Living with roommates, can be a balancing act. Whether you’re living with your best friends or a person you met off the internet, sharing your living space with other people requires some effort.

For a mini-guide on how to peacefully cohabitate, read these 5 tips:

1. Communication is KEY!

You’re less likely to have any problems with your roommates if you are honest and upfront about everything from the start. Let them know your likes and dislikes, your everyday living pet peeves, or your views on having guests over right away. This way it’s easier for both of you to avoid doing something the other doesn’t like.

Discuss logistics and set up a standard for responsibilities like who cleans which parts of the apartment, which one of you gives the rent to your landlord, or how to split groceries.

If you’re living with a group of people, find a way to communicate—whether its over a group chat, a facebook message or an apartment bulletin board—that works for everyone!

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2. Clean up after yourself...and sometimes others

It’s always a good practice to clean up after yourself. This can lead to a more relaxed living environment, especially if you’re living with someone who can’t stand a mess.

Sometimes it can be a nice gesture to do a few of your roommate’s dishes, or offer to throw some of their clothes into a load of your laundry, but for the most part, you need to accept the reality that you must clean up after at least yourself. Period.

3. Pay your rent on time

This is an important one. If you’re late on rent, it can create a tense living situation, which is not fun for anyone! While living with roommates does help to cut down on living costs, you must make sure you’re financially stable enough to be able to afford your share before moving in together.

4. Be a good roommate!

Treat others the way you want to be treated. You learned it in kindergarten and it still applies now. Even if you have a roommate that you aren’t crazy about, it makes for a much nicer living situation to be kind to them.

5. Enjoy the experience!

Living with roommates can be a fun, rewarding and maturing experience. Whether you’re living with a group in post-secondary school or are a young professional saving on your costs, the time in your life when you live with roommates doesn’t last forever, so treasure it while you can!

Try not to sweat the small stuff and make the most of living with your roommates! Remember: communication is key, be responsible and simply be kind to one another.

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