Have you ever felt like you needed to become Sheldon Cooper and use a roommate contract just to keep sane?
Sometimes roommates just don’t get along and that when guidelines need to be set down. So, if you’re having trouble with a pesky roommate, here are some good laws to lay down.
1. Set a proper bedtime (i.e. whenever I go to bed, it’s the proper bedtime)
There’s nothing worse than trying to go to bed while your roommate is laughing at the TV. Sure, you could close your door, but then your room gets stuffy.
2. Don’t use the bathroom when I’m in the shower
This one may not apply if you only have one bathroom, but it can be annoying when you’ve finally got the shower to the perfect temp and then someone else screws it up.
3. If there are specific things you need on the shopping list, you’d better shop with me.
Ever try and buy deodorant for someone else? Or worse, let someone buy deodorant for you? It’s like the world’s worst guessing game. With so many choices–brand, color, scent, etc.–it’s hard not to go wrong.
4. When I’m home, I control the TV.
No one likes missing their favorite shows. What’s worse than that? Watching part of your favorite shows while flipping to another show or movie you don’t care about. Sure, you might see most of your show, but that’s not nearly as satisfying.
5. Close the door when you use the bathroom.
This one should be obvious, but you never know. I’m not saying you need to lock it (what if the lock breaks and you’re trapped inside?); if the door’s closed, I’ll knock. There’s always that moment when no one’s home and you think leaving the door open might be freeing, easier, quicker, relaxing (I don’t know, some people are just weird). But, you never want to come home unexpectedly for your lunch break and see the door open. Awkward.
6. Make sure you set ground rules regarding pets.
It’s always better to know your limits. Perhaps you want a parrot, but your roommate wants a cockatoo. Maybe you’re allergic to cats, but your roommate is a crazy cat lady…er…very nice person who owns half a dozen cats (ps. is there a male version of the crazy cat lady? I mean, I’m sure men can own too many cats, but do they get a title along with it?).
7. Know whose turn it is to make dinner.
Note: it’s always their turn. Always.
8. Know whose turn it is to wash dishes and empty the dishwasher.
See addendum to rule #7.
9. Set days and times aside for washing clothes.
You always want to make sure there is plenty of hot water for your shower. Having a set time for laundry day helps keep things organized (unless you use the laundromat or live in an apartment, then this rule doesn’t apply).
And, of course, make sure they sign the agreement. Even if you have to trick them (like you tricked your parents into signing your detention slips; that was good practice).