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Living with Roommates
Living with roommates can be a great experience, but it can also be challenging. Whether you live with one roommate or six, it's tough to avoid conflicts over living arrangements. Food, cleaning, bills—it's important to communicate with your roommates in order to keep the peace.
Here are some tips to consider that might help you avoid conflicts:
- Buy your own food and label it with your name.
- Assign cabinets, shelves or drawers so everyone has their own space to keep their food.
- Ask first if you're going to eat your roommates' food.
Rent and Bills
- Designate one responsible person to have their name on each bill. Other roommates can then pay him or her each month.
- Keep a ledger with bill totals and who paid what when. That way, if someone is forgetful, you'll have a record of payments.
- If your roommates are UW Credit Union members, set up a Money Link each time you need to pay each other.
- Create a communal chore chart. Assign regular chores—like taking out the garbage—to one person for one month. Rotate assignments each month.
- Everyone should wash their own dishes. It may be the one exception to the communal responsibility rule mentioned above.
- Schedule one day out of the month for everyone to get together to clean all shared areas in your apartment—including bathrooms, vacuuming, kitchen, etc. If everyone pitches in, it will get done faster.
- Discuss throwing parties, having pets and loud music. Make sure you consider everyone's input before you decide to throw a party or bring home a pet.
Make sure you're in agreement with your roommates about living arrangements before you sign a lease. Most importantly, if you're experiencing a problem with your roommate, talk to them about it. Most likely, they probably don't realize their behavior is bothering you until you mention it. It's really not worth losing a friend over some dirty dishes.
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