Do you need some tips for getting along with roommates? Sharing an apartment with people you don't know can be tricky. Even if you share with friends, they may do things that annoy you - and you may drive them up the wall. Successful sharing depends on everyone showing consideration and being prepared to make a few concessions. Here are the essential tips for getting along with roommates …
1. Don't Crowd Them
The first of my tips for getting along with roommates is to avoid hanging around them too much. It's fine to be friendly - indeed, it's important - but some roommates take it too far and never give you any space. Learn to recognize when your roommates are happy to have your company, and when they'd really rather be alone.
2. Be Friendly
When new roommates move in, make them feel welcome. Some people are none too happy when a roommate that they liked moves out, and they are not too friendly to their replacement. Don't take it out on the new people; give them a chance. If you move into a new shared home, invite your roommates to share a meal and a bottle of wine - that'll soon break the ice.
3. Be Considerate
Always try to be considerate to your roommates. They may keep a very different timetable to you. If you are a student, make as little noise as possible when you come in on a weeknight; you may be able to sleep late, they have to get up early for work. One of the main areas of conflict among roommates is others not cleaning up after themselves, so always do your share of cleaning and don't leave piles of dirty dishes.
4. Don't "Borrow"
Resist the temptation to steal your roommate's food or toiletries. If you use up their milk, they may not have enough for breakfast. You might think borrowing small amounts won't do any harm, but it annoys other people. Always ask if it's okay to use something of theirs, and if they say yes, don't assume it's ok to keep helping yourself.
5. Pay Promptly
Always pay your rent and your share of the bills promptly. If someone else is responsible for paying the landlord everybody's rent together, be sure that you get your share to them in time. If you don't, it can leave them in difficulties and create an atmosphere. Don't assume that a day or two won't matter.
Be prepared to negotiate with your roommates if needs be. You're more likely to get what you want if you can offer something in return. Let's say they don't play the guitar because it bothers you. If you want to use the parking space for your apartment, ask if you can have the space in return for letting them play the guitar.
7. Advance Notice
If you want to have a party or guests, don't surprise your roommates. Always check with them first if it's okay. And don't abuse their permission to have people round. They may be fine with your boyfriend staying over; what's not so good if you then assume it's okay for him to stay over several times a week.
It's no surprise that sharing a house is not easy. At its worst, it can be a nightmare that leads you to look for a different home. But we probably all have traits that annoy our roommates, so we should be prepared to be tolerant when we expect the same in return. What is the most annoying thing that roommates do?