Thou Shalt Not Disobey These Essential Roommate Commandments

Posted By Heather Rusick on 1/29/15 10:50 AM


The revenge opportunities available to a vexed roommate are spectacular. Toothbrush down the toilet, dog drool on your favorite mug, sharpie mustache while you’re sleeping. You get the idea.

To protect yourself against these upsetting possibilities, first you must choose your roommate wisely. Look for a compassionate, friendly soul, with limitless patience and an absence of anger issues.

Next you need to follow these essential roommate commandments. Even the most tolerate roomie has limits, so stay on the right side of your new live in friend by sticking to these simple rules.

1. Pay On Time

Splitting the bills? Pay your share on time. Getting take-out? Take turns footing the bill. Borrowed ten bucks? Pay it back as soon as you can. Being nagged for money sucks, but it’s even worse for the roommate that’s doing the nagging. Out of pocket and now wasting time chasing you, they are soon going to tire of this arrangement.

2. Clean Up After Yourself

Unless you are sharing your apartment with your mom or a maid you need to pick up after yourself. Everything! Clothes, used cups and plates, shoes, trash. Everything! Get your space-sharing arrangement off to a good start by laying ground rules. How long can you tolerate a dirty cup being left on the table? Leaving it there for the duration of a movie you are watching is fine, only retrieving it once you have completely run out of clean dishware is not. And where is your left-on-the-floor-stuff going to be banished to? A bin of shame where all dumped belongings are stored works well, with a fine payable to get belongings back.

3. Two’s Company Three’s A Crowd

Set boundaries about friends and partners visiting. Do you always want your roommate sharing social occasions with you? Or do you expect them to vacate the space in return for you doing them the same favor when needed?

Most importantly, have this conversation up front, when you first move in together. Laying ground rules after problems have started will likely become a blame game / conflict zone, so set the limits during peacetime.