Whether you’re moving across the country or into a new apartment on the other side of town, living with roommates has become more and more common for young adults in America. While sharing a living space with another person is a great way to cut living costs, there are many things you should consider before signing the lease.
Whether you are unsure about how to find a roommate or are wondering if having a roommate at all is the right fit for your lifestyle, this blog from Prime Storage can help answer common questions you may have about living with roommates.
Should I Get a Roommate?
Before jumping into a living arrangement with another person, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of having a roommate versus living on your own. Living with roommates is a great way to be cost-efficient, as the payments for rent, utilities, and other costs of living are broken up between multiple people. This also allows you to split up the chore duties, giving everyone less work to do to keep the place looking nice. Having a roommate also gives you a companion to spend time with, which can be a big benefit to those moving to a new city without any acquaintances yet.
However, there may be several cons to consider when contemplating getting a roommate as well. Sharing a space with another person naturally results in the loss of some privacy, and a difference in living style or preferences in cleanliness can cause issues as well. If you and your roommate have conflicting schedules, it may be hard to balance utilizing shared spaces like the kitchen or bathroom. If sleeping schedules are staggered, noise can be an issue if one roommate is trying to rest while the other is getting ready for work or has guests over.
How to Find a Roommate in a New City
Moving to a new city can be an intimidating process, especially if you don’t know anybody currently living there. Having a roommate is a great way to ease the transition into your new chapter of life, and if you are having trouble knowing where to begin the search, we recommend doing the following:
Ask Friends and Family
Talk to your network to see if they know of anybody currently living in (or planning to move to) your new city. Even if that person isn’t looking for a roommate, it is helpful to know someone before you move as they can give you advice about where to live or places to visit—and they might even know of someone else in need of a roommate!
Use Your Alumni Network
Just as many universities attract students from around the country, they also typically have alumni networks that span around the world. While these networks are great for finding jobs, they can also be very helpful for finding roommates and connections in new cities.
Contact your school’s alumni office for information and tips about connecting with fellow graduates—social media is always a great tool to utilize as well. There may be Facebook groups for alumni of your university or organizations like fraternities, honorary societies, sports teams, and more that live in your city.
Utilize Your Community
If all else has failed, you can always resort to the tried-and-true method of asking around your community for potential roommates. Asking coworkers or other students you know is a great way to find roommates in similar jobs or educational backgrounds as yourself. You can also ask around or post on community bulletin boards in your religious institution, gym, or hobby groups to potentially find roommates with similar interests.
How to Be a Good Roommate
The work doesn’t end after finding someone to live with. Whether you are living with someone you know or a complete stranger, being a good roommate is a skill that takes communication and practice. For a smoother shared living experience, we suggest doing the following:
- Get to know the person you are living with: This may seem obvious, but getting to know the person you are sharing your space with is a must! Get to know their interests, preferences, hobbies, customs, and more so you can learn what to expect from them moving forward.
- Communicate: Properly communicating with your new roommate is vital for the long-term success of the relationship. If issues arise, sit down and talk with your roommate about the situation to reduce the chance of it happening again in the future.
- Set boundaries: Both you and your roommate should establish boundaries at the beginning of the lease so lines are not crossed down the road. Let your roommate know your preferences on guests, quiet hours, TV or bathroom usage times, and more, so the both of you can come up with a compromise that works for both parties.
- Share responsibilities: One roommate being stuck with the lion’s share of the chores is unfair and can lead to resentment and issues over time. Work out a list of responsibilities and find ways to split them evenly among everyone, whether that means establishing weekly tasks or rotating who does each chore monthly.
- Become familiar with their schedule: Work or school schedules may vary by person, so it is important to learn what your roommate’s weekly lineup looks like. If you work into the night and your roommate is an early riser, knowing each other’s schedule can help both of you respect the other’s needs and keep quiet while they sleep.
How to Deal with a Roommate Who is Inconsiderate
While there isn’t a perfect solution to dealing with a roommate that is inconsiderate, there are several things you can do to improve your situation. Communication is always key in relationships of this nature and setting boundaries and guidelines for living together is vital to ensuring all roommates are satisfied. Whenever issues arise, address them with your roommate while things are still fresh so resentment does not build and the action does not get repeated.
Roommate contracts are a good way to establish the ground rules of living together, as they set expectations and provide ground rules for how everyone in the household wants to be treated. They don’t have to be legally-binding documents, but roommate contracts can be good to bring up when disagreements arise, and adjustments can be made over time as needs change.
Get Self Storage to Simplify Your Move
Moving in with roommates can be a stressful process, especially when there is limited space to cohabitate in. If you need room to store duplicate appliances and furniture items or want to slowly move your belongings into your new living quarters, self storage can be a great way to ease the transition. Prime Storage has plenty of residential storage options at our locations across the country, giving you the space you need at affordable rates you’ll love. Find a Prime Storage location near you and rent your storage unit today!