I may have graduated college, but I’m still living the world of roommates and all that comes with it. When you’re dealing with shared living space and contrasting views on what “clean” really means, it’s easy to get on each other’s nerves. It’s important to keep a good relationship with your roomies so everyone feels happy and comfortable at home. After living with roommates for almost five years now, I’ve come up with ways to really bond with my makeshift family.
1. “Family” Dinner Night
The people you live with become your family. We have family dinner nights every now and then. Everyone contributes something to the meal and we sit around our tiny kitchen table to enjoy it together. It helps us catch up and go over anything that needs to be addressed as far as house rules and duties. Most of the time we just end up laughing our way through dinner.
2. Everyone Loves Cards
We play a lot of cards in our house. It’s a great way to get everyone out of their rooms (or “caves” as we call them) and hanging out with each other.
3. Pick a TV Show
We are fierce Jeopardy competitors in our household. If everyone is home from class in time you can bet that we’re watching Jeopardy together, shouting out the answers and keeping track of our points. Having something in common that we all look forward to makes for a happy home.
4. Gym Time
Do you and your roommates all work out? Carpool to the gym together and save money on gas.
5. Just Talk
Whether you’re living with super close friends or just friendly acquaintances, it’s important to talk to one another when issues arise. We have “family meetings” during which we bring up anything that is bothering us or issues that need to be sorted out.
6. Grocery Trips
Everyone needs to eat, so make it a weekly event to get groceries together. You can meal plan and see if there’s way to save money by sharing common kitchen staples like milk or bread. If you and a roommate both drink skim milk you’ll save some cash (and space in the fridge) by splitting a gallon versus each of you buying your own half-gallon.
7. Everybody Clean Up
A clean home is a happy home. Roommates that share cleaning responsibilities are happy roommates.
8. Music at Home
We just recently put speakers in our kitchen and there is always music playing in the house. Low music in the background, no matter what artist or genre, seems to make everyone happier when they walk through the door.
9. “Family” Outings
Just like a traditional family, my roommate family likes to go out and have fun together. We always go apple picking in the fall or to a movie every now and then.
10. Accept their Quirks
So maybe one of your roommates has really strange tastes in food and maybe you don’t agree with someone’s style of cleaning the living room. Accept it and learn from it. Living with roommates during college is one of the only times in your life you will live with people who you’re not related to or in a relationship with. Recognizing their quirks and understand that you probably have a few yourself will make you a better, happier person.
I currently have four roommates. All are boys. Yes, I may be a little crazy, but I actually enjoy having so many people to live with. We have a lot of fun but we sure do have our differences. We keep our household a happy one by doing many of the things on this list.
How do you spend time with your roommates?