Even if youâre a neat freak, the chances that you actually want to do more than your share of cleaning in a home you share with roommates are pretty slim. Thereâs something about cleaning up other peopleâs stuff that just seems gross, whether itâs wiping a glob of toothpaste off the bathroom sink or smooshing down the garbage pile so the trashcan lid will close. When itâs not yours, itâs hard to want to touch it, clean it, or throw it away. Especially if itâs food or bathroom-related.
Because of this fear of the unknown, and also because most of us are very lazy, shared homes are usually pretty bad examples of cleanliness. So today I wanted to share with you guys some cleaning tips for semi-clean people living with roommates. More
Amidst the sea of roommates Iâve had since my freshman year of college, I can count two as boyfriends. Of course, that doesnât mean that I didnât pretty much live with other boyfriends (much to the dislike of my actual roommates) by having them over sleep every other night and take up one-third of the couch, but thatâs something else entirely. The arrangement Iâm speaking of today involves two people who are dating and living together, with all their shit thrown into one space (physically and emotionally speaking). Itâs an entirely different type of roommate relationship, but one that has just as many ups and downs as all the others. More
One of the things thatâs annoying about living with others is hearing everyone elseâs opinions about who you should live with and why. When I first got to college, the rule was, âDonât live with your friends, because by the end of the first semester youâll want to kill each other.â But as I wrote in a previous column, that line of thinking proved to be totally wrong; my former roommate and I are still friends to this day. More
Itâs no secret that my experiences with roommates havenât always been pleasant. Personality conflicts, lack of communication, and inconsiderate behavior are all factors that created rifts in roommate relationships Iâve had, and I think those types of issues will continue to be at the core of most roommate disputes for years to come. But one thing thatâs changed in a big way since I first started sharing a home with roommates is technology. More
One thing that digital technology has not replaced is the passive-aggressive roommate note. Why? Well, if youâve ever left a passive-aggressive note to a roommate before, you know that the whole purpose of the note is for it to be read when youâre not around. More
Last week I wrote about the concept of living with roommates past our 20s. And while that isnât a totally crazy, foreign idea, the point that I wanted to make was that itâs cool to live with others if youâre not interested in living alone, even if you can afford to live alone and are over a certain age. This week, I thought Iâd write about the opposite. When is it okay to live alone for the first time, and what are the signs that help you to determine whether living alone is right for you? More
When I was in college and dealing with my first real roommate relationships (outside of sharing a bathroom with my brother or sharing a bunk at summer camp), it never occurred to me that I might still be sharing a living space with roommates well into my 30s. And while I personally havenât yet entered my 30s (Iâm on a six-month countdown!), I read an interesting article this week about a woman in California who does just that. Leilani ClarkÂ isÂ 37, sharing a home with three othersâa married couple and another friendâand, surprisingly enough, loving it. More
A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times ran an op-ed titled âWhen Roommates Were Random.â It was written by a college professor at NYU who not only reminisces about his time spent in a freshman dorm but also makes an argument for colleges to issue a ban on what he calls âroommate choice.â As I read it, I found myself wondering, âIs this another one of those âway back when I was a boyâŠâ old-school-versus-new-school subjects, or is this debate still relevant?â More
In this column Iâve mentioned several obnoxious habits that roommates have, but one thing that irks me the most when living with others is heightened sound. Sometimes you just want to sitâor sleepâin peace and quiet, but you canât because your roommate just got promoted and is having a party. Or she got laid off and sheâs psyched, or she got a great score on her final when you have yet to complete your exams (and in fact have another one the next morning at 8 a.m.). More
There are plenty of problems one can have with his/her roommates, but through all of the drama, the late bill payments, and the refrigerator wars, one thing remains of utmost importance: Cleanliness. And Iâm not talking âwe should be able to eat off our floorsâ cleanliness or âwhose turn is it to scrub under the burners on the stove?â cleanliness. Iâm talking about the basic manners one should possess, regardless of who or how many people he or she lives with. And yet, despite this obvious necessity, there are a lot of people who utterly fail at cleanliness beyond showering regularly. So, this weekâs column is all about the things that no one actually says to their slightly (or more-than-slightly) gross roommate, but really, really wants to say. More
Todayâs column isnât about the number of kegs you should get to throw a proper house party (although I recommend one for every 30-40 people). Itâs about how to throw a party while living with roommates. Granted, there are households occupied by roommates who are legitimate friends that run in the same social circles. When those types of roommates throw parties together, the conversation only lasts like 20 seconds. âHey, roomies, are we going to throw a giant house party and get totally wasted with all of our friends tomorrow night??â âHells yeah, we are!â End scene. More
Back when I moved into my first post-dorm house with a couple of friends, I remember the only thing I concerned myself with was how to decorate. Should the couch go on this wall, or that wall? Should we put our cordless phone (hey, this was several years ago) on the end table, or on the credenza in the kitchen? I felt so grown-up and happy about my new life as a house dweller, and it hadnât occurred to me that maybe my roommates and I wouldnât see eye-to-eye on something. Especially something like smoking inside. More
A while back I wrote about how to put up with your roommateâs boyfriend. In that column I focused on how annoying it is when a roommateâs boyfriend is always around, especially if he doesnât chip in on the cable bill or buy beer for the house and maybe has a tendency to trim his pubes in your bathroom. But what that article didnât acknowledge was what to do when your boyfriend and roommate(s) totally hate each otherâs guts.
I bring this up because the other day a friend relayed a story to me that was a little crazy. Apparently when he was in college, he and his girlfriendâs roommate didnât get along to the point that the cops had to get involved. More
We’ve all heard the story. A cute couple moves in together. They settle in quickly, have a lovely house-warming party, and start riding their tandem bike to work every single morning. All seems well for the first two months. Then, suddenly, they’re sleeping in separate beds, fighting over who the cat loves more and counting down the seconds till their lease expires.
How did this happen? Weren’t they college sweethearts? Didn’t they survive through cultural differences, double unemployment and at least one count of infidelity? Well, they probably just couldn’t agree on a color of trashcan for the kitchen, or whether or not to have a rug in the living room.
Yep, it’s silly and tragic but couples call it quits all the time over nit-picky little problems. So here are two things you should avoid fighting over, unless you wish to suffer a fate worse than death: resentful cohabitation. More