3 Tips for Moving in with a Roommate

Moving into a new apartment or dorm can be an overwhelming experience, especially if a roommate is involved. Even if they’re not a stranger, you could find out quirks about your friend that make living with them challenging. It doesn’t have to be a disaster, however. All you need to do is prepare yourself.

One of the best ways to prepare is to know what to expect. Most problems and benefits can be seen from a distance, which is always better than learning the hard way. Here are a few things to expect when moving in with a roommate.

1) Designated Communal Areas
When you’re living with someone, you need to determine what space is shared and what space is private. This may seem like common sense, but some people don’t understand boundaries. For example, the living room is generally considered a communal area, so it’d be weird if your roommate left their dirty clothes on the coffee table.

Expect to have a conversation about personal space. If the closet in your room is too small for all your clothes, you can talk to your roommate about using the hallway closet for some stuff. As long as you’re willing to have these conversations, most problems will sort themselves out if your roommate is generally reasonable. Make sure you both know what’s shared and what’s private.

2) Shared Cleaning Duties
Keeping your space clean is everyone’s responsibility. From the living room to your private bedroom, it needs to be kept as clean as possible. Even the mess in your bedroom can affect the rest of the house if you start to have unclean clothes or old food infecting the entire apartment with their unrelenting stench.

Most fights between roommates, however, are due to the kitchen. No one really wants to clean the dishes, but it has to be done. A common solution is alternating days to do the dishes, although that can lead to arguments when one day uses considerably more dishes than another. A better solution might be cleaning as you go by simply washing every dish right after you use it.

3) Guest Privileges
Most roommates won’t mind if you have people visit every now and then, but things can get complicated if you have someone over all the time. This is especially true for significant others who potentially get all the benefits of being a roommate without actually paying rent. If your partner frequently spends the night, eats the food in the kitchen, uses the shower and more, your roommate could get annoyed that they’re using the amenities they don’t pay for. One solution to this problem is to move in with or marry your partner so they become your roommate, though you should probably give that one some thought first.

If you want to throw a party, your roommate has to be involved. You also need to enforce rules with your guests about not touching your roommate's things or invading their private space. Introverts especially can have problems with strangers in their home, so always be courteous.

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For most roommate issues, the solution is talking. Have a conversation with your roommate about things you’d like to do that could be potentially bothersome. Also talk about things they do that bother you. Having an uncomfortable conversation is far better than having an unpleasant living arrangement and breaking your lease over disagreements, losing that security deposit.

Now that you know what things to expect when moving in with a roommate, it’s time to actually make the move. The moving process can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. With MoveWise, you can get quotes from the best moving companies in your area delivered right to your inbox. All you have to do is fill out our easy moving quotes form. We can even offer you information about the most popular moving destinations in the country. Get your free quotes today!

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