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10 Tips To Avoid Being ‘The Crazy’ Roommate

10 Tips To Avoid Being ‘The Crazy’ Roommate

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In this economy, it’s rare that anyone under 30 (or older if you’re living in a city as expensive as New York or London) has his or her own place. And the people you live with, whether you knew them before you shacked up or not, hold a bigger influence on your life than many, including those who raised you or the ones who cut your paycheck. It’s important to choose wisely so you don’t come home one day and find all of your stuff is gone, but it’s also important to maintain a healthy and friendly relationship. Here’s just a few ideas to help you become Roommate of the Year.

ThinkStockPhotos
ThinkStockPhotos

Respect the sock on the door
We all know what this means – don’t play dumb! Maybe your roommate’s gone through a dry spell, or her boyfriend is finally back in town after a business trip. If you share a bedroom, make yourself scarce. And if the sock is over the living room entrance, go out and buy some cleaning supplies – you’ll need them later. But in that vein…

ThinkStockPhotos
ThinkStockPhotos

…Keep your business where it belongs
Most of us have bedrooms. With doors. So if you’re going about some private business, try it in there. As much as sharing is an integral part of the roommate relationship, some things are not meant to be experienced together. And the same thing goes for your stuff – just contain the explosion of dirty laundry in your room so you can shut the door and the rest of the house can pretend it doesn’t exist.

Gangles.ca
Gangles.ca

Put down the passive-aggressive note
You live together, for goodness sake! There has to be at least one moment in the week where you cross paths and can say what’s on your mind. Don’t be that guy who leaves a “If you sprinkle when you tinkle, please be neat and wipe the seat” sign in the bathroom, or a “Dishes, dishes are no fun, unless they’re washed by everyone!” over the sink. Just because it rhymes doesn’t mean it’s cute. You’re still being obnoxious.

ThinkStockPhotos
ThinkStockPhotos

When you mess up, own up to it (and maybe bring presents)
So you drank too much tequila and threw up all over the couch (or your old college buddy did). Clean it up and maybe bake a batch of cupcakes as a “sorry the living room smells like vomit” gesture. Or you came home ravenous – for whatever reason – and ate your roommate’s leftovers from that awesome Chinese place. If you break or eat their stuff, replace it with interest.

NerdWallet.com
NerdWallet.com

Play pranks that don’t destroy the apartment
Everyone loves a good prank, but remember that you probably have security deposits on the line. Redecorating your roommate’s room with college memorabilia of their arch rival when they go on vacation? Funny. Sneaking a tiger into their room while they’re at work so they’re in for a surprise when they come home (à la “The Hangover”)? Hilarious, but it’ll probably destroy everything in sight. Also, I think that’s animal abuse of some kind.

ThinkStockPhotos
ThinkStockPhotos

Double check before you throw parties, and ALWAYS extend the invite
Avoid that awkward moment when your roommate comes home to a full-blown rager in his own house that he wasn’t even invited to. If your friends are going to be destroying your living room, pissing off your neighbors, and sleeping on every surface handy at the end of the night, the least you can do is see if your roommate wants to join in on the insanity.

ThinkStockPhotos
ThinkStockPhotos

Be real about splitting costs
So you’ve been splitting utilities fine and well for a while, but last month you ended up spending most of your time at your SO’s place. Or you’ve gone on a “no TV” kick for Lent. Or you’re on a raw food diet and haven’t used the gas stove in days. Still, that’s not your roommate’s fault, and you can’t spring things like that at the last second. Most of us have roommates because we’re living on a budget, and even small changes like that can throw it off completely.

ThinkStockPhotos
ThinkStockPhotos

Maybe check in if you haven’t seem your roommate in weeks (and that’s abnormal for your situation)
Granted, some roommates go weeks at a time without seeing each other, whether it be due to different schedules, or living with their boyfriend or girlfriend while maintaining the illusion of freedom with their own place. But if you’re used to seeing your roommate every morning while you’re getting ready for work, or at least you notice the shower is wet by the time you wake up, it’s OK to check in if it’s been three weeks since that happened. Deep down, everyone is scared that their cat will eat their face if they die at home and nobody notices.

ThinkStockPhotos
ThinkStockPhotos

Give some notice if you’re heading to greener pastures
As long as it’s kosher with regard to your lease, it’s OK to move out. Maybe you can finally afford your own place, or maybe it’s really not working out with the roommate and you can’t take it anymore. But even if the relationship wasn’t ideal, let your roommate know ahead of time if you’re planning to move so they’re not stuck with your half of the rent – or so you don’t inevitably run into them months down the line and they attack you on the street.

ThinkStockPhotos
ThinkStockPhotos

Don’t hide all of your roommates’ underwear and leave a ransom note demanding an apology because you’re angry that they accused you of hiding one of their shoes.
It happens.