Lizzie Benson
January 11, 2016 9:30 am

It’s certainly no secret that living with other people isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. But roommates are, for many people, an inescapable part of twenty-something life. We’ve all heard horror stories about roommates and their crazy antics, whether it’s eating all your food, or stealing your stuff, or playing EDm at 3:30 on a Tuesday morning. But there are a few simple things you can do to keep from being that roommate— and hopefully staying on great terms with everyone in your household.

Communication is key

This is true for any good relationship, right? You need to be able to communicate effectively, especially if there is an issue. Conflict is never fun, but if your roomie is doing something that really bothers you, it’s better to just tell them straight up (in a calm and respectful manner) rather than letting it stew into resentment and passive aggressive behavior. Just talk it out.

Do your part

Clean up after yourself, because mom and dad aren’t around to do it anymore. Don’t leave dirty socks and empty takeout containers all over the living room. Wash your dishes promptly so they don’t pile up and don’t leave your laundry in the dryer for days on end. A good rule of thumb is to keep your stuff confined to your own room and not to let it pile up in shared spaces.

Share responsibilities

It isn’t fair if one person is doing all the cleaning in the apartment, and it will put a strain on your relationship real fast. If it helps, make a chore chart or switch up duties so that they’re equally shared among the housemates. Sit down together and decide when and how you’re going to split utility bills, who’s going to clean the bathrooms and who’s going to vacuum the carpets, and how often these things should be done.

Be a pal

Offer to cook dinner for everyone once in a while, or plan wine and Netflix nights once a week. Invite your roommates to do stuff and don’t exclude anyone. At the very least, your home life will be harmonious, and the best case scenario means you’ve made a few new friends!

Kindergarten rules apply

You know that poster in your classroom that said “Treat others how you want to be treated”? Yeah, this still applies in adulthood. Be nice to your roommates, extend them the courtesy of checking in before hosting a rager in the living room or borrowing a new top from their closet. Be kind, courteous, and a generally decent human, and you’ll be thick as thieves in no time.

Being a good roommate isn’t all that hard;it just comes down to accepting responsibilities and acting like an adult. Of course, knowing how to have a good time always helps too.

[Image via FOX]

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