You’ve come a long way since the days of dining hall food and sorority t-shirts, and you pretty much have the whole adulting thing on lock. But the one constant that’s probably remained with you since college is a roommate. These days, your heightened cleanliness standards and newfound desire for personal space can make cohabitating a bit tricker than it was in your early 20s. Whether you’re BFFs with your roomie or more like ships in the night, check out these five tips to make peace (not war!) in your shared space.
1. Set expectations ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than when someone says, “I’m super clean!” and ends up being the exact opposite. Even if your, ahem, less desirable qualities are hard to admit, it’s worth being up-front about your quirky habits (and asking your roomie to be up front about theirs) from the get-go so there isn’t tension down the road.
2. Contain your chaos. If you’re naturally messy, you can still be a great roommate! The key is to keep your stuff in your space — that way, you won’t end up encroaching on your roomie’s territory. Another pro tip: If you can’t get to a mess in a shared space, like the kitchen, write a note promising to clean up later — and make sure you follow through.
3. Make traditions. Keep the morale high in your apartment by creating and maintaining some fun traditions. They don’t have to be extravagant, but engaging in positive habits together will give you reasons to spend time together that don’t involve cleaning or decorating. Some great examples are Sunday night dinners, made-up holidays, or mini getaways for birthday celebrations.
4. Have the S.O. talk. Believe it or not, your relationship status plays a role in your roommate relationship — especially if your S.O. comes over often. Depending on just how shared your space is, helping your boyfriend/girlfriend establish a working relationship with your roomie will decrease cause for tension in the future.
5. Don’t feel TOO socially obligated. Sure, you want to have a friendly relationship with your roomie, but be sure to balance social time with alone time. Living together doesn’t obligate you to only hang out with your roomie or include them in all of your social plans. It’s all about healthy boundaries, people!
How do you and your roomie keep the peace? Let us know @BritandCo!