This article originally appeared on the Springs "You're Home Blog."
It's said that opposites attract. Does that hold true for roommates as well? Even the most compatible of friends are bound to disagree on some significant issues.
You and your roommate may not see eye to eye on these topics, but with a little cooperation you can reach a compromise that works for both of you.
1. Early Bird or Night Owl?
People often have different internal clocks, whether it's due to a job situation or personal preference. No one should have to sacrifice a good night's sleep, so establish some boundaries about noise. For example, maybe the night owl could use headphones with the TV or music.
This is one of the biggest potential minefields in a roommate relationship. Sometimes significant others can spend so much time in the apartment that they feel like a third roommate.
The situation encompasses a number of conflicts, including loss of privacy and financial responsibilities. Agree on specific guidelines up front, and don't be afraid to speak up if someone starts encroaching on the terms of your treaty.
3. One Cleans, the Other Doesn't
It's such a classic situation that it's the basis for many a movie or TV show: one roommate is neat, the other is messy. If you have separate bedrooms, you can agree to designate them as free zones. For the rest of the apartment, draw up a schedule of housekeeping chores and who does what.
4. Parenting Pets
Adopting a dog or cat may be a mutual decision, or one roommate may graciously defer to the wishes of the other. Whichever scenario applies to you should determine who handles the care and feeding. In the former you share the duties, while in the latter the pet lover assumes the responsibility.
5. To Share or Not to Share
Charges for utilities, cable and Wi-Fi services are easy to split down the middle. Deciding on the financial policy for groceries is a whole other story. You have a few different options to choose from:
- Each person is responsible for purchasing their own groceries and preparing their own meals, although you may certainly opt to dine together. This method is recommended if the two of you are likely to use different quantities of food.
- Grocery costs and meal prep are shared. You could take turns shopping, or one person can shop and the two of you split the bill.
- Consider a hybrid plan where you share staples such as milk, bread and eggs while you each purchase any other items you prefer to use.
6. Major Household Purchases
While you will both probably bring many of your own furnishings and possessions into the apartment, there may come a time when you decide to buy a new couch or TV. Be sure to establish up front who gets custody upon move-out. It's probably a good idea to put it in writing.
Do you have a great roommate tip to share? Tell us in the comments!