Sharing a Bedroom: Roommate Survival Guide

roommateSharing a bedroom with another person can be difficult, but sometimes it has to be done. If you’ve lived in a dorm, chances are that you have already had to share a room with someone, so you know that it can be stressful. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be! We’ve put together some tips to survive sharing a bedroom with your roommate without going crazy.

Set roommate guidelines from the beginning:

Whether you’re best friends with the person you’re sharing your bedroom with or just meeting them for the first time, guidelines are important. Get together and set some ground rules. A few things to talk about are cleanliness, food, schedules, and guests.

Cleanliness– Is it important to you that everything has its spot and is always in its place? Is your roommate freer spirited about where she throws her dirty laundry?  Acknowledging your habits, setting up a compromise and perhaps even making a cleaning list in advance can set you up to successfully share a space. Don’t be like the roomie in the photo below.


Food– Are you okay with food in the room? Do you have any allergies or sensitivities that your roommate should know about? What about drinks?

Schedules– Swapping schedules with your roomie is a great way to plan ahead for how to navigate different sleep schedules, work schedules, school schedules etc. Work with each other to determine when silent-time will be and when each of you can expect to have alone time.

Guests– Talk with your roommate right away to discuss each of your feelings about guests. Do you mind if your roommate’s romantic partner spends the night? Does your roommate mind if your sister from out of town comes for a week at a time? How much notice would you like if your roommate is going to have someone in your space?

Understand your room’s purpose.

Chatting with your roomie about how each of you envisions using the space can help shape expectations and allow you to accommodate each person’s habits and preferences. Do you plan to use your space primarily as a place to sleep and study, or do you envision it being a social hub when one of you has guests over? Set up a time to check in with your roommate regularly, so you can make sure your preferences and expectations haven’t shifted.

Respect one another’s privacy.

Act mature, and treat your roommate with the same respect you want to be treated with. If you’d like to separate your space, try using some non-permanent room dividers like these ones here.

Communication is key.

As with any relationship, communication is very important! If you have an issue with your roommate’s behavior or want to change a guideline you both previously agreed upon, bring it up politely and right away. Holding in frustrations and leaving negative feelings unaddressed can lead to bigger issues.


Have fun!

Sharing a space with a roommate is a great way to save money on rent, learn how to share a space with someone, and potentially even make a lifelong friend.  As long as you are respectful, up front, and willing to compromise, your living experience is sure to be both memorable and fun!

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