11 Rules for Roommates

Ryan and I have had roommates on and off for the past dew years and I think we’ve come to the conclusion that there need to be rules to make things work smoothly. Here is what we’ve come up with…

  1. Cleaning should be done by every adult in the house. Those who work outside of the home should have lesser amount to do, and everyone should be expected to clean up after themselves. Write down a list of all the chores needed to be done daily, weekly, and monthly. Divide those chores up among the adults in whatever tier level you deem appropriate. Ryan doesn’t get as many chores as it’s quite impossible for him, working 12-17 hour days. Our roommate and I share the household chores since I work from home and she is home also. I do the dinners, she does the dishes. I do the vacuuming, she does the dusting. Everyone knows what they need to do and when they need to do it, so it’s no fuss.
  2. Don’t borrow without asking. Food, shave cream, candles (especially candles!) do not take or use unless you have asked and been told yes. Even simple things can make a great impact if you take without asking. Like that one time our old roommate borrowed an extension cord without telling us, Ryan and I were bickering at who lost it until we opened her door (to check for dirty dishes) and there it was. He nearly had to sleep on the couch for accusing me. Save relationships, don’t borrow without asking.
  3. Respect personal space. This is a huge one for me. No one should ever open my bedroom door unless there is either A) a pet of mine trapped inside B) you smell fire. I know I said in #2 I opened my previous roommates door but you have no idea. Finding out she left food on my dishes for 2 weeks in a hot room with a glass of milk, made it a mandatory weekly thing that I needed to check, because bugs. Normal roommates, we respect the personal space, promise.
  4. Be respectful when inviting guests over. Unless there’s an emergency ; no one needs to come over after 9:30pm without prior knowledge of the other roommate. I say emergency because this past weekend Ryan and I had to pick up his teenage sister from a sketchy situation and bring her back to our house at 11:oopm. Unless it’s something like that, then keep it respectful. This includes inviting guys over in the middle of the night, don’t do this. Ever.
  5. Don’t steal food! This one time, Ryan’s brother lived with us and I woke up and my midnight snack delivery leftovers were gone. Another time, Ryan’s lunch (from his lunch bag) was eaten. Doing this is a sure-fire way that your roommate will make your life hell for the next few days.
  6. Take care of your own pets. This is a big one for me. Most of you know I have a mini-zoo of pets, and I take care of them.. but when roommates bring pets into the situation and expect me to take care of them too because what’s another one it really ticks me off. If you have a cat, lets share litter duties. A dog? walk him yourself. Take care of your own pets and don’t rely or expect anyone else to take care of them for you.
  7. Ask if anyone needs to tinkle before you shower. Ryan has IBS and I have a nervous bladder – please ask if anyone needs to use the washroom before you shower, exfoliate, shave and do a hair mask. Please. Or else you bet i’ll be knocking on the door…
  8. Is smoking allowed? How about 4/20 smoking? Drinking? Make sure you discuss this before you move in together. I’m allergic to tobacco so I needed a roommate that didn’t smoke, period. I also needed them to know that their guests can go outside and that other types of smoking weren’t allowed either. I occasionally like a glass of a wine but I’d rather not have to pick up my drunk roommate off the kitchen floor. Balance.
  9. Replace. Replace the toilet paper roll, bag of milk, water in the Brita filter, shampoo, swiffer pad, hand soap. These are all things that take less than a minute to do, but can seriously put a damper on the next persons day.
  10. Communal things. Who washes the bath mat? Who gives the pets water? Who replaces the dish cloth? Essentially for us, if you’re doing laundry – go check on those washable items. If you see it needs to be changed, do it. If you see the pets need water when you walk by it, give them water. We change our dish cloth and kitchen towel daily, and whoever is in the kitchen last at night and turns off the light, is the one to take it and put it in their laundry basket.
  11. Decor. Don’t put decor up, move furniture or change anything of the sort without asking the opinion of your roommates. You may just drive them crazy.

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