From your first day in dorms to roommates in your 20s, living with strangers can be a nerve-wracking experience. Even if all you want is to live with your best friend, that’s not always an option and at one point in your life, you’ll be living with people you don’t know. Do some research and figure out how to put your best foot forward and make the most of the experience by following these ten tips!
1. Figure Out Your Schedules
When you first decide to live with someone you don’t know learning their schedule is super important. You need to know if they have to work nights, or need a super early shower before you can have friends over or make any kind of plans. Knowing when you and your roommates are around the house is important when living with strangers.
2. Set Up Your Ground Rules
This might seem like a no-brainer but a lot of people are scared to set rules right out the gate when living with strangers. Don’t be. Setting up a clear set of rules that everyone follows will prevent a lot of fights in the future and keeps everyone on the same page. Be open to discussion around your rules but also respect the boundaries set.
3. Set Your Cleaning Standards Early
No matter what you do at some point there will be a fight about how clean the kitchen is. It’s just a law of life. Make those fights less common by establishing a level of cleanliness early. If everyone knows the expectations they’re more likely to maintain a clean space.
4. Don’t Worry About Seeming Cool
When you first move in you might try and seem cool and aloof but remember these people are going to be around you 24/7, so they’ll figure you out sooner or later. Instead of focusing on impressing your new roommates just be yourself, it’ll make connecting with them a lot easier.
5. Find Activites To Do Together
When living with strangers it can be hard to bond. Make the extra effort and join them in activities they enjoy. A simple thing like going to a yoga class together can help break down the awkwardness. If your roommates are new to the area offer to show them around one weekend or take them to your favorite café. Little activities like these go a long way in building a relationship.
6. Rely On Their Support, And Support Them Back
Everyone has tough days when all they need is a friend. If you notice your roommate is down, make the effort to hear them out and support them. It can be hard being away from the people you would normally turn to so be sure to be those people for each other.
7. Be Open To Making New Friends
Beyond living with strangers, you’ll meet their friends. Make an effort to connect with these people, especially if you’re new to the area. Building up a network of new friends is an added benefit of new roommates.
8. Have Roommate Date Night
Whether it’s a TV show you watch together every week or a communal meal once a month, make time outside of your day to hang out with your roommates. Some weeks you might only see your roommate as you’re running out the door, so make time for each other to have real conversations and hang out.
9. If You Do Borrow Food…
Ideally, you would never have to borrow food, especially when you are living with strangers but at some point, you’ll probably have to. To avoid tension and drama always let your roommate know and replace what you borrowed.
10. Know They Might Not Be Your Bestie
Sometimes you live with someone and find out they’re your soul mate. Other times not so much. Whatever the case remember you have to live with that person day in and day out, so make an effort to get to know them and always be civil.