While not everything in life needs to have a strategy or a systematic process, some things can become more comfortable with a well-developed plan. This is especially true for new roommates with opposite living styles cohabitating in an apartment. From taking the time out to find an apartment together to taking out the trash and paying bills, having a roommate can be a rewarding experience.
One of the best methods for ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable living situation begins with preparation. Starting a dialogue with your new roommate regarding potential apartments, budgets and living styles will greatly aid in understanding each other’s expectations. And to help make certain the application processto find an apartment goes smoothly, be sure to discuss and document your rental histories so that you may help avoid an unexpected application denial.
After moving in, there are no hard and fast rules for creating a system for living with roommates; however, recording your agreements regarding bills, cleaning, groceries and other household responsibilities will help hold each person accountable and more than just verbally committed to his or her obligations. Charts and lists may help divide up tasks, and posting the documentation in a visible area such as the refrigerator can help each person stay on track.
The real “Golden Rule” with roommates comes down to communication. Everyone has their own preferences and habits, from their methods for cleaning to noise tolerance and guests. A great way to help maintain the respect factor is to communicate upfront and compromise where possible. As situations arise during the living situation, clear and prompt communication will bolster trust, enabling each person to quickly and efficiently solve problems and prevent conflicts.
In communal living situations, we all want and expect each person to pull his or her own weight. Yet, life situations, such as business or vacation travel and financial hardships, sometimes present challenges. Making arrangements and negotiating these situations with honest discussion between roommates can help solidify and strengthen the relationship.
Roommates do not have to be best friends to make apartment living enjoyable. Yet, being prepared for cohabitation and having a plan or process when you find an apartment can help build a bond, making the experience both rewarding and in many cases, even quite enjoyable.