Tips on how to avoid roommate conflict
People living together will sooner or later get into an argument. A couple living under the same roof can make up in certain ways after a fight… ‘Normal’ roommates usually have to find other ways to make up.
In this article we’ll tell you how. Of course, the best advice we can give is to simply avoid arguments! If you know how to do this you can avoid awkward situations, exhausting conversations and roommates hating you for the rest of your life.
What causes arguments between roommates and what can you do about it? Here are some tips on how to avoid roommate conflict!
You both hate cleaning
Unless you’re like Monica Geller, you probably hate cleaning. Chances are your roommate doesn’t like cleaning either. Who does?
Everything starts with your definition of what cleaning means: there’s washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, washing clothes,…
While some roommates don’t even see the dirt, others go mad when they see one tiny hair on the floor. While some people buy ready-made meals everyday, others take the time to cook and make the kitchen look like a battlefield.
Wanna know what really helps? Using a platform like Flatninja to find your perfect roommate and asking about their cleaning and cooking habits! You might find a male roommate who just looooooves cleaning, like this guy:
In case you already live together with a roommate and the damage has already been done (read: your first, second, third, … cleaning-related argument is a fact), you can either find a new roommate or make sure you don’t ever have to fight about the same boring topic again.
It sounds logic but it’s often forgotten: good agreements make good friends. Some common sense definitely helps too.
If you both cook regularly, it seems acceptable to set up dish days. When it’s your dish day you clean all the dishes, including your roommate’s dishes. If you cook a lot and your roommate doesn’t, it makes more sense that everyone cleans their own dishes.
The same goes for washing clothes. If your roommate goes to the gym three times a week and you’re rather a couch potato, it makes more sense if she washes her own clothes.
Regarding the general cleaning, good agreements should be made in order to avoid roommate conflict. Try to find the right balance. Having a clutter-free and clean apartment is nice, but is it really necessary to sweep the floors every other day and expect your roommate to clean his room every weekend?
Sweeping the floors once or twice a week and scrubbing them once a week seems ok.
Chances are you don’t have the same amount of money in your bank accounts. That’s ok. As long as you both pay your part of the rent on time!
Paying the rent on time is often a source of frustration between roommates. Make agreements about who’s going to pay the landlord each month and collect the rent a couple of days before it has to be paid.
For common expenses such as trash bags, toilet paper and food you both need (pasta, ketchup, water, …) you could both put some money in a jar every two or three months. Obviously this money should only be used for those common expenses.
The cost of utilities such as electricity, cable, water and gas can be split down the middle as well.
Intruding boyfriends and girlfriends
You’ve finally found the roommate you’ve always wanted. Until he has a girlfriend…
A girlfriend that spends multiple nights a week in your apartment, takes a shower the moment you wanted to hop in and makes you eat weird vegetarian dishes with ingredients you had never heard of. As with everything, making good agreements in advance is the key to avoiding conflict here.
Maybe you’ve chosen your roommate because of the fact he was single, just like you. You were enjoying dinner together and a glass of wine after a horrible Monday at work. You didn’t think he’d find someone so fast. Or at all. It happens. Get over it.
Even though your roommate is single the moment you move in together, don’t forget to talk about the ‘future boyfriend or girlfriend’ topic. Agreeing upon a maximum amount of days/nights a significant other is welcome is a possibility.
Another thing you should definitely talk about is the financial part. What if the boyfriend or girlfriend showers four times a week, uses more toilet paper than you and your roommate together and steals your food? Asking your roommate’s significant other to contribute to the costs or at least stop stealing your food isn’t so crazy…
Lack of respect
Sometimes you don’t show enough respect for each other. You don’t do it on purpose, it just happens.
A friend with boyfriend problems calls in the middle of the night and asks if she can come over to talk, another friend needs a place to sleep after a party and is quite noisy. You forgot to buy food and you see no other option than to steal your roommate’s pizza. And of course, you forget to tell your roommate.
These are all situations that could lead to arguments. Again, make agreements such as: no noise on weekdays after midnight, no unexpected dinner parties, the roommate hosting the party should clean everything the next day, replace everything you took from your roommate as soon as possible etc.
As stated earlier, getting a roommate with a platform like Flatninja is the best advice we can give. It offers you the opportunity to get to know each other in advance. No unpleasant surprises about cleaning and partying habits to deal with!
But even roommates who get along just fine most of the time will probably argue at some point. Whatever happens, always remain calm and take the time to sit down and talk like adults!