respect

Aretha Franklin must have had a bad roommate experience when she wrote this hit song. In order to have a marvelous relationship with your flatmate, you both need to treat each other with respect. This means respecting each other’s space, belongings, time, and so on. The easiest way to a person’s heart is through respect.

Be Our Guest

You may love when your girlfriend stays over five times a week, but does your roommate as well? Be mindful when it comes to the company you keep (at your place). If your sister is in town and needs a place to crash, make sure she’s aware of the house rules beforehand. It’s important to talk about the guest policy with your roommate to make sure you are on the same page.

Dishes

For heaven’s sake, put your dishes away. Your kitchen and your roommate will thank you. There’s nothing that says “new roommate wanted,” than a two-week old bowl of dried chili hanging out in the sink. The sink is so close to the dishwasher, you really have no excuse.

Sharing

Sharing is caring — ehh, maybe not when it comes to roommates. You might be okay with your living companion sharing your food and beauty products, but that doesn’t mean it goes both ways. Set some ground rules on sharing right when you start living with each other. So, before you “borrow” your roommates white dress, you may want to ask first.

Bill$ Bill$ Bill$

When the end of month rolls around and it’s time to pay up — pay up. You would think this is an obvious answer, but some people love to use the “could you give me another week” excuse way too often. Listen, we know times are hard and money doesn’t grow on trees. But money also doesn’t grow in your roommate’s pockets, so pay the bills on time or you’ll be living in an environment that’s less than sublime.

Noise

You may love your roommate, but that doesn’t mean you love hearing them all the time. It’s okay to listen to your music, watch your favorite TV shows, and talk on the phone with your besties, but just take it down a notch. Peace and quiet is underrated, if you ask me. Keep that noise level down if you want to be on the up and up with your roomie.