Sunday, January 25, 2009

How to become a good roommate???

1. Respect each other's privacy.
Never enter a room without knocking, answer their cell phone, read their emails or their mail. Remember, this person is your roommate, not your brother or sister.

2. The refrigerator.
Only eat what's your's unless you have clearly specified that certain foods are for sharing. How would you like to come home after a long day of work to find your pint of Ben & Jerry's missing?

3. Keep it clean.
In the kitchen, wash your own dishes, empty the dishwasher and wipe down counter tops. In the bathroom, collect your towels and clothes. Wipe down the tub or shower for stray hairs. Clean the sink after brushing your teeth or shaving. Scrub the toilet after yourself frequently.

4. Pay the bills on time!
Nobody likes to be late with bills. If this is a habit of your's, think about getting a studio apartment by yourself. Why should your roommate be responsible to cover you to protect his or her own credit history?

5. Split the bills or assign bills.
I strongly suggest that all the utilities are not in one person's name.

6. Do not share a phone.
Many disagreements come about with the sharing of a phone. Either only use cell phones or get two separate telephone lines.

7. Keep records.
Pay bills with checks and write what they are payment for in the memo section of the check. If cash is the preferred method of payment, be sure to get receipts with a signature for everything.

8. Live up to your lease agreement.
If you must move before the lease is up, help the roommate find a new roommate up to his or her standards. In the meantime, you should pay your half of the rent even if you are not living there until a new roommate is found or the lease has expired.

9. Discuss overnight guests with your roommate before inviting anyone over.
If your significant other spends a significant amount of time at the home, you may be asked to pay more rent or that you spend your time together at his/her place. Why should your roommate feel like a third wheel in his or her own home?

10. Keep quite
11. When your roommate wants quiet, be quiet.
Doing otherwise is very rude. When your roommate is studying, go chat with your friends somewhere else. If you want to listen to music and your roommate does not, get some headphones.

12. Never wake a sleeping roommate.
Sleep is a valuable resource for a college student, so don't be the reason your roommate doesn't get enough. Be quiet when you're coming in late at night, and respect the need to nap.

13. Do not use your roommate's stuff without permission.
This goes for everything, including food. Similarly, don't snoop through your roommate's things. It can be tempting, but resist the urge.
Be reasonable about visits from friends. Of course you can have friends over, but make sure you are not monopolizing the room. If a friend is going to stay overnight, be sure to ask permission. It's also important that your visitors are polite to your roommate. By the same token, be polite to your roommate's visitors.

14. Don't do anything that makes your roommate uncomfortable.
It's always a bad idea to keep illicit drugs or alcohol in your room, but if your roommate objects, it's an even worse idea. This rule goes for more minor issues as well, including grooming. If your roommate is grossed out when your cut your toenails in the room, then don't.

15. Never gossip about your roommate.
It's tempting to vent about your roommate's annoying habits to your buddies down the hall, but don't. If your roommate finds out (and there's a very good chance this will happen), he or she will be hopping mad. If you have issues with your roommate, talk to your roommate about them. This isn't the easiest thing to do, but it's a heck of a lot more mature than gossiping with your friends.

16. Never spread your roommate's secrets.
Even if your roommate doesn't share his or her secrets with you, you're bound to stumble upon some private and juicy information. Spreading this kind of information isn't just rude: it's bad karma.

17. Do not break your roommate's things.
If you do break something, apologize profusely and pay for it immediately. It also goes without saying that you should not steal your roommate's things.

18. Be prepared to compromise.
Not everyone has the same ideas about day to day living as you do. You can't ask your roommate to change him or herself if you're not willing to change as well.

19. Spend time with your roommate.
Say hello and goodbye, ask them how their day was, and show interest in his or her life. Getting to know the person you live with helps you understand their perspective, and allows them to understand yours. It also makes it easier to deal with problems that you have with that person if you’ve already established a rapport with them. Try to set a time in which you both can hang out at least once a week. Make dinner together, watch a movie, etc. Do something nice for your roommate every so often--make their bed, bake them cookies, or offer to give them a ride somewhere if they don't have a car.

20. Stay flexible.
Understand what’s going on in your roommate’s life, and accommodate them. If your roommate has a big test coming up, you should probably be quiet and let them study. If your roommate is busy and stressed with their job, give them some time and space to relax and unwind. Wouldn't you like your roommate to show you the same consideration?

21. Communicate.
As in any relationship, living with someone requires a great deal of work. Communication is key in making the relationship work well long-term, or even for a short time. If a problem comes up, it's better to talk about it right away than to try and ignore it and let it get worse. If you simply cannot communicate openly and there is tension all the time. Find a new roommate. The stress is just not worth it. You may be better friends if you choose to live separate.

22. Lay down the rules from the beginning
It’s not going to be fun, but if you don’t have this conversation at the beginning, it will be much, much worse later on. Set clear rules for your apartment. You don’t have to legislate every aspect of your lives together, but it’s good to set some boundaries from the beginning. Are you going to buy your groceries together or separately? Will you allow alcohol or drug use? Who is in charge of taking out the trash? What about guests? These are important questions. Take a moment before the discussion starts to think through your preferences. Come up with a list of questions so you can set the rules together.

23. Set a schedule
This is another one of those things that is best done from the get go. Setting a schedule for household chores not only ensures that there will be no question of who’s turn it was to clean the toilet, but it also helps you keep track of your responsibilities.

24. Ask permission
Would you rather the couch be facing the other wall? Want to hire a cleaning service? Plan on holding a loud tribute to your Greek days with a couple hundred friends? Ask your roommate first. Even if you know they don’t care, won’t be home, or it is none of their business, asking makes a huge difference. By running plans that affect the two of you by them, you not only say that you value their opinion, but it makes it clear that you’re aren’t replacing the microwave just to be malicious. People need to feel comfortable in their own space and by altering it without their permission; you’re saying that you don’t want them to feel any sort of ownership. Remember, you don’t have to ask about changing the toilet paper, only the things that really matter—and could blow up later.

25. Proper phone etiquette
I know you love to watch Law & Order and talk to your mom, but it may not be the best way to score points with your criminology student of a roommate. It may seem inconsequential, but not everyone wants to hear one side of a conversation. Another big way to lose favor with your housemate is by having a long-distance boyfriend or girlfriend. The phone may be the best way to keep your relationship going, but believe me, three or four hours of baby talk will drive your roommate nuts. If you have to talk on the phone, be respectful of your roommate. There’s nothing wrong with picking up the phone in the middle of dinner, but if you’re going to stay on the line, step away from the table, preferably into another room.

26. Don’t be afraid to discuss problems
I know, I know, you’ve followed all the rules to this point and things still aren’t working out. You’re the best roommate in the world and it’s killing you. It’s time to talk. Make sure you choose the right time. You don’t want to jump your roommate on the worst day of their lives, but you also shouldn’t put it off forever. Gently explain the source of the conflict and suggest several ideas to alleviate the problem. If you can’t work out your differences on your own, it may be time to bring in an impartial mediator.

27. Never make fun of or belittle your roommate.
A little gentle teasing is okay, especially if you become friends. But keep your opinions to yourself about your roommate's funny little quirks.

28. Be courteous of your roommate’s sleeping habits.
If you are a night owl, keep your noise down and turn the lights down after your roommate goes to bed so you don't disturb them. If you go to bed early, don’t get exasperated with your roommate for their late hours, but at the same time try to find ways that you can sleep undisturbed. The same thing applies for rising in the morning.

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