Tips for Keeping the Roommate Peace

Posted By Heather Rusick on 11/6/14 8:18 AM


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Finding the perfect apartment in your price range is hard enough…and finding the ideal roommate can be nearly impossible. Two people can have very different options about decorating, furniture, bills, groceries and more, so before signing your name on the dotted line, iron out your living arrangements prior to move-in to avoid an all-out war.

Apartment Décor. No two people have the same decorating style and when its time to decorate your social spaces (living room, dining, kitchen, etc.) you will need to compromise. To find common ground go shopping together and choose pieces that complement both of your styles. If you are a DIY’er, go to the local thrift shops and pick out pieces that you can renovate together – total bonding experience!

Cleanliness. Create a clean-routine that you and your roommate agree to and set strict rules.  Is it ok to leave dishes in the sink? Can you leave personal belongings in the living room? Who takes out the trash? To keep you and your roommate on track, write down the rules and hang them on the refrigerator. Don’t forget to list the weekly chore schedule too! The best rule of thumb is to keep your mess to yourself to avoid any issues.

Bills. Nobody likes them but they have to be paid so decide how you are going to pay the bills prior to their due dates. The best approach is to put the responsibility on both parties; each roommate should put an equal amount of the bills in their name to hold everyone accountable for a portion of the bills. The easiest way to pay the bills is to split them right down the middle. Get tech-savvy and download Splitwise. Splitwise is a free tool for friends and roommates to track bills and shared expenses.

Groceries. To share the cost of groceries or to fly solo? If you and your roommate decide to buy your own groceries, designate and label shelves in the refrigerator and pantries to avoid late-night temptations; when your food choices are looking far less appetizing then your roommates.  Using the sharing approach? Go shopping together! In the end you will most-likely use a merged method of sharing and solo-grocery shopping. When you do this, define what the shared items are so that there is zero confusion.   

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