Roommate horror stories are unfortunately a dime a dozen. If you’ve lived with several people in the past, you may very well have some of your own. Hopefully you’ve never been the subject of one yourself. But if you want to set yourself up to have a good rapport with your roommate or roommates and not to have horror stories told about your cohabitation skills, follow these rules of thumb.
Replenish what you use
No one likes to discover there’s no toilet paper left on the dispenser (or worse, in the entire apartment) after using the restroom. If you finish the toilet paper, paper towels, cooking oil, eggs, or any other communal products, replace them immediately. If you use a Brita or other water filter in the fridge, always fill it at least as full as it was when you took it out.
Ask before hosting guests
You have a right to host guests in your apartment, but your roommate has a right to know you’re hosting them in advance. If a friend or relative will be visiting from out of town, do the courteous thing and give your roommate a heads up.
In the bathroom, keep it quick
One fast and easy way to get on your roommate’s bad side is to take an eternity in the bathroom on a regular basis. Keep your showers short (and refreshing!), and maybe move a few bits of your getting-ready routine to your room. And if there is limited hot water in your apartment, don’t use it all while you’re in the shower. This is especially important in the mornings.
And keep it clean
After shaving or heaps of hair falling out in the shower, clean the drain. If you make any other mess in the bathroom, clean it up. Return books, musical instruments, and other belongings to your room after using them in the common area. Clean up in the kitchen after cooking. If you have time to make a mess, take the time to clean it up. One effective way to keep things clean and tidy is to come up with a cleaning schedule with set or rotating tasks and stick to it.
Assert your needs
Do not be too pushy or demanding. These aren’t qualities that endear most roommates. But if you have passive aggressive tendencies, keep them in check by calmly making roommates aware of your peeves. Everyone will benefit.
We mean this literally and figuratively. If you have a loud step, make a concerted effort to move softly throughout your apartment. Your roommate and anyone living directly beneath you will appreciate it. If you want to be the best roommate you can be, it may also help to think carefully before saying anything to your roommate that could potentially be offensive.
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