Living on Your Own (Kind Of)

Living on Your Own (Kind Of)

Living on your own doesn’t necessarily mean living alone. Check out our tips for happy roommate relationships.


Ah, the sweet freedom of living on your own. Staying up late, sleeping in late, doing lots of things late – that’s the dream, right?

So what about when the reality of living doesn’t match the dream? What about when living on your own doesn’t actually mean on your own – because you’re hunkered down with a roommate or four?

Learning to live with other adults who have different tastes, preferences and opinions can come with a few bumps along the way. Here we run down our six favorite tips for keeping your roommate relationship in the happy zone.

1. Watch the Clock
Yes, you can come and go as you please without permission, but if you’re planning to be out late or up early, be respectful of the people you live with – keep the noise and lights down.

2. Make a Schedule
Five roommates, one bathroom? Making a schedule with your roommates for shared resources can make the morning routine easier on everyone. You may need to get up a half hour earlier to squeeze in some shower time, but it’s better than showing up to work in a hat to hide your bedhead. And on the days when schedules clash? Pantene dry shampoo, FTW.

3. Balance the Bills
You’ll all be handling your own rent, but for the things you share – like cable, Internet access, water and electric – consider splitting up whose name is on which bill. When they come due, the person in charge is responsible for dividing the cost and collecting from each roommate. If you each have your name on something, you’ll all feel more inclined to pay each other what is owed.

4. Shop Together
Shopping for one can leave you with a lot of waste, so it may make sense to go to the grocery store together and divide when you get home. When it comes to household purchases, some things are purely solo pursuits – like your Secret deodorant and Crest toothpaste – but other household purchases can be made together from a group fund. Things like Tide, Dawn, Charmin toilet paper and Bounty paper towels are typically community items, so it only makes sense to pay for them that way.

5. Keep It Clean
It’s number five on this list but probably number one in priority: Pick up after yourself. Nothing ruins a roommate relationship faster than seeing each other’s stuff lying around everywhere. You can probably get away with having a less-than-tidy bedroom, but don’t leave dirty dishes, clothes, shoes or other personal property in the common areas. Bonus? If you take care of yours, your roommates are more likely to notice they need to pick up after themselves, too.

6. Have Roommate Dinners
Even though you live under the same roof, it can be hard to actually spend time together thanks to the balance of school, work, your social life and trips home to see the fam. To make time, schedule a roommate dinner where you cook and eat as a group and catch up on what’s new in each others’ lives. When it's time to clean up, Cascade Platinum ActionPacs can help you make quick work of the dishes.

Living with others can be difficult, but also awesome (hello – multiple closets), so be a good roommate. You just might forge some lifelong friendships while you’re at it.

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