This article originally appeared on the Springs "You're Home Blog."
At some point in our lives, most of us have shared apartment living space with another person. For many people, that experience is part of the college years, when a roommate is a practical solution to economic considerations. If you're sharing your Springs Apartments home with a friend, use these tips to maintain a harmonious household.
Keeping the Peace
- Set the ground rules up front. If an issue like overnight guests is a deal-breaker for you, don't wait until you're confronted with the situation to discuss it.
- Be accepting of each other's differences. It's unfair to expect a person to change just because you want them to. Things will run more smoothly if you look for the common ground.
- Respect each other's privacy and possessions. Sharing a home doesn't give you shared custody of belongings, nor does it entitle you to know every aspect of your roommate's life, no matter how close you are.
Division of Labor
- Create a cleaning schedule and stick to it. One person shouldn't end up doing the lion's share of the work. The one exception is if you create a mess, you clean it up, regardless of who is assigned to that task.
- Decide on kitchen and food protocol. Will you take turns preparing meals, or will each person fend for herself? Should you split the grocery bill, or would you rather purchase your own items? If it's the latter, are borrow-and-replace privileges allowed?
- Be prepared to compromise on decor. Chances are the two of you have different opinions, so don't sweat the small stuff. If you feel strongly about certain elements, consider having each person take charge of a particular room. Remember, you can always give your personality free rein in decorating your bedroom!
Balancing the Checkbook(s)
- Rent is your top priority. Decide which one of you will collect the money and make the final payment. It's helpful to set a household deadline a few days ahead of the actual due date to avoid last-minute scrambling.
- Don't forget about renter's insurance. Everyone thinks "it won't happen to me," but you shouldn't put your possessions at risk for the sake of your optimism.
- Decide how the purchase of household necessities such as cleaning products and toilet paper will be handled. Will you take turns buying them, or will one person handle the shopping with both of you splitting the cost?
With a little thoughtfulness and common sense, sharing your home with a roommate can be a fun and rewarding experience.
What's your secret to a successful blended household? Share your apartment living tips in the comments!