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Tips for Better Roommate Relationships

Discuss and clarify your expectations about:

  • Cleaning (You may want to choose one Saturday morning a month to do heavy-duty cleaning together.)
  • Overnight guests
  • Sharing food
  • Cooking
  • Using heat and air conditioning
  • Use of washer and dryer
  • Paying bills (Make certain that roommates pay all bills before they move.)
  • Cleaning early and thorough enough to get back your cleaning deposit (Take pictures when you move in.)
  • Borrowing clothes, computer, etc.
  • Noise, partying, alcohol and drugs
  • Privacy
  • Quiet time (for example, during the week no loud music after 9:00)
  • Phone messages (Write them down.)
  • Phone calls late at night
  • Visitors late at night

Other tips:

  • Keep your apartment and car doors locked at all times!!!
  • Clean up after yourself.
  • Don't hog the bathroom.
  • Keep your stuff in your room.
  • Shop together for joint items (toilet paper, cleanser, etc.).
  • Have shelves with your own food on them.
  • Don't bring home people you don't know well.
  • Have a joint dinner at least once a month to air concerns (don't let resentments build).
  • Express concerns in a calm, direct, and clear manner. Don't yell, use sarcasm, or write nasty notes.
  • Don't discuss issues when you're angry or tired. Sleep on it.
  • Apologize when you're wrong.
  • Forgive each other and don't hold grudges. Focus on the good in others and not their shortcomings.
  • Be respectful, thoughtful, and tolerant.
  • Don't borrow clothes, CDs, or computers.
  • Return what you borrow in good condition or replace if damaged.
  • Don't enter each other's room without knocking.
  • Don't ask roommates to be your memory system. Set your own alarm, etc.
  • Hang up your keys in the same place and get organized.
  • Support each other. Don't interrupt when you know your roommate has a paper due.
  • If you do have a pet, take responsibility for it!
  • Don't give advice (boyfriend, school, dress) unless it's asked for.
  • Build in time to get to know and enjoy each other (exercise, walking, cooking together).
  • Develop a good sense of humor! Don't take yourself too seriously.
  • Learn to live in the present, focus on your blessings and appreciate every day.
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