5 Common Roommate Problems and How To Deal with Them
Whether you’re sharing a house or an apartment, living with some strangers is very likely to cause some problems. Most of the time, these problems are simply misunderstandings and lack of communication. Differences in the standard of cleanliness, sleep habits, and personal boundaries can trigger plenty of conflicts and tension between roommates. To help you out, we’ve gathered some of the common roommate problems, along with advice on how to deal with them.
1. The Messy Roommates
Everyone has a different perspective of cleanliness, and sometimes those perspectives don’t align. You may feel that your roommate doesn’t care enough about keeping a neat room. You may get irritated if one of your roommates let the dishes pile up for days or forgot to take out the trash, but everyone can be messy sometimes, and it’s understandable.
How to deal:
A sloppy roommate can be a pain in the ass, but it’s easy to fix if you do it right. It’s best to step up and talk to them about it calmly instead of letting the problem go on. There are dozens of ways to speak to your roommates and let them know about your thoughts. Have a simple conversation about a weekly chore schedule. For example, “Hey, let’s clean our place this weekend! I’ll do the bathroom, and you’ll do the kitchen?”. A weekly cleaning schedule is one of the easiest and effective ways to keep your house clean regularly. If the issue gets to be more serious, try not to solve it with text, email, or especially SUBTWEETING. People tend to get overly mean when they don’t have to deal with their roommate face-to-face.
2. The Borrower Roommates
Another common roommate problem you might face once you start co-living is having a roommate who takes or borrow your stuff without asking. It’s never okay to borrow your roommate’s jeans without permission, nor is it okay for them to borrow your stuff. Sure, it’s irritating to come home from work and find out that your leftover pizza has gone or saw your roommate wearing your favorite sweatpants without asking first. Disrespecting each other’s privacy and belongings can cause significant friction between roommates.
How to deal:
It’s best to set boundaries with your roommates. Make sure to define precisely which stuff is common property and which one is personal stuff that can be used only with permission. Make sure your roommate is on the same page about personal belongings. Don’t forget to always ask before using anything that belongs to your roommates and also when you are entering their bedroom. If your roommate isn’t respecting your stuff, then talk and tell them that you’re not okay with it and remind them to ask first. If they repeatedly go through your belongings without asking, you may want to consider having a more serious conversation with your landlords or resident adviser.
3. The “Third Roommates”
Yes, for some people, it’s fun to have multiple roommates. But, you might feel infuriating when your roommates’ significant other or friend always hang out at your place all the time. It’s not okay to let your friends in 24/7, so often that they become the unofficial roommates. This type of roommates can be frustrating, especially when they don’t contribute to the household bills or leaving dirty dishes.
How to deal:
Communication is critical to deal with roommate problems. You’ll be amazed at how useful one conversation is on fixing the problem. Tell your roommates that you’re not okay with the constant companion at your place. Tell them that you didn’t sign up for this type of roommates. Make some agreements or contracts about basic roommate rules and discuss them with your roommates. Discuss how many nights in a row a guest can stay over. Look at each other schedules and find days or times where it’s acceptable to have friends or guests. For example, it’s okay to throw a party on the weekend or no guest on the night before the exam.
4. The Noisy Roommates
One of the biggest problems of living with roomies is having noisy roommates. From blasting their playlist at 1 AM to throwing a massive party on a Wednesday night, this problem could be frustrating. You couldn’t sleep or concentrate on your studies whatsoever. In many ways, loud noise can be akin to an invasion of personal space and lead to unwanted conflicts.
How to deal:
The last thing you want is for you or your roomies to overreact and blow up at each other about simple issues, such as loud noises. Don’t wait too long to speak up about things that bother you. But don’t confront them at the exact time when your roomies are too loud. Yes, it’s confusing, but it’s best to face them once you cool off from your anger. You can also discuss and compromise with each other about the ground rules such as loud music are allowed until 10 pm, no slamming cupboards in the morning, no loud television, and so on.
5. The Roommates with Bad Personal Hygiene
Everyone gets bad breath or bad body odor occasionally, and it’s a normal thing. Maybe your standard of personal hygiene is a little bit different than theirs. But if their B.O. problem gets more severe and reaches the point where you are feeling uncomfortable with it, then you have to talk to them. You may feel bringing this particular issue up to your roommate may be offensive in some way, but it’s essential to let them know how you think since you’re living in a shared place.
How to deal:
You can try to approach them by giving a gift basket filled with personal hygiene products such as shampoo, scented soaps, bath bombs, herbal detergent, or deodorants. Maybe they’ll get the hints. If it doesn’t work, you may want to consider telling them the truth. You can also ask your roomie and make sure that they are aware of the issue. If they are aware of the problem, then talk calmly and try to listen.
Same as finding a perfect apartment, finding ideal roommates is almost impossible. Living with a roommate means you have to compromise and communicate with each other. You’ll be surprised how much a conversation can fix.
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