The lockdown has taught us that it does matter who you’re sharing a space with. For those who work remotely, being locked in the apartment with a few other roommates might seem a nightmare. How is it even possible to concentrate on the work tasks if there’s someone constantly distracting you by discussing recent news or wandering around with “what should we cook for dinner” mode on?
Despite the challenges you might encounter, especially at this time, living with a roommate shouldn’t stress you out. It’s probably one of the most financially convenient ways to rent a place in a decent area without going broke in the long run. As the average American spends up to 30% of their monthly income on rent, having a roommate can significantly reduce the housing expenses. This refers not only to students and unmarried couples- statistics show that in 2018 almost 1% of married tenants shared a household with roommates so that they could spend less on rent.
Due to the stay-at-home orders that are still in place in many areas, most tenants have had to find ways to get along with their housemates while on lockdown.
We’ve gathered some tips on how to maintain a good relationship with your roommates if you happen to be stuck at home for a while:
Practice clear communication.
Clear communication helps to reach a consensus in most cases. To better interact with roommates during the lockdown, discuss everyone’s daily routines and work hours so that you know when it’s a bad time to show up in the background of your roommate’s Zoom meeting dressed in your favorite pajamas.
We all know that it’s easy to lose track of time and maintain work-life balance when working at home. To be more productive throughout the day, define “quiet hours” on weekdays. By practicing that, you will get more sleep at night and won’t fall into the trap of short naps that can accidentally last for hours.
As the old saying goes, “Sharing is caring.” And sharing responsibilities with your roommates is also a form of caring: Having a weekly cleaning schedule and a checklist will help you better plan your week ahead and optimize your daily to-do list.
You can even build a roommate agreement and divide the responsibilities to tackle household chores.
Divide work and chill zones.
It’s important to have a separate working space and resting areas. If you have a large living room, rearrange your communal space so it will be comfortable for everyone to spend time together and enjoy common activities. But sleeping areas should obviously provide enough privacy for every resident.
Resolve maintenance issues immediately.
Don’t postpone home repairs or hope that your roommate will eventually resolve the problem. Instead, try to fix the issue by yourself or reach out to your landlord if you’re unsure you can handle the repair.
Unresolved maintenance problems in a shared household often lead to conflicts and result in a tense atmosphere among the roommates. You probably don’t want that to happen in your rental.
Spend time together on weekends.
If you’re staying at home during the weekends, organize common activities with your roommates. Cooking together or playing board games is a great way to mingle. There’s also a chance to finally set up a movie night with homemade popcorn.
In any case, make sure you create a balanced routine of time spent alone and together with your housemates.
Are there any other tips you’d like to share? Is it difficult for you to remain friends with your roommates or can you hardly deal with them during the lockdown?