Getting ready to rent an apartment in Fort Collins? A successful move requires coordinating lots of moving parts (literally). It also requires careful preparation to ensure you begin this next chapter of your life on a positive note, especially if this next life chapter includes a roommate.
Yes, sharing living space with someone else can be challenging. However, it doesn’t have to be impossible. Knowing a few simple tips on roommate survival can help keep you sane and help you enjoy some of the perks that come with cohabitation. Here’s how:
Set Some Ground Rules
Whether you’re living with a close friend or a complete stranger, it’s essential to have some preliminary roommate conversations before the big move-in day. Everyone has their own preferences, quirks, and pet peeves – letting your roommate know what’s completely off limits, or about certain circumstances you’d like advance notice of can help reduce some of the common friction that comes with first living together.
Positive communication is essential to any healthy relationship. However, being able to talk it out is especially critical when you’re living with someone. Establish good lines of open, honest dialogue early to ensure you’ll be prepared to have a constructive conversation when frustrated, annoyed, or even angry.
Know How to be Alone
Some roommates assume that if you’re both home, you’re required to hang out with each other. Not true. You and your roommate should work hard to master the art of “being alone together” where you can be in the same house (or even same room) at the same time, yet pursue individual activities without having to chat the entire time
Figure Out the Food Situation
Chances are, you’re renting an apartment with only one kitchen, so sharing some of the cabinets and fridge space is a must. Sort out the food situation as early in the roomie relationship as possible, outlining some of the stuff you’re fine with sharing (seasoning, salad dressings, the giant wholesale package of ramen noodles you’ve had for years) as well as making it very clear about some of the foods that fall in the “never touch” category. You’ll immediately feel better knowing that you don’t have to worry about someone scarfing down the leftovers from your favorite restaurant you had big plans for when you get home from work.
Yes, there’s even an app that can help make a cheapskate roommate seem slightly less annoying. If you find you’re sharing expenses and incidentals with an “I can’t seem to find my debit card” type, check out some of the available apps like Venmo or Splitwise. These digital platforms connect directly to your accounts, allowing you to send your roommate a reminder about how much money she owes you over, well, pretty much anything.
Discuss Scheduling Courtesy
If you and your new roomie have the same daily schedule or routines, you’ll want to discuss things like bathroom and kitchen time. However, if you don’t, it’s important to iron out some of the scheduling things that can cause unnecessary inconvenience, disruption, and drama. For example, if one of you works the night shift, you may want to talk about morning noise like grinding coffee beans at the crack of dawn to avoid a rude awakening.
Eliminate Passive-Aggression (aka Nobody Likes a Note)
Let’s be honest – no one likes finding passive-aggressive notes that call out (perceived) bad behavior. Yes, it’s easier to leave a Post-It on the fridge chastising your roomie about drinking the last of the milk. However, the best way to handle a frustrating situation is to just have a direct conversation (see Tip #2). Make it a rule that the only notes that should ever be left behind should be cheerful ones. For example, a note that reads: “I have leftovers from your favorite restaurant – all yours!” is always welcome.
Be a Good Roommate
One of the best ways to have a good roommate experience is to be a good roommate yourself. While it’s definitely helpful to establish the ground rules on how you’ll cohabitate, you also have to commit to following those rules yourself. Respect your roomie’s personal space and common area belongings. Don’t take things without asking. Practicing consistent and mutual respect can set the tone for a positive living situation.
All Property Services helps renters find well-appointed condos, homes, and apartments throughout Northern Colorado. Want to hear more? Contact the All Property team today to discuss our available rental properties.