Roommate Manners

Working out a peaceful coexistence.

Trent Armstrong
6-minute read
Episode #87

If you have ever thought you need more conflict in your life, I have an answer to your problem: get a roommate. However, if you already have a roommate, you might be looking for stress relief and for that, you have come to the right place.

We can all dream, but not every roommate is going to be easy to live with. There are usually two types of roommates in most situations. The first is the person who is always stressed about the noise and the mess. The second is the one who is frustrated about the tension from the first person being stressed out all the time. I think there are some things that both parties should consider to relieve the stress and frustration. Let's take a look from both points of view since the best roommate is the one who is nice to live with and not the cause of homicidal thoughts.

Common Areas

Most apartments have some kind of area that is shared between all parties. That is the area that first greets you when you arrive home. That is the first area your mom or your girlfriend or boyfriend sees when they enter your place. It's important to understand that a messy common area can create lots of stress for the roommate with the Type A personality. It doesn't really matter which roommate you are; it's important to keep your eye out for anything that should be picked up, like empty drink cans, food wrappers, clothes, and other personal effects.

It's also important for the Type A roommate to extend a little grace. Not everyone will be as neat as you want them to be. If things start to get out of hand, try a simple comment like, "Hey, it kind of grosses me out to have things all over the place in here. Would you put your stuff away when you are done for the night?"

For the person who is actually leaving their stuff everywhere, be sensitive to the fact that not everyone holds to your sensibilities. Always be looking to make things better. Check around for your stuff in the common area and make sure you put things away when you have the chance. Leaving food and drink sitting around will attract bugs (or worse), and they will be traceable back to you, so be careful. And no one is interested in moving your clothes or shoes out of the way when they want to sit on the couch.

Now, your room is your room and no one should really be able to tell you how to keep your room, but it is necessary to prevent the contents of your room from spilling into the hall and causing issues for others. Smell is another potential issue. If your bad smell drifts into the common living space, that’s not good. The bottom line is that you can be as messy as you want in your own personal space, but just take care of your room so that no one realizes what lurks behind the door.

Keep the Kitchen Clean

As for the kitchen, it is best to work out an agreement as early as possible and stick to it.