"My roommates are oh so perfect!" said no renter ever. Your soon-to-be roomies will annoy, disappoint, or even freak you out at times. But on other times, they’ll also make you laugh so hard, keep you sane, or brighten your day.
That's how it is when you start living out of your comfort zone in a shared space like a condo. You all come from different backgrounds, so personalities are bound to clash every now and then.
But then no one can deny how important having a roommate is, especially if you're trying to save money on rental fees and utility bills. If you'll live in a room for rent in a prime area like Mandaluyong or Makati, splitting monthly rental payments with roommates is a good cost-saving idea.
Is this your first time to live in a shared space? So you can all live in peace and harmony, here are 12 tips to remember before you move in with your new roommates.
Know each other's quirks from the get-go
There's a little bit of "New Girl’s” Jess Day (a.k.a quirk) in everyone—yourself and your future roomies included. This weirdness may be adorable to some but irritating to others.
Manage each other's expectations. On day 1 of your life together as roommates, or even before you move in, let each other know about your quirks to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Agree on household rules with your roommates
"Life is short, so break some rules" may be your mantra as a carefree, laidback millennial. But when you start sharing condo space with somebody, you'll realize just how important having house rules is.
Sit down with your roommates to discuss how you'll go about sharing the chores (like who will clean what parts of the condo space and when), how long and how often a significant other can stay in, and other things that matter to all.
Make sure everyone (or at least majority) benefits from the agreement and that you're all on the same page. You'll be saving yourselves from major misunderstandings that way.
Save each other's contact info
Early on, exchange contact numbers (as well as your family's) so that when something happens to you or one of your roommates, you know who to call.
Bring an eye mask, just in case
Lights on or lights off? If you can sleep better in the dark but your roommate gets terrified in pitch darkness at night, a good compromise is to just let the lights on while you sleep with an eye mask on. It also comes in handy for when you want to sleep early but your freelancer roommate pulls an all-nighter to work.
Pack earplugs, too
Having a snoring machine for a roommate is nothing short of miserable. Protect yourself from a possible nighttime disaster—arm yourself with earplugs. Have them in your roommate survival kit.
Discuss which stuff you can share with each other
Some roommates think you're cool with them using your speaker while you're away or eating your leftover pizza that's been lingering in the fridge for days.
What to do with a roommate who often takes your stuff when you aren't around? Talk directly to the person to let him or her know that the behavior is bothering you.
Tell your roommates which of your things are okay to share and which ones are not. Ask them also which of their things you can use even when they aren't home.
No need to hang out all the time in the condo
Yes, you're sharing space as roommates renting a condo. But that doesn't mean you guys can't enjoy your respective personal space. It's all right to do your own stuff in peace in the same room.
But you can also be a shoulder to cry on
Is your roommate going through a rough patch? Depending on how comfortable you are with each other's presence, it's perfectly fine to give a warm hug or spend time listening to her rants over a mug of coffee.
Have an issue with your roommate? Deal with it like an adult
Got a problem with a roommate? Cryptic Facebook and Twitter posts, sticky notes on the fridge door, and other passive-aggressive moves won't solve it. Tell it straight to the person right away. Bottling up your anger will just build up resentment and lead to a huge, nasty fight someday.
If it's just a small stuff, don't sweat it! Your roommate isn't perfect, and so are you. Learn to let go.
Remind your roommates to never forget their house keys
It happens—you or one of your roommates forget the keys and get locked out. It can be really troublesome when it happens late at night when everyone's sleeping. Discuss among your roomies what you'll do when someone forgets the keys.
Go easy on the pranks
Nothing wrong with pulling a prank on a roommate. Once in a while, it adds fun to condo living. But make sure the setup is completely free from harm. You don't want your prank to end up with a roommate slipping on the floor and hitting his or her head on a sharp corner, right?
Share the chores fairly
You and your roomies may have all household responsibilities sorted out, but there will always be that one roommate who'd consistently fail to do his or her fair share of the work. If dividing the home cleaning tasks already takes effort, consider hiring a cleaning service—that is, if everyone is okay with splitting the cost.
Sharing space with roommates can be a great or bad experience. But you can make condo living more pleasant for you by knowing how to deal with them before, during, and after you've moved into your shared space.