Yes, being a decent roommate and being a decent human being can go hand in hand, but there’s a different between sharing a living space with someone you love (family) and someone you just met (college roommate, or if you’re balls are, or vagina is, big enough, Craigslist). I’m going to break this post into three parts. General, Roommate, and Housemate. So let’s get right into it!
General Things You Should Know!
- Turn off the light
- If you share a room and your roommate is there, then duh! don’t turn it off on them. Living in a shared apartment means you share expenses (usually) and if one, both, or all of you living there, aren’t careful, your utility bill will add up! Save energy and remember to turn off the light when it’s not needed!
- Keep your stuff organized
- No one likes a slob! If you share a room, keep your clothes in a basket, put them away, or on YOUR bed. Who wants to come home and play “my roommate’s dirty clothes are lava?!” I sure don’t!
- Clean up after yourself
- I’m not saying you should or have to do dishes everyday, but don’t leave your dirty used pots and pans on the stove! If you were drinking something while eating dinner and it’s on the table, either take it with you, drink it, or dump it out before you run and hide in your room! You can bet your ass you will forget about it until you come out of your hole two months later and see it there!
- Don’t play loud music or watch tv/movies at full volume
- This is a big one especially if you share a room. USE HEADPHONES! There’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy a quiet evening reading, studying, or relaxing and your roomie is blasting screamo and rap or watching a movie at full volume. It’s just not cool!
- Don’t invite people over without telling your roommate
- This one is a catch 22, and by that I mean, there’s truthfully two “right” sides to this one. On one hand, it’s respectful and just a responsible thing to make sure that your roommate is aware of a friend, girlfriend (or boyfriend), etc. coming over! That way they have a chance to hide their drugs and dirty clothes, if needed. On the other hand though, if you’re a nightclub/bar person and you’re into the whole hook up scene, you may not always know. If you’re about to start college or you’re in your first year, it’s time to start thinking like an adult! So put those big kid panties on and start being responsible!
Roommate Need to Knows!
Now I want to be honest, because I never actually shared a room with anyone except my sister when we were in elementary school. But there are plenty of other videos and articles you can find just simply by searching, “How to be a Roommate!” Moving on!
- Pick up your trash
- Again, like above, clean up after yourself. Yes, you’re in college now or you’re living on your own. Your parents aren’t around to tell you to do stuff! That’s great! You know what else?! Your parents aren’t around to pick up after you now. Here’s a tip for those of you who have a dirty roommate in the dorms, anytime they leave before you and leave a fresh piece of trash on the floor, put it in their bed. Eventually they’ll learn. If they confront you about it, just say, “I thought your bed was the trash can!” Okay, you probably shouldn’t say that, even if you want too, but I won’t stop you.
- Open the window if you cook in the room
- This is just a nice thing to do! Not everyone wants to smell you cooking your left over curry or vegan pepper dish. If you can manage to walk your lazy ass to the community area, cook there!
- Go in the hallway to fart!
- I mean, if you’re roommate is gone for a few hours or days, then by all means, let loose! “But Ry, why would I go in the hallway, people out there would smell it”. “Oh right because people hang out in the hallway by your door.” This is a win win! You get rid of the loud obnoxious people from talking by your door all night, and you’re on good terms with the roomie! Poor souls might walk by after you go back in your room, but life is all about surprises!
- Please where pants
- FFS!!! Please wear pants. You lived in a nudist colony? That’s cool, this isn’t a nudist colony! This be OUR home! As in you SHARE with ME! (I’ve never actually had this happen to me, but I’ve heard stories from friends and well, this is how I would probably react.)
- This should be in general, but really it’s important for EVERYTHING in life. This would be the umbrella to basically all things in cohabitation. To be honest, I’m still working on this too, but if you can work on it sooner rather than later, you may be way better off. I could probably write an entire post on communication. Let me know if you’d like me to do that!
Housemates are a thing!
Yes, they are. They come in two forms. An apartment or an actual house. Sometimes it’s only one roommate and other times, it could be more than three people in a house. So here are some tips on how to be a good housemate.
- This one is pretty straightforward. Pay your share of rent, pay your share of utilities. Everyone has their struggles and that’s where communication comes in. If you just speak with your roommate or housemates and give them your situation, more than likely, they’ll work with you. Especially if you come up with a couple of plans and agree to solve it by a certain time. If you put in the work to show your commitment and you have been a man/woman of your word, most times, they’ll come around and work with you.
- I’m all for sharing responsibility. Alternating trash take out, dishes (if you all use the same stuff regularly), etc. etc. If there’s more than two of you, make a schedule, put it up on the fridge. It’s not that hard. In my case, I do my own dishes, because I use the same stuff over and over (we don’t share most things). I don’t do my housemates dishes because they cook way more often than I do, and tend to leave stuff sit out for days before even getting to it. Another example can be found under “Honor”.
- Respect other’s dishes and property. Don’t let YOUR friends come in and use something that’s not yours without asking. A roommate/housemate might not want anyone to use a particular bowl or plate due to it’s meaning to the person. So respect other’s valuables! If you have something you don’t want other people using, your best bet is to just leave it in your room or closet until you need it.
- If there’s one thing that can make you look like a terrible person, is when you don’t act on your word. Let me give an example. A roommate one time had her brother and his girlfriend up for a day or so while I was gone for an overnight trip. I didn’t mind that. On my way back home, she asked when I’d be back, and I was really close but she wasn’t actually home. She said she would clean up the apartment before the end of that day. She tidied up, put trash and bottles into the already overflowing trash bins and then proceeded to be gone for three days. Polish a turd, it’s still a turd! (Jeff Dunham – Peanut quote). For real though, she made a big mess and just “organized” it. That trash had been full beforehand, the majority of it was her trash. Clean up after yourselves and HONOR YOUR WORD!
- Appreciate what you have. You have a place to live and (hopefully) you get to share that with good people. Appreciate someone when they do something for you, even if it’s as small as doing your dishes or emptying your trash. Appreciate someone when they listen to you rant and complain because they really don’t have too!
Well, there you have it. Some of my insights on being a roommate/housemate and just how to be a decent person. Living with strangers is a BIG adjustment, but not just for you. It is for them too! They don’t know you or what makes you click. So have patience, follow the tips above and avoid the bad examples, and I’m positive you will get through the lease just fine. Cheers!