Moving in with a new roommate can provide the opportunity for late night fun, reduced bills and someone right there to chat with. But it can also lead to conflict and stress. According to a study by Boise University, 25 percent of students experienced conflict and stress with their roommates.
Whether you’re in college roommate or out in the working force, moving in with a new roommate isn’t always straightforward, but you can reduce the conflict and stress by following a few quick tips.
Let’s talk about safety first when moving in with a new roommate. Not everyone has the same standards for safety whether inviting home new friends from the bar or wanting to leave the windows open and the door unlocked for a quick coffee run down the street. After figuring out how you and your roommate will keep your place safe from day to day, discuss investing in a security camera system.
A security camera system provides peace of mind and lays the groundwork for safety expectations. Bonus: you might even get a discount on renters’ insurance with a security camera system in place.
Lay a framework for communicating issues
Everyone handles conflict and stress a little differently, as well as common everyday issues. You may like to talk through everything in a long meeting to clear the air, whereas your roommate may want to ignore it and move on quickly. Establish a framework for communicating issues before you move in, and choose a method you’re both comfortable with.
Hold a brief weekly meeting and make it fun with snacks and drinks to chat for 10 or 15 minutes about what’s going on around the house. Or set-up a whiteboard to air any grievances like, “Can you get to your dishes please?” where the person can erase it once the request is complete, or leave a note like, “Super swamped, will get to it tomorrow.”
Establish ground rules
Smooth communication with your roommate is just the first step in cohabiting harmoniously. You also need established ground rules from the start. Do you need to announce when overnight guests will be staying over in advance? Should everything be cleaned up before bedtime?
Will you share food, and if so, which ones? Brainstorm rules with your roommate and put them on your fridge so everyone knows how to meet each other’s expectations.
Fur Babies (for pet owners)
Don’t forget about your pets! Be mindful introducing a new roommate to your pet(s) as this can be a stressful event for sensitive animals. Keep an eye on possible behavioral changes until your pet gets more acclimated to this new situation.
Make it fun
It takes a little time to work out all of the details to create a successful roommate situation, but after completing the groundwork, remember to keep it fun. Although it’s wise to have personal space with your roommate and enjoy your own hobbies and friends, make a point to share a weekly meal or go out once in a while to see a concert or go to a museum. Show your roommate you value the relationship and work towards balancing a healthy living situation with friendship.
Make moving in with a roommate a positive experience that benefits both of you. From safety to friendship, work toward a well-balanced relationship that makes your home a fun place to live.
Disclaimer: This article was written by a guest author.