Tips for Sharing Spaces with a Roommate

Renting a room or sharing an apartment with colleagues and friends often solves a lot of problems. You pay half as much as renting an apartment alone. You can afford to live closer to the city center. You pay only half of the utility bills. You can go on vacation and ask your roommates to water the flowers. But what to do if you have bad relationships with your roommates?


When you live in the same apartment with another person, then you should remember that this apartment is not entirely yours, therefore you should respect the personal space of those around you. You can make yourself at home in your room, but for public areas in a rented apartment (kitchen, hallway, bathroom with toilet) you need to work out common behavioral schemes.

Imagine renting a room in a family-type hotel or hostel. There are certain rules that all the guests should accept and follow. A toothbrush, lying on the washing machine, or dirty dishes in the sink may become the cause of serious conflict. In order to avoid problems, you must immediately agree with your roommates about the rules of conduct.

Keep in mind that everyone has equal rights in a rented apartment. To ensure the equality, the rules should suit every inhabitant. Do not avoid talking about the norms of behavior. Poorly organized life can quickly destroy any relationship of even intelligent and polite people.

It is better to agree on the conditions of cohabitation in neutral territory. To do this, choose either a public place like a park or a cafe. When the negotiations are over, you can open a bottle of champagne and celebrate the fact that you managed to find a common language with each other.

It is possible to find a roommate online, but remember that it is better to rent a room with people who have similar views on life. That’s why it’s worth communicating with this person for a while and find out their hobbies and interests. However, you cannot foresee everything. For example, one roommate has to get up at seven in the morning, and another has a party with music and guests. One does not like to wash dishes in the evenings and leaves it in the sink until morning, and the other one does not tolerate uncleaned kitchen. How to avoid quarrels?

The main mistake that you can make in this situation is to remain silent and hide your irritation. Sooner or later you will run out of patience, and then you will not be able to calmly discuss the problems, but simply quarrel.
You should approach any conflict situation with a sense of humor. All of us are not perfect, most likely, your roommate doesn’t like the way you live. If you are not satisfied with something, do not be rude and do not insult your roommate. Be frank, but benevolent. Remember that the best way to make friends is do something together. For example, you can arrange some cleaning or dresser painting together.

Practical advice for those who share an apartment
1. Make a cleaning schedule
Agree on a convenient schedule for everyone and place the schedule in a public place (on the refrigerator). There will be no grounds for conflicts, because it will be impossible to “forget” about one’s turn.
2. Determine the time for guests
It is worth negotiating a convenient time for the reception of guests. In cases where your plans change and you get out of the schedule, do not forget to warn your roommate about it and get their consent for an unscheduled visit.
3. Respect each other’s personal space

Never enter your roommate’s room without knocking. You can chat over a cup of tea in the evening, but if your roommate needs to be alone, respect their choice.