Moving in with roommates for the first time and not sure what to expect? Adjusting to living with roommates for the first time can definitely be difficult, but here’s what I have found most effective in creating a functional household out of my living situations. 

Set expectations early on

Are you going to share the ketchup? Should you be notifying each other before inviting guests over? Does it annoy you when your roommates snooze their alarms 10 times every morning? These are all important questions to be asked early in your roommate relationship. Establishing your expectations of each other is crucial in maintaining a functional living environment. You’ll quickly learn which habits you do and don’t like about others, and having expectations for each other is super helpful in keeping the household at peace. 

Consider creating a chore chart

You’ll learn very quickly when living with new people about their level of cleanliness. Some people won’t care about having a crumb-y countertop, and some people will prefer the sink to be free of dishes at all times. It may be important to create a weekly chore chart to make sure everyone does their part in keeping the living space clean, not just those who are bothered by mess. Dividing cleaning tasks also makes it easier to keep the messier roommates motivated. 

Learn each others schedules 

Being around other people whenever you’re at home can be both exhausting and super fun. Part of maintaining your own sanity is getting to know the class or work schedules of your roommates. This can help avoid having everyone in the house waiting to use the washroom at once, but also allow you to find time to be alone when you need it. 

Don’t be a note leaver

Communication is huge when living with others. If you run into a problem, leaving a passive aggressive note for the other person is probably not the best way to deal with it. I’ve had roommates leave a collage of sticky notes in the kitchen telling the rest of the house to clean up after themselves, and the mess only continued as an act of defiance. Establish relationships with your roommates where you feel comfortable communicating what bothers you as things arise or you may end-up with a house littered with ineffective sticky notes.

These are just a few tips I’ve found helpful when I’ve been introduced to new living situations. Living with others is all about communicating well and figuring out what works best for your group of roommates.

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