The age of the roommate is upon us, and with that comes a host of challenges. But with some easy to follow advice from an experienced roommate, the opportunity for successful cohabitation is yours.
Over 25% of Millennials report to living with one or more roommates.
I am part of that 25% and living proof that it’s possible to be one of a few young professionals living together under one roof. All it takes is some preparation beforehand and a careful regard for each other’s space.
Create a chore chart
As annoying as it sounds, one simple chart can bring years of peace to a home. In order for proper balance to be maintained, take turns completing basic cleaning duties in your home. On our fridge, under a cute ladybug magnet, is a chore list with rotating initials. As soon as your initial is up, you are responsible for that chore. The best part is one can do the vacuuming as soon their initials are up. You’ll find that it feels great to get the chore done quickly so that you can cross your initials off – this results in a super clean home at all times! The following chores are on our list:
- Back Deck & Front Porch
- Oven & Kitchen Cabinets
Set the ground rules
No one looks forward to a rule-setting meeting, but think about the future headaches you’ll be saving yourself from. Set up a time to sit down with a nice beverage and have a discussion with each other. Outline each other’s expectations in order for all roommates to understand and therefore respect each other’s boundaries. Here are some suggestions on the rules to discuss and agree upon:
- When is quiet time on weeknights and weekends?
- What are the guest expectations (how many, how often etc.)? We use a Google Calendar to book our guest room ahead of time, including reminder alerts so that no one is caught off guard with strangers in the house.
- What is the protocol for using and sharing common areas (TV room, kitchen, radio, BBQ, fireplace etc.)
- Establish a streamlined process for rent & bill payment (online banking is the best for this.)
- What constitutes a universal grocery vs. an individual item? (Olive Oil = universal grocery. Orange Juice = individual item.)
- Who is responsible for the house pet?
Even if college is in your rear view mirror and you’re no longer satisfied with milk crates as end tables, you still have the opportunity to live with roommates without compromising your standards. The preceding two tips will help establish respect and organization when necessary so that you, and your friends, can continue to live beautifully.