The Rules & Etiquette
Right on – you found a roomie! Now comes the fun part of establishing ground rules regarding your new shared living space before moving in, so everyone is on the same page.
Cleaning sucks. Being the only one cleaning sucks even worse. When you divvy up the chores evenly, assigning certain tasks, or rotating weekly, it makes things flow way smoother.
Be respectful of each other’s spaces. It’s weird to come home and find your roomie laying on your bed watching a movie, yes?
Talk about overnights with friends or significant others. If your roommate’s boyfriend or girlfriend is over 5-6 days per week and they contribute nothing to the household, that can greatly wear on your roommate-dom. Come to an agreement about how often a partner can spend the night, and be respectful of that agreement.
Don’t eat one another’s food without permission. Seriously. Don’t borrow or wear your roomie’s clothes or shoes without permission, either!
Living arrangements with others requires communication, a lot like relationships. If there is something bothering you, talk it out. Don’t let the anger and resentment build up and explode into a much bigger issue over something trivial.
Keep music or movies at a reasonable volume, so as not to disrupt the right to peace and quiet of your roommate.
Decide how common consumables will be paid for (i.e. paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap, garbage bags, etc.).
Smoking or non? With more and more rental communities turning toward smoke-free living, find out if smoking indoors is permissible by your landlord. If it is, then discuss whether smoking will be allowed inside with your roommate.
Decide how the utilities will be split. You might want to split it straight down the middle each month, or alternate paying the full amount every month.
Some people are early birds and some are night owls. Discuss what times you may each need for quiet time.
Put it all in writing and sign it. If your roomie won’t agree to sign something, you might want to consider getting a different one.