Thursday, August 26, 2010

Roommate Etiquette

Every single person is different, particularly when it comes to living situations.  All of you Nesters have your own habits and also your own pet peeves. Some people are communal livers and some people are loners. {I am of the latter breed.} But no matter what sect of liver you belong to, there are some ground rules for living with roommates...

  1. Computers are off limits.  In this day and age of lives being lived via the interwebs, computers are very personal things. They are expensive if dropped, or spilled upon {Let alone getting a virus! Yikes!}and may display journals, personal emails or even photos that are not for every ones eyes.  So, even if your roommate leaves their laptop in the living room {unless you have already been granted permission-- and that means each time you use it, don't ask once and assume you're free to use it whenever.} don't touch it.  It's not up for grabs.
    2.  Bathroom rules. Always shut the door when using the bathroom when you have roommates. I don't care if it's upstairs. I can still hear you peeing in the living room, over the sound of the TV... and I really don't want to hear it. Also, make sure to clean the shower after every use. Now, I'm not talking about a deep cleaning by any means. But if you spill a glob on conditioner right in the middle of the tub, just rinse it away.  It could prove to be a serious hazard if I get in after you and slip on it. And for the sake of simple grossness, remove all hair from the drain and/or the wall. This goes mostly for us long-tressed ladies, but also for you gents that shave or trim your breads into the sink.  There is nothing less sanitary feeling than shower in a hairy tub or brushing your teeth over a fuzzy sink.Yuck!
3.   Sharing the kitchen space.  As cheesy as it sounds, there should be defined spaces for everyone.  There are certain things that even the most communal of people don't want other people to eat. Whether it be Aunt Mae's homemade plum jelly, or last nights left over Chinese that you love to eat cold from the fridge for breakfast. Define portions of the fridge for every one's food. That way, every one knows what's theirs and no one has to worry about accidentally eating someone elses' food. If it comes down to it, get some fun colored duct tape and portion off the fridge, cabinets or pantry.  It may sound over the top at first but in the end, it will make for less hurt feelings, empty bellies and more space for everyone.

4.  Chore Charts.  Ever watched an episode of Super Nanny? I have and in almost every single one, Super Nanny orders the parents to make a chore chart. Yes, its lame. Yes, its very "Soccer Mom" but it also really really helps. Just like sharing the kitchen space, it defines boundaries. In my old apartment, I was the only one that cleaned.  It was no ones fault but my own. When we all moved in, we never sat down and set boundaries of cleanliness. We had our own ideas of cleanliness and my tolerance bar seemed to be the highest, causing me to start cleaning when everyone else thought the place was already spic and span! Eventually, I started getting resentful that no one else cleaned but I had set the standard that they didn't have to, because I would do it. Every. Single. Time. Towards the end of my time spent there, I couldn't take it anymore and started a chore chart. {Much to the dismay of one particular roommate.} There were 3 of us, each person would have a week to vacuum, sweep/Swiffer the kitchen and hardwoods and dust. {We had separate bathrooms, so I cleaned my own and let the others figure out their cleaning situation.} Being that we would only have to do the cleaning once a month, it didn't seem so bad, but we ended up with a cleaner home and we each chipped in.

5.  Respect Each Others Privacy and Time Schedules.  If you know your roommate is going to bed early to get up for a 7 AM meeting or studying... be aware and maybe don't have band practice at your house that night.  Or turn the TV down a couple of levels. {You know we all watch it louder than we need to most of the time.} Also, if you are in your bedroom, specifically with a significant other, shut the door. You are actually breaching my privacy, when I'm in the kitchen cooking and I can hear the smacking of you making out with your "Fuzzy Little Teddy Bear."  Gross! Close the door!  Problem solved. Don't open your roommates mail. Even if its a bill for the house. It's a felony.  Need I say more?  Also, if every single day, I get in the shower at 7:00 on the dot, don't get in at 6:55 one morning just because you felt like getting to work early. Either stick to the routine or mention something the night before and we can work something out.

I guess what it all comes down to is that when you live with roommates, every move you make in your house does not only effect you, it effects everyone... so think about those other people you share your home with. If you would get annoyed by someone else doing it, you probably shouldn't do it yourself. Or if need be, ask first.  Asking the question shows respect and can go a long way.  Of course those are just a few tips, do you guys have any other tips for living with roommates? Some special arrangement you've worked out with your roommate that helps for a happier home-sweet-home?  Spill it! We all want to know.

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Heya Nesters! I always love your feedback! So dish, because we all want to hear it! <3