Having a roommate for the first time is really just a constant series of trials and errors. And we’re all doing our best to avoid the latter. But having a roommate can’t always be rainbows and redecorating. If you and your roommate are clashing, we’ve got you covered, but one easy way to stop a feud before it’s started is by taking care of your space. Here are some easy-enough chores to stay on top of before your roommate even has to ask.

A woman washes dishes in a sunny kitchen

1. Do the dishes (fully!). “Doing” the dishes in their entirety is more than merely rinsing them off. It’s even more than merely rinsing and loading them. Whether your roomie’s around or not, when the dishwasher is full, make sure to run it. And unload it if it’s clean. These are easy tasks to leave for the next person — especially if you have more than one roommate — so it may take a concerted effort to get out of this habit. For bonus points, hand-wash as many dishes as you have time to. The lower utility bill at the end of the month will make up for the extra suds.

2. Replace shared items. Although this might require dropping some extra dollars now and then, a harmonious household is well worth it. Common communal items range from kitchen condiments (such as salt and pepper and butter) to cleaning supplies (like disinfecting wipes or sponges). If you notice these items running low, make a run to the store or add them to the shopping list for your next trip. Trust us — your roommates (and you) will be thankful when there’s extra TP.

3. Clean more than what’s “yours.” Obvi when your sheets are dirty or your bathroom’s sink is scuzzy, you clean them, but your place is more than just your own personal space. Common areas get grubby even quicker because there are multiple people utilizing them. So before your roomie even gets around to it, take a rag to stove and countertops, some all-purpose cleaner to the guest bathroom, and a vacuum to the couch cushions.

4. Check before you launder. Before you throw in that load, do the rounds with each roomie and ask if they have anything they need you to toss in. They’ll appreciate you taking the extra five minutes to collect their wash. This way, you’re sparing some water and your roomie relationship! But do be cautious about shrinkage. Ask beforehand if they’d like you to air dry something, because ruining clothing is definitely counterproductive.

5. Take care of the exterior. Everyone knows it’s just as important that the outside of your residence be as tidy as the inside. The exterior is everyone’s first impression of your place, after all. Grab any packages left outside the front door or on the porch. Bring in the trash cans after garbage day, if applicable. Vacuum the doormat when needed, and if you don’t have a doormat, OMG, get a doormat!!!

What tasks do you do to #TreatYoRoomies? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)