Handling issues with your roommates can be tough. It’s never fun to have to confront someone, especially when that someone is a person who shares your living space. However, most issues can be resolved with simple changes, polite conversations, and minimal awkwardness.
These are some of our best tips for resolving roommate conflicts.
Create a shared chore chart.
One of the most common issues among roommates involves cleanliness. Everyone is different and has different preferences about how they like to keep their home. Some people are total neat freaks while others are a little more laid-back.
No matter how you like to keep the house, a chore chart is the easiest way to avoid conflict in this area. You can download a free, printable chore chart from The Spruce Crafts. A chore chart will help you divide up the daily and weekly cleaning tasks among the roommates.
Establish the rules of the fridge.
Are you a share-the-milk person or get-your-own-groceries person? It’s important to set these boundaries as soon as you move into a new apartment. Don’t become the person that starts labeling their food passive aggressively in the night.
If someone’s drinking your milk and you’re not a fan of it, just ask them politely not to do it. Direct communication is always the best way to handle a conflict one, especially because your roommate may not even realize it is a conflict. They might expect you to drink out of their milk next time around.
Get to know each other.
A lot of these issues can be completely avoided altogether when you take the time to get to know your roommate. It’s a lot harder to get annoyed at your roommate when you consider yourselves friends. Take some to do things together — like these fun activities specifically for staying home with your roommates.
Be respectful of each other.
Not to sound like your second grade teachers, but always treat others like you want to be treated. Don’t bring over a lot of guests without consulting your roommate. You have every right to bring over a study group or have a drink on Friday night, but it’s their space too. Be sure to check with one another before doing something that might infringe on their comfort.
Learn to adapt.
Most people don’t like noise that disrupts their sleep or their work. It’s important that you understand and try to limit your own noise so you do not disturb your roommates.
If you value a quiet environment, it might be good to get a pair of noise canceling headphones for occasional loudness. If your roommates are consistently being too loud, have a conversation about it with them and brainstorm solutions.
The best answer for most tough issues with your roommate is to just address the problem directly. Always be polite and understanding with your roommate. And if that doesn’t work it might be best to just find a new roommate.
Luckily for you, if you live in a Tripalink co-living apartment, they offer roommate-matching services, so you don’t have to stress over major differences. They make sure that you’re matched with someone who has a similar personality type, and if the match doesn’t work out for some reason, they can transfer you.