Advertising
Advertising

10 Things to Avoid If You Want to Be a Good Roommate

10 Things to Avoid If You Want to Be a Good Roommate

Americans are choosing live with roommates more than ever. The money saving benefits are one of the main reasons so many choose to live with roommates. A noticeable increase in community living situations has taken place in the last decade. About 32% of Americans currently live in a roommate living situation.

Upon entering adulthood I have already lived in eight different homes, all with roommates. I lived with close friends, new acquaintances, siblings, and other family members over the years. The following list of less than ideal “roommate quirks” are common among living scenarios with many people. Maybe you’re already guilty of some of these things? Regardless, it’s important to avoid these annoying lifestyle habits. These roommate dynamics can be a breaking point for many people.

1. Stop leaving your laundry unfinished.

I’ve lived in homes that don’t have a washer and dryer, so I have a huge appreciation for this commonly overlooked convenience. Spending unwanted hours in dingy, crowded laundromats is no fun at all. It seems like a common courtesy but it’s easy to put off your laundry when you’re in the middle of a busy day. Follow through with it and complete your laundry in a respectful time frame. Treasure the fact you have a working washer and dryer, and finish what you’ve started.

Laundry

    via Giphy

    Advertising

    2. Poor communication usually leads to frustration.

    The barriers of ineffective communication are sometimes hard to break down. Everyone needs to be on the same page, and there has to be a clear cut way to easily get into contact. We live in a world where everyone has cell phones, so utilize that and actually respond to those you live with. Group texts are great because they keep everyone informed and centralize important conversations. In the tech-friendly world we live in, no one has to be left in the dark. But more than anything, make sure what you are communicating is purposeful; stop just talking and start actually communicating!

    3. Casually sampling their food is not okay.

    Quite possibly the most annoying part of living with someone is when they take advantage of your tasty leftovers or casually eat their way through your weekly grocery supply. Roommates are not parental figures (typically) and they don’t want to provide for your lazy ass. Buy your own food, cook your own meals, tie your own shoes, and tread lightly if you absolutely feel the need to be a leftover rogue. It’s only a matter of time before you get caught in the act.

    ponyo gif

      via Bookbyte Blog

      4. Forgetting to pay your bills on time is stressful for everyone.

      Bills are very commonly split among roommates, which in essence makes the process more convenient for everyone. However, the last thing you want is for your roomies to have to pry the money you owe them out of your hands. Keep in mind that if the electric bill is in your roommate’s name and you pay them your portion late, they’ll more than likely have to front the money for you. As in my past experiences, this puts you in a bad spot.

      Advertising

      5. Messy public areas are irritating.

      I’ll admit it, my bedroom isn’t always the cleanest place and neither is my car sometimes. One thing’s for sure though: the public areas around my house are. Places like the kitchen, bathroom, and even porches and closets can spiral into unorganized chaos. Don’t leave food remnants on your kitchen counters or other areas of your home. Do you want to attract mice and rats and catch the hantavirus?! Didn’t think so. Communicate to your roommates that it’s ideal to have some form of system in place to avoid recurring messes.

      garbage house

        via Huffington Post

        6. Make battles over the thermostat a thing of the past.

        This is a timeless argument. One roommate prefers to live in a freezing cave and the other pinches every penny and refuses to turn the AC on when it’s the middle of July. Discuss the situation, and come to a compromise. It’s literally that simple.

        7. Don’t neglect cleaning the refrigerator.

        I once had an incident in a fridge at a house that I shared with four other people. It involved what I would consider a bag of primordial ooze that I believe was kale at one point in time. When food gets so moldy it’s radiating a toxic scent, it’s definitely time to throw that stuff away and clean out your disgusting refrigerator. It’s amazing how that unknown putrid smell is instantly gone once your fridge is clean and sanitized. You should never have to be afraid of what’s lingering inside the vegetable crisper.

        Advertising

        catfridge

          via Giphy

          8. Clean the kitchen items everyone shares.

          The kitchen could be the most high-traffic area in your home, especially when you live with people who all cook and eat on different schedules. This can often times lead to bitter feelings tied to finding your prized frying pan covered in bacon grease from three days ago. I’ve seen knives dulled and dishes so dirty that it’s debatable whether they’ll actually ever be clean enough to eat off again. Have you experienced someone who makes pillars out of dirty plates, or collects cups in their room like they are hosting some type of filth museum? Not okay!

          9. For the love of dog, take care of your pets.

          This one should go without saying but it’s astounding that people often times forget about basic levels of care associated with owning a pet. Whether a cat, dog, or chinchilla, routine care like providing fresh food and water daily can get pushed to the back-burner. Just like small children, animals sometimes defecate inside homes. Remember to always clean that crap up—literally.

          On that note, litter boxes can be treacherous territory with the potential to stink up an entire house. If you live with a pregnant roomie, excessively dirty litter boxes can cause birth defects in newborns. You don’t want to live with that guilt. So clean up after kitty, they’d do it themselves if only they had opposable thumbs.

          Advertising

          dogmixer

            via io9

            10. It’s simple: don’t be a mooch.

            It may seem like it’s easier to be the person who never buys toilet paper, or slyly uses someone else’s laundry detergent like some evil cleaning supply bandit. But ask yourself: do you really want to be the source of a constant headache? Contribute equally and don’t burn bridges. Oftentimes people take a slightly passive aggressive stance with these issues. This is unfortunate and can lead to the whole ordeal getting blown out of proportion. Easy solution: buy your own stuff and don’t be a mooch!

            Have you had a terrible roommate and learned by their mistakes? Post your advice in the comments section below.

            Featured photo credit: neighbor game night by ramsey beyer via flickr.com

            More by this author

            Robert Parmer

            Freelance Writer

            There’s No Perfect Family, but a Happy Family Doesn’t Need to Be Perfect The One Technique You Need to Turn Boring Writing into Compelling Words Overcoming Seasonal Depression Through Outdoor Activities How Students Can Combat Stress, Depression, and Anxiety [TIMELY TOPIC] Helpful Halloween Safety Tips for Everyone

            Trending in Communication

            110 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks 2When You Start to Enjoy Being Single, These 12 Things Will Happen 321 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work 4The Skill That Most People Don’t Have: Active Listening 518 Signs You’ve Found Your Soulmate

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising

            Last Updated on August 16, 2018

            10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

            10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

            The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

            In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

            Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

            1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

            What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

            Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

            2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

            Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

            Advertising

            How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

            Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

            Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

            3. Get comfortable with discomfort

            One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

            Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

            4. See failure as a teacher

            Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

            Advertising

            Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

            Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

            10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

            5. Take baby steps

            Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

            Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

            Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

            Advertising

            The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

            6. Hang out with risk takers

            There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

            Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

            7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

            Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

            Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

            8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

            What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

            Advertising

            9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

            Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

            If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

            10. Focus on the fun

            Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Read Next