How to Live with Roommates (Minus the Drama) | Seersucker Sass

Monday, August 18, 2014

How to Live with Roommates (Minus the Drama)

I lived with roommates my sophomore, junior, and senior years of college.  If I told you it was all a walk in the park, I would be telling a huge lie.  If you're anything like me, sharing space is not an easy thing to do.  With college about to start back up, I thought it would be good timing to share with y'all some things that I have found make having a roommate a pleasant experience!

1. Clean up after yourself.  When sharing space with others, it is only polite.  (Especially if there are limited dishes & silverware!)  Roommates are not maids.  If you eat something, wash your dish and load it into the dishwasher.  If you spill something, wipe it up.  If you use the last of the toilet paper, replace the roll.  (And just remember, when tensions get high, no one can freak out on you for not cleaning up after yourself!)

2. Set rules.  I get it - you just moved away from home, and you're in college now so rules are lame.  However, knowing up front what behavior is and isn't acceptable up front makes life much easier and prevents a lot of drama.  Decide on how late guests should be allowed over, what the protocol is if a boy comes over, who is in charge of what chores, rules for borrowing clothing, etc.  We all have our quirks, and expressing things we're a little psycho about (for me, it's a clean kitchen) will save lots of headaches.  I promise, it will make things easier.   (And if one of your roommates turns out to be a lunatic, being able to show that you all agreed upon a list of rules and said roommate continues to break them will help you have her removed.)

3. Don't take advantage of others' supplies.  Sometimes it makes more sense to grab someone else's dryer sheet than to run to the store and by more before throwing your clothes into the dryer.  But consistently using someone else's "supplies" is unfair.  (I once heard someone say that it was okay to use a roommate's detergent because the roommate's parents had paid for it… Flawed logic.  Don't do it.)  Shared supplies are another great time when a schedule or some cutesy dry erase board come in handy.  If someone is consistently having to buy all of the supplies, eventually there will be a disagreement about it.  And quite frankly, it's not right to expect on person to do all of that.

4. Be respectful.  This rule is mostly just to reiterate the first three rules.  Be respectful of your roommates and their space.  Be respectful of shared space. If your roommate is in the living room studying, don't sit there and watch music videos without your headphones in.  If you always watch Pretty Little Liars as a group, don't bring your boyfriend over to lay on the couch and watch movies at 8 pm on a Tuesday night.  It all goes back to The Golden Rule - treat others the way that you wish to be treated.

5. Be open.  If someone you live with has pissed you off, politely say something to them.  If you feel uncomfortable being that bold about it, try writing them a note (still politely.)  It's easier to say something and resolve the situation than pout around like a child.

I hope that these tips will make living with a roommate much smoother!


  1. These are perfect! The source of tension in my apartment last year stemmed from arguments about dishes. There were always a TON of dirty dishes taking over the sink, and no one would claim them. Arrrrgghh. Why let something so lame as dirty dishes ruin a great year?

    Hopefully all of your readers take these tips to heart- it'll save them from lots of headaches!

    From Metro Cards to Meal Plans: a College Lifestyle Blog

    1. It's amazing how one thing can just set everyone off! Hopefully you are in a less tense living arrangement this year :) Xx

  2. These are all great tips! I would also recommend not living with your closest friends unless you are 100% sure any roommate fights won't turn into big fights. My two friends and I lived together last year and while one of our relationships remained strong, another didn't just because we were completely different on the way we lived and acted around other people. Obviously more things came about ending the friendship, but it's seriously an important thing to consider when moving in with friends - Can our relationship survive this? Great post!

    Michaela || The Monogrammed Midwesterner

  3. Definitely agree with all of these tips. I got lucky and had a great roommate freshman year and we stayed together all throughout college. I think planning a weekly roomie date where you do something fun together is a great bonding experience too!

  4. This is so helpful! Although the dynamics of every set of roommates will be different, there are definitely some basics that help everyone get along, no matter what personality types are in the mix.

    Sweet Spontaneity

  5. What a great post! Thanks for the helpful advice! ;)

    God bless,
    XO, Claire