If you’re currently looking to find the perfect roommate, the whole process can be a little nerve-wracking and overwhelming!
You might be asking yourself whether it’s best to room with your best friend, an acquaintance, your significant other, or even a random stranger.
Having lived with multiple different roommates throughout my university years, it was sometimes a challenge to get used to living with another person. It’s also a choice that I had to stick to once I made the decision due to lease agreements (which were usually a year) so I definitely know how important it is to choose the right person to live with at the start.
How to find the perfect roommate
Finding a roommate that’s suitable for you is really important.
Initially, you might be imagining all of the fun that you and this other person will have once you guys live together but it’s not as simple as just finding one of your best girlfriends and moving in together!
There are so many factors to consider before moving in with someone so let’s jump right into it!
1. Friendship should not be the deciding factor
The very first thing that we first need to get out of the way before getting into anything else is the fact that you shouldn’t choose your roommate based on who you consider to be your closest BFF in the world.
Yes – living with your bestie can totally make your time as roommates a lot more fun, enjoyable, and an overall total blast since you already know you have a ton of fun and connect well with this person. BUT, this isn’t true all the time!
Unfortunately, sometimes people are just meant to be awesome friends who don’t live together.
Random sleepovers every so often can be really fun but living together is a whole different ballgame. In fact, sometimes it’s better to live with a stranger that you didn’t know before you guys moved in or just an acquaintance.
Well, a lot of things can go wrong if you decide to end up living with a close friend. It can possibly jeopardize your friendship because you have to learn to live together and deal with them 24/7.
Sometimes it’s better to find out you can’t live with a roommate that you didn’t know previously and let them naturally drift out of your life than it is to lose a good friend over bad roommate drama.
So definitely proceed with caution if you’re going to go down the route of moving in with a good friend!
2. Living Habits
Second, it’s very important to mesh well with your roommate in terms of living habits. Since you will be living in the same living space as one another and will presumably share a washroom, living room, and kitchen, you’ll be both crossing paths quite a bit.
These are some questions you should ask yourself to see if they’re a good fit.
How clean are they?
One very important thing you need to make sure you have a good idea about is how clean they are.
If the other person is really messy while you’re an extremely tidy person and can’t stand things that are out of place, living together will probably be a living hell for you because you’ll end up having to clean up after them most of the time!
If you already know the other person, try to observe their current environment. Do they like to wash the dishes after they use them like you do? Or do you like to leave their clothes all over the place?
If they seem to have the same cleanliness levels as you, it might be a good fit in this criteria!
Are they financially responsible?
Next, you should make sure your potential roommate is financially responsible. Do they have a part-time or full-time job so they can pay their half of the bills?
It’s so important to make sure they can support themselves and that they aren’t the type to spend all of their money unnecessarily because you will both be on the hook for making sure rent is paid on time each month.
What is their schedule like?
Third, making sure that your schedules complement one another is really important.
For example, if y0u works night shifts and you have to sleep during the day, having a roommate that goes to school in the mornings and comes back home in the afternoon to cook and study might not be a great fit for you.
Lastly, you might want to ask yourself if you and your potential roommate are compatible by having similar personalities, likes, and dislikes.
For example, a party person who’s really outgoing and loves to invite people over every day can really drain a more introverted person who really cherishes their downtime and likes having their own space.
If you guys are similar, the chances of having a great living experience together will increase quite a bit!
Where To Find The Right roommate
Now that I’ve covered some things you should look out for, the next step is to actually find this roommate! Here are some a few places you can look around to see who’s available:
1. Facebook Groups. A great place to look for roommates is to join local Facebook groups that allow you to search up others who are looking for roommates or to post up an ad that you’re looking for one yourself. If you’re still in a school, you can also join groups that are limited to fellow classmates who are looking for another person to room with, which is a great way to meet new people in your school!
2. Ask A Friend. Often times, your friends will know of a friend of a friend who’s looking for a roommate. Just get a few pieces of information from your friend about them and see if you think that they’d be a good fit for you. The awesome thing is that you have some peace of mind that they’re probably not crazy since they’re already in your social circle. It’s also a great way to meet other people that you wouldn’t otherwise have met!
3. Kijiji. Kijiji isn’t the top choice that I’d recommend because there are some really sketchy people out there on the Internet but it is an avenue that works if you’re on guard. Just be extremely careful when you meet these people and if there are red flags, stick to your gut and run for the hills!
4. Roomster. Sites such as Roomster, which is available in over 192 countries, specializes in helping you find a roommate. Either list that you’re looking for a roommate or search through the listings on their site and find your perfect match. Note: You have to be connected to Facebook to use Roomster.
6 Tips On How To Avoid Conflict
Finding the right person can be a daunting task so once you’ve finally gotten that part over and settled in, it’s time to make sure you and your roommate have the best experience living together as possible.
Here are a few things I recommend that you guys do with one another to avoid conflict and create a harmonious and happy environment.
1. Set Boundaries
One of the first things you should do when you move in with your roommate is to set up boundaries and ground rules.
It’s so much easier to set up these boundaries in the first place than it is to have to tell your roommate you don’t like something after it happens and you guys have a disagreement or argument about it.
You can put these into writing or just discuss them and have a verbal agreement – whichever sounds more right for you!
Don’t get passive aggressive if things don’t go your way or if you don’t like something that your roommate does.
Communication is key to any friendship, relationship, or roommate situation.
It’s always better to calmly talk things out with your roommate so you guys can try to come to a solution instead of trying to get back at them without letting out your feelings.
3. Split Up The Bills
Making sure you guys have a schedule set where you split up the bills is super important.
One person might be on the hook for paying for parking, utilities, and internet under their name so it’s important they get paid back on time. And when you first move in together, you’ll probably have to split up the cost of moving expenses as well as furniture and other apartment essentials.
Again, making sure your roommate is the type that is financially responsible is important because you don’t want to be owed money or even evicted by your landlord if they aren’t paying their share of the rent.
4. Split Up Chores
Another thing that can be very stressful if you live with a roommate is successfully splitting up chores.
Washing the dishes, vacuuming, taking out the trash, buying groceries, and scrubbing the toilets and bathtubs might be seen as minor stuff at first but it can actually become a really huge issue between you and your roommate if you guys don’t talk about it beforehand.
One person might end up resenting the other person if they feel they’re always the one who is cleaning up after the other.
A great way to avoid bickering over chores is to make a cleaning schedule with your roommate right when you move in and follow it.
5. Don’t Take Things That Aren’t Yours
Another tip to creating a harmonious environment is to not take things that aren’t yours without permission.
Yes, now you might be thinking that that’s an absolute no-brainer but not everyone thinks like that!
There was one year where one of my roommates constantly took and used my toiletries in our shared bathroom without asking and it drove me crazy. Don’t be like that girl because it will probably piss off your roommate and it’s also not a very nice thing to do.
If you do want to use your roommate’s belongings or eat their food that’s in the fridge, be nice and ask politely.
Last but not least, make sure you take time out of your busy schedule to bond with your roommate and not neglect them.
It’s so important to have some nights where you guys spend time with one another to get to know each other and build rapport. You can go out together for drinks or even just hang out every few nights to watch your favorite shows together.
Being friends and having fun with your roommate makes the whole roommate experience a lot more fun and enjoyable!
I hope this guide was helpful if you’re in the process of looking for a roommate.
Don’t forget that no one is perfect so there is bound to be some disagreements when you live together. However, finding a roommate that is suitable for you will lessen that chance and will increase the likelihood that you guys will get along and have a great experience.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of my posts on how to adult:
- A Beginner’s Guide: How To Move Out For The First Time On Your Own
- 10 Signs It’s Time To Move Out Of Your Parents’ House
- The Ultimate Guide: First Apartment Essentials
- Moving 101: The Essential Guide To A Successful Move
- 8 Lessons You Learn Once You Move Out On Your Own
- Should I Move In With My Boyfriend? 8 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
- 6 Lessons You Learn When You Move In With Your Boyfriend
Have you ever had to go through the process of finding a roommate? If so, how was your experience? Let me know in the comments!