Congratulations! You’re finally moving in with someone special – either a spouse, best friend, family member or other roommates. Can you not wait for sharing the groceries, hanging out every night, and having someone there to help you around the house? Living independently has its perks, but there’s nothing like moving in with someone new for the first time. And while you’re both probably incredibly excited, there are some things to consider before you start sharing space. First-time roommates should prepare themselves for these common discrepancies and changes that you just don’t experience when living alone:
- You need to decide who does which chores. Don’t think you and your roommate will always clean up after yourselves and naturally finish all the chores without some sort of system. If you and they don’t know your respective responsibilities, it’s likely nothing will ever get done until one of you can’t stand the mess. Most people, like it or not, have different expectations on what constitutes “cleanliness” around the house.
- Deciding on household guest rules. If you and your roommate like having people over, you need to decide when it’s ok to have company and when you both need quiet time. This is not only a matter of respect, but avoids the issue of you both inviting company on the same night. At the bare minimum, always ask before you invite friends or family over.
- How close is too close? Setting boundaries is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with your roommate. Some people need a lot of space and time alone, while others are o.k. with spending every moment with you. Is it fine for your roommate and you to share clothes? Share an office space? What are your personal boundaries, and how much alone time do you think you need? Communicate these needs to your roommate before you move in together.
- Routine overlaps. it’s likely you’ll be sharing a majority of the space in your new home. Some activities, like cooking, showers, T.V. time and laundry may overlap with your roommate’s schedule. If your roommate is a morning person, but you stay up all night you will need to make some compromises when living together. Make sure you communicate when you’ll be using shared resources to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes.
- An empty pantry… Be warned, every roommate steals food. it’s there, and if you don’t eat it soon enough your roommate surely will. If you’ve decided to not split your groceries, let your roommate know that you’d like them to not eat your essentials or anything you have plans to cook. Otherwise, leftovers and snack foods are free game in the fridge.
If you communicate clearly with your roommate, you shouldn’t have any problems. If you do, you’ll likely run into them within the first few weeks. Remember that you chose this person for a reason, and any discrepancy you have can be solved with cooperation and honest communication.
Looking for more moving tips? Check out the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Panama City Pinterest page!