You’ve found a perfect apartment. Now you just need to live in it. Of course, there’s a catch: you’re not alone. Here’s how to live with another person — be it a friend, a semi-stranger, or a romantic partner — without killing each other.
Around the Kitchen
When it comes to cohabitation, the kitchen is the number one hot spot for interpersonal strife, but by following a few fairly easy rules, you can avoid some of the most common kitchen pitfalls.
- Stockpile food in your bedroom dresser so that no one steals it. Are those cookies really worth the pest problem you’ll develop?
- Leave scoldy notes taped everywhere. Your roommate will start messing things up just to drive you crazy. (If you live with a spouse or other romantic partner, they’ll just dump you.)
- Share kitchen duties. Everyone should be responsible for their own mess, but certain messes are communal, and should be dealt with communally with a minimum of bickering.
- Bring home food to share. You can pretend you’re being generous when really you’re just trying to distract your roommates from the food that you’re saving for yourself.
- Use Apartments.com to narrow your apartment search to a place with a dishwasher. Experts say this eliminates up to 60% of roommate conflicts.
In the Bathroom
In the future, every person will have their own luxurious bathroom. Until that glorious day arrives, try to be considerate.
- Be a shower hog. Yes, your beautiful body deserves all the pampering in the world, but other people would like some hot water also.
- Dip into your housemates’ fancy toiletries. How could they possibly miss just a dab of moisturizer? Have faith: that moisturizer costs one thousand dollars an ounce, and it will be missed instantly.
- Be gross. If you’re on the fence if a certain behavior is gross or not, it probably is. Don’t do that.
- Coordinate your morning schedule. Getting to work on time shouldn’t mean squeezing into the shower with the Craigslist roommate you barely know.
- Wipe the sink out after you brush your teeth. (Before all that excess toothpaste gains sentience and decides to kill you in your sleep.)
- Limit your singing in the shower to respectable hours and a reasonable volume. Even if you’re a classically-trained opera singer, people still need to sleep.
While the bedroom and bathroom are the main sources of roommate conflict, there are a few other key habits that make living together more bearable.
- Criticize the mess in your roommate’s bedroom. As long as they’re respectful of the common areas and don’t introduce biohazards into the apartment, their personal mess is not your business.
- Let your boyfriend or girlfriend unofficially move in. The 40% of roommate fights that aren’t caused by dishes are caused by deadbeat romantic partners who neither leave or pay rent. If they have no home of their own, there’s a very handy service that can help with that!
- Assign a point person to deal with the bills. If it’s not someone’s explicit duty, those things will definitely never get paid.
- Try to talk to each other occasionally. It’s way too easy to forget that actually having a friendly conversation with the person you live with makes everything a lot more fun.
Finally, there’s one key thing that improves cohabitation immeasurably: living in a great apartment that suits the needs of both you and your co-inhabitant. Whether that means finding a space that’s big enough for the both of you, or a place in a great neighborhood that you can escape into when you and your roommate start to drive each other nuts, Apartments.com is here to help.