By Daniela Johnson
Whether it’s your first time living with someone or your 10th, sharing your Chicago apartment with another person comes with challenges. Opposite schedules, cleaning habits, cooking preferences—these are just a few of the common reasons roommates can clash. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid these unwanted issues. Here are our tips for living with roommates in your Chicago apartment.
It may seem like a close friend would be the best choice for a roommate. That’s not always the reality, though. When you live with another person, you’ll likely be exposed to different aspects of their personality that you were unaware of previously. Maybe they’re secretly messy (or maybe you are, and their cleaning habits will get on your nerves). Similarly, you’ll be around this person a lot. Too much of anything can have negative consequences, and a friendship isn’t any different. If you do decide to go with a close friend as a roommate, be open and honest from the start as to what your expectations are.
Just like any relationship, communication is key to successful roommate rapport. Without it, problems are inevitable. Discussing things like cleaning habits and chores will help resolve potential issues before they’re an actual problem. Will you have a set cleaning schedule? Will each person have designated chores, or will you alternate? What really constitutes as “clean”? These are all questions you need to have as soon as you’re done unpacking your bags in your new digs. Starting off with a mutual agreement will set the tone for a happy living situation.
We’ve all heard the horror story of the “naked roommate.” To avoid any unwanted situations, it’s best to set clear boundaries with your new roomie. Be honest with what you’re comfortable with and what makes you tick. People can be extremely different when it comes to what they think is “normal” behavior. If boundaries aren’t clear-cut, people get offended, and problems are likely to arise.
Practice Patience and Empathy
It’s entirely possible that you could follow this advice and still run into some issues with your roommate. You’re both only human, after all, and nobody’s perfect. When living with another person, it’s essential that you practice patience. New living situations can be difficult adjustments for everyone involved, and it may take some time before you get into a routine that you’re both comfortable with. Try seeing things from their perspective if they do something that upsets you, and don’t take it personally. Patience and empathy will go a long way toward helping you feel happy with a roommate.