Roommate Etiquette Every Renter Should Know

Olivia Elsher

Apr 27, 2021

Roommate Etiquette Every Renter Should Know

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Having a roommate gives you someone to go out with on a Saturday night. It also relieves some of the financial stress. Although, living with others has its challenges. Here are some roommate etiquette tips you should keep in mind.

1. Be Responsible About Paying Bills

Money can sometimes create problems among roommates. To stay on your roommate’s good side, pay your half of the bills on time. With today’s technology, you can even pay online. Consider using apps such as Google Pay or Apple Pay to make payments from anywhere.

Also, consider helping with other expenses, such as household products. Set up an accountability jar and having each person add cash to it monthly. Remember that you want to discuss financial matters openly before moving in. This way, you’re both on the same page and have a plan if any issues come up.

2.   Ask Before Using Your Roommate’s Items

Asking permission before borrowing something is standard roommate etiquette. Some people like to share things, like clothes, but others may be more sensitive. This is why asking first is the best way to prevent disagreements.

After you’re done using the item, return it as soon as possible and in the same condition. If you use the end of something, like lotion, make sure to replace the item. Also, if the thing happens to break, apologize to your roommate and buy them a new one. Along with personal items, also ask before eating any of their food.

3.  Address Any Issues Right Away

Communication is key to successfully living with someone. So, if something is bothering you, speak up. Try to do it politely and as soon as you notice the problem. Letting minor issues build up causes resentment down the line.

So, it’s essential to find the right time to talk to your roommate in-person. Make sure you’re not feeling annoyed at the moment. During the conversation, focus on one problem at a time.

4.  Implement a Cleaning Schedule

Another tip for proper roommate etiquette is to keep the house tidy. Having a simple schedule put in place can help keep the peace. First, to create the chore chart, assign each person a zone to tidy up, such as the kitchen. Then, write down the tasks that need to get done in that room. Also, determine how often the chore should be done, such as weekly.

Before moving in, it’s essential to have an honest discussion about each other’s definition of clean. For example, how often do they do the dishes? Since you most likely won’t have the same definition, be open to compromise.

5. Do Your Part of the Household Chores

Besides cleaning, consider splitting up the larger chores, such as taking out the trash. To do this, let each person pick a few chores they don’t mind doing. Then, you can even swap tasks monthly. To help make the tasks more enjoyable, consider creating a playlist or turning it into a game.

Along with these chores, make sure you’re also cleaning up your messes. If you cook, make sure to rinse off your dishes. Also, consider cooking a meal for your roomie every once in a while. This can help maintain a positive relationship between you two.

6. Respect Shared and Private Spaces

The living room, kitchen, and bathroom are shared areas. So, you want to be respectful. This means keeping these rooms tidy and not overcrowding your roommate. Also, l try not to blast your music or television too loud, especially when your roomie is sleeping. Wearing headphones is a good solution. Also, be mindful of hogging the television. Make sure your roommate has equal access to the remote or watch a show together.

The bathroom is another common space you want to respect. So, try not to take over this area. Be mindful of times when your roommate needs it to get ready for important functions. Some other tips for sharing the space are saving hot water, refilling the toilet paper, and cleaning it.

Along with shared spaces, also be respectful of private ones, like bedrooms. Keep in mind you guys don’t have to be best friends. If their door is closed, knock first. Or, if they want some alone time, give them space.

7.  Set Boundaries With Guests

When it comes to having guests over, consider your roommate. If they don’t want to hang out with your friends, let them be. But don’t expect them to leave the house, either.

Since you are using common areas, be sure to keep the noise volume down, especially if it’s later in the evening. Make sure to pick up any trash that’s left over from the get-together. Also, if you have a significant other, make sure they don’t overstay their welcome. The most important part of roommate etiquette is giving advanced notice when someone is coming over.

Proper Roommate Etiquette You Should Know

Dealing with roommates can be tricky. You may not agree on everything, but it’s important to get along. When in doubt, follow these roommate etiquette tips to create a comfortable and respectful living environment.

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