Sharing isn’t always caring, which is why important to establish clear boundaries with your roommates to set expectations and avoid future conflict. Once these boundaries are in place, try not to make exceptions, or the lines could blur over time. When creating boundaries, an excellent place to start is discussing what items are shared and not shared. Some housewares like cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, and pantry staples make sense to share with roommates, as your apartment doesn’t need three brooms and two microwaves. However, most of your personal belongings should not be shared. Despite what may seem obvious, letting your roommate know what items you are not comfortable sharing can prevent future arguments and build a foundation of open communication. The following items are a great place to start when creating boundaries with a new roommate. If you’re looking for a new apartment to make your own, contact Contemporary Management Concepts, LLLP today to schedule a tour of our apartments in Florida!
In a shared bathroom, it is important to set clear lines for sharing. Towels are unique because they will be in shared areas and used for various things. Discuss with your roommate which towels are for wiping the bathroom counter and which towels are drying off, making it more hygienic for you and your roomies! An easy way to establish which are for what is to sort towels by color. For instance, all blue towels are yours, all white towels are your roommate, and all gray towels are for the kitchen.
Oral care items can host a plethora of bacteria and germs. Of course, sharing toothbrushes is rare, but toothpaste and mouthwash can spread bacteria and germs just as easily. If you keep items in a shared bathroom, consider marking them or sectioning off storage to prevent sharing so your roommates know whose oral care items are whose.
In a shared space, your roommate may be tempted to use your personal toiletries or vice versa. Unfortunately, any product that makes contact with your body can spread germs and bacteria, and those that touch your eyes and lips are especially efficient at spreading germs. To avoid this, separate all toiletries and makeup products to prevent accidental or purposeful sharing.
Sharing clothes with a roommate can be fun at first if you share a similar style and size. However, this can quickly become the cause for disagreement. Items can easily be lost or damaged, causing the item’s owner to be frustrated or resentful. To prevent this, only share items you do not mind being lost or damaged.
Earwax is our body’s natural way of protecting the inside of our ears and preventing infections. Earbuds can trap bacteria in a warm dark environment, so sharing earbuds can present a hygiene issue. As we all know, earbuds can get wax, dust, and dirt on them easily. Earbuds carry this bacteria that can be passed between people when shared.
Lending friends and roommates money is a tough decision to make. It is best to avoid this as it can easily lead to arguments and awkwardness in the relationship. Try to find other ways to help your roommate that will strengthen the relationship without directly lending them money, such as offering a ride, helping with schoolwork, or cleaning a common area.