The Do's and Don'ts of Having a Roommate


Living with a roommate is one of the best ways to save on the money you spend on housing necessities and rent. However, there are many reasons as to why people decide to live together. For instance, friends might develop a strong bond and become inseparable. Depending on how you understand each other, living together can be the best thing ever. Some people also end up fighting as a result of disagreements and disrespect.

Before you decide to live with a roommate, you need to assess yourself and your partner. For example, ask yourself whether you two get along or not. Do you share common things? You can easily live with a person who has the same interests or life situation as you.

Having a roommate is not always easy. It requires a great deal of understanding, respect, compromise, and patience. If any of these traits misses, you may end up arguing, fighting, or separating. What do you do to ensure that you live in harmony with your roommate? Here are the dos and don’ts of having a roommate.

Dos of having a Roommate


House rules


It might sound awkward but it is a proven method. You and your roommate should combine efforts and come up with house rules that will govern how you will live. Give your roommate time to think and contribute to the rules. You don’t want to create all rules alone when your partner is not okay with them. Some of the things that you may want to include in the rules are how to control noise, bringing guests, and how to keep the house clean and organized.

Create a schedule and a chore list

This is the best way of working together in harmony without one person doing a larger proportion of the work. Without a chore list, there is no doubt that resentment will build between roommates due to unfair activity. Create a chore list that indicates what each person will do and when it should be done. A schedule also ensures that things run according to the plan. It is advisable to use a checklist to hold everyone involved accountable. This is a great way to stay organized and to ensure that nothing misses.

Ask before inviting guests

Let your roommate know in advance when you want to bring guests. You don’t want to bring a group of noisy friends when your roommate had decided to stay indoors to watch a movie or rest. It is courteous to let your roommate know your plans especially if you are inviting several guests to stay in your room for a long time.

Buy headphones/earplugs

The fact that you are good friends with your roommate does not mean that you will do everything together. There are times that you want to read a novel while your roommate is watching television. You may also want to sleep but your partner is listening to music. What do you do to solve these differences? Headphones or earplugs will help you enjoy that great moment you wish for without disturbance. You will also be able to do the right things at the right time. It, therefore, means that you will be more productive and happier.

Borrow stuff

Everything in a shared room has an owner. You should not assume that you can take anything that belongs to your roommate without asking for it. Before you use your roommate’s items, borrow them to avoid unnecessary conflicts. Your roommate may not feel comfortable sharing everything. Asking for an item leads to mutual respect.


Do not execute decisions without consulting your roommate. Before you go ahead to decorate a common space, talk to your roommate. Discuss home improvement decisions such as painting walls, buying furniture, growing indoor plants, and hanging artwork. Ensure that you two agree on everything before you get started.


You can mess up your personal space but common space should be respected and kept tidy all the time. Do not leave food remains, dirty clothes, and shoes in a common space. For instance, do not keep personal stuff in the dining area.

Share a storage unit

Chances are that if 3 or more people are sharing a house or apartment, all the staff each person has will not fit in the living space, like two dinning sets, or three living room sets or all those duplicated pots and pans. You can rent self storage unit and split the monthly fee. It will not be expensive and you can rest assure that your belongings will be protected while you don't need them.

The Don’ts for having a Roommate


Eat your own food


If you have not prepared food together, do not eat your roommate’s food. Maybe your roommate had decided to cook a large amount of food to eat during lunch and supper. If you go ahead to eat that food, you will not only annoy but also inconvenience him/her. Only eat if you share expenses.

Do not leave the door unlocked

Security matters a lot in any home. If you leave the door open, you are risking your roommate’s possessions. Tell your guests to also keep the door locked all the time. It is also a great way of keeping privacy. You don’t want any stranger to know what’s in the house.

Do not leave aggressive notes

If you are offended or not okay with how your roommate handles issues, do not leave a passive aggressive note. In case of misunderstanding, sit down and have a constructive conversation with your roommate. Talking issues out is the best way to avoid prejudgment and misinterpretations that lead to resentment. Send a polite email and let your friend know how you feel.

Do not play loud music

Loud music can be a nuisance especially if your roommate wants to rest. You may also play your favorite music that might not be pleasant to your partner. To avoid such situations it is advisable to avoid playing loud music every time you are in the room. Unless your partners says that they are comfortable with the loud music, use headphones or keep the volume low.

Extra key

Do not give extra keys to your friends or family members. Remember that other parties are not involved in paying bills so they have no right to use the house as they please. Making copies of keys and giving them to friends who enter the room any time of the day without informing your roommate is not appropriate. This can be termed as invasion of privacy. Always let your roommate know when you have other people coming into the room.

If you and your future roomates are planning on renting an appartment check this post, it includes everything you need to know, from the very start to the actual signing of papers. We think it will answer some of your questions.



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