Not going to lie, I’m struggling in the brainstorming process of how to introduce this “How To” post because all I can think about is the movie How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and how badly I want to be “Andie Anderson” and date Matthew McConaughey. I mean seriously, who wouldn’t want to be a journalist in NYC and date that beautiful man? Alright, alright, alright! Anyway, I digress. Today we’re going to talk about “How to be a good roommate” and how fortunate I have been to have the best ones EVER!
I decided to write this post, not because I think I am a good roommate, but because I have lived with people that are pretty much the epitome of a PERFECT roommate.
Basement Living Is The Life For Me
When I graduated high school in 2010 I decided to go to a local community college to save money and that is where I met Sami Mitton, my first and last roommate. I don’t know what it is about this woman, but there was some sort of gravitational pull between us and we immediately became best friends. Shortly after becoming best friends, without even discussion, we ended up living together. When I say “live together”, I use this as a loose term. We actually both lived at my parents house, in the basement, in my childhood bedroom, while sharing the same bed.
And when I said “shortly”, it was probably after a month of knowing one another…maybe even less. In the most unconventional manner, we had become roommates – we shared everything: a bed, food, clothes, cars, makeup, jewelry, massages, etc. And to your surprise, we did not argue once. We may have been sassy a time or two, but really, we were just two confused (and probably drunk) puppies at this time in our lives and the simplicity of living in one room together was the easiest thing I’ve ever done.
(Pictured below is the perfect picture to describe our relationship as roommates)
Looking back, I actually find it funny to call us ‘roommates’ at that point in our lives – we didn’t pay rent, we didn’t cook, we didn’t clean…we basically just sat in my room to laugh and sleep. But stay tuned because most of this post will be about our current living situations and how amazing it is to live with this woman.
Basement Life To Dorm Life
Fast forward to the next three years of my life and I got to live with my other bestie, Brianna Hobbs. (You may remember her from this post!) Before living with her, we were warned from numerous people that having your best friend as your roommate is not a good idea and that we will more than likely lose our friendship by the end of our living arrangements. Well, the stubbornness that we so graciously possess said, “Fuck that! I’m living with my best friend!”. And so we did.
We then moved into a tiny dorm room…a VERY TINY DORM ROOM!!!! Our living space was a WHOPPING 162.8 square feet. So, if there was ever a time for us to fail as ‘roommates’, this was the time. Fortunately, we survived and conquered the roommate situation and had no hesitation to sign on for two more years of living together; which we again, survived and conquered.
Look at those babies! So young and innocent – HA!
How To Be A Good Roommate
Now is the time for me to channel my inner Andie Anderson and write a good “How To” section so I can be published in Vogue. #GOALS
Like I said before, this post was inspired by these two ladies and not by my practice as a good roommate – unfortunately they put me to shame!
- Work hard at keeping things 50/50 as far as housework and expenses go
- I wrote this as the #1 aspect of being a good roommate because this is the easiest way to cause tension between one another, and it’s also the hardest to attain. If someone feels like they are doing everything around the house, they are going to become very impatient and irritable toward the other (and for good reason).
- Living with someone takes teamwork – and remember….
Teamwork makes the dream work!
- Willingness to pick up the slack when the other is busy
- Clean up after yourself
- I’ll be honest, this is my downfall. I’m known for leaving things where I last use them – coats, shoes, bags, empty glasses. Luckily as I’ve aged I’ve become more of a grownup and now clean up after myself a bit better 😉
- Give a heads-up when you plan on having people over
- Consistent roommate bonding (Whether that’s watching a movie together, making dinner, going shopping, walk around the neighborhood, etc.)
- When you’re headed to the store, ask your roomie if they need anything
- If there is a problem/tension, figure out a way to dissolve it as soon as possible – this process is different for each relationship, but figure out commonground on how to solve problems together.
- Suggestions: Talk it out, ask questions, give each other space, apologize (even if you didn’t do anything wrong)
- Express your do’s/dont’s and pet peeves before you even move in together
- Be familiar with each other’s schedules
- This one seems a bit odd, but it makes a huge difference. If I know my roommate has an early morning, I’ll make sure to be respectful of her sleeptime. If she won’t be home until late, I’ll make sure to have the outside lights on so she can see when walking to the door.
- Leave notes
- This is one of my favorite things about living with Nan and Sami – they randomly leave notes to let me know they will be home late, when they leave, wishing me luck, etc. If there is anything that makes me feel loved, it’s a note from my besties!
Lastly, just be nice!
Remember that you are friends first, and roommates second. Living with someone is hard, but if you’re nice and treat each other like friends, being a good roommate will sort of come naturally!
Although I’m writing this as if it’s a simple task to live with someone, I know and understand that it takes a lot of work (and effort on both ends) to live happily ever after! I also know and understand that some people just aren’t meant to live under one roof, and that’s okay. I hope you figure that out before signing the lease, though! But hey, eventually your roomie nightmare will be a good story to laugh about, right?!
Peace. Love. Matthew McConaughey.
XO The Welcome Woman.