5 Ways To Make Living With Roommates Easier!

I have 3 roommates, and the past year has been pretty okay as far as balancing space and other considerations when living with multiple people in a smaller space! The amazing thing for me is that we all have our own bathroom and bedrooms, so our own personal space usually isn’t an issue! It can be hard living with close friends, because you can really enjoy someone’s friendship but not mesh as roommates. Totally normal, can most definitely happen to anyone.

You can have a blast with your college roommates with these easy tips and thoughs from a college girl who lived with 4+ for 3 years!

We all have our odd pet peeves, and I think this is where most conflict stems. I, for one, really can’t stand dirty counter tops. Crumbs, stains, really anything that leaves the counter and stove tops dirty drives me *insane*. When I have 3 exams in a week all dealing with the various facets of chemical properties, it can really drive me up a wall when there are crumbs on the counter top. That’s kinda crazy, but it’s just one of those things. There are some really great ways to easily handle these problems before they cause conflict and problems within the apartment!

If you are interested, in some tips for making life with roommates a little easier then keep reading. I hope to implement some of these ideas into my own apartment to see if they help alleviate some of the mid-semester stress that pops up when you likely aren’t thinking straight and want to bite someone’s head off. It’s okay, we know you’re stressed!

1. Have a easy and reliable method of communication.

The key to resolving and preventing conflict is by having ongoing lines of communication with the entire group. Side conversations really aren’t productive, so I’d recommend having an iMessage and/or GroupMe with all parties added! This is probably a no brainer if you knew all your roommates ahead of time. If not, make sure to get everyone’s numbers and add them all to the same group!

If there is ever an issue, you can place an initial message here so that everyone can see it. You can also use it for general alerts regarding weekend visitors, questions, and letting your apt mates know that you’re headed to the grocery store and grabbing milk and eggs. This is a nice way to keep everyone connected which is great for maintaining healthy communication between everyone.

2. Assign everyone specific cleaning or communal supplies to be in charge of.

This will help make sure that everyone is contributing to the group because having a slacker in the group is never fun and can be quite awkward. If you can give everyone some products to be in charge of then you can spread the burden of keeping the apartment stocked amongst several people. This can include products like: paper towels, dish detergent and soap, sponges, Swiffer refills, and ziplock/trash bags.

That way whenever something is low, whoever is in charge of restocking can make sure to buy replacements. This will prevent the gracious gem from always contributing to the communal supply. For some groups, it will be easier for one person to keep a lock on cleaning supplies, so utilize Venmo if that’s the case and make sure that everyone contributes to buying supplies!

3. Everyone gets a shelf in the fridge.

When you have a lot of different roommates who all seem to have different dietary restrictions and habits, you’re all typically going to shop for different food which doesn’t help when you’re fridge situation isn’t completely ideal for four whole different people. We would literally have 4 different cartons of milk going sometimes. SILLY. But, it’s a lot easier to keep everything easily accessible if you have your fridge organized in a way that makes sense. If you all shop and buy food together, you can have it organized by food group and have everyone know where things should go.

If you all buy your own food and cook your own meals, then it would probably be easiest to have each person in charge of their own shelf {or half a shelf}. Basically, balance in systems is the way to go with shared and small spaces. It’s easier for everyone if there is something in place that gives everyone a stable system to work with.

4. Decorate!

It’s so much better living in an apartment when there are decorations and it feels less like temporary housing and more like home. Whether you DIY canvas paintings or decorate with your initials, you can all make the place more lively.

A great way to make everyone feel like they belong is to decorate and make it as comfortable as possible: try adding some flowers and decorative pillows. My favorite places to shop are HomeGoods and Nordstrom Rack for super cute pillows and other home decor!

5. Have an apartment tradition!

Traditions are really important for building a family atmosphere. You know how your mom always bakes sugar cookies on Christmas Eve and Dad makes pasta for your birthday? Well, it’s great to make apartment traditions where you can spend some time together! I think it could be fun to make a monthly game night or Breakfast for Dinner on Sunday nights or even bi-weekly grocery trips!

Traditions can build unity between a group and also make everyone feel comfortable communicating when they have a problem with something or when they need to talk out their lives. You may not go into a situation being best friends with a group, but as someone who has switched roommates several times {people like to leave me for other countries/counties}; I can say that traditions can build relationships. My best roommate-ships always revolved around our own mini traditions. From coffee dates on Thursdays to cleaning the room every other Sunday, it made me happy to have a schedule and someone to keep me accountable!

Roommates can be a lot of fun once you have worked out all the kinks. Building traditions and making your apartment into a home can be the right first steps to making a situation go from awkward to comfortable. Good luck building relationships to last a lifetime and let me know what you’re traditions are so that I can likely steal them and use them for myself!

keep on keepin’ on,

  • The idea of having an apartment tradition is so cute, I love that idea!!
    xo, Syd

    • Ah yeah! That’s one of my favorite things about living with roommates or really just about college! You can start all these fun traditions. Thanks for reading!
      xo, G

  • These are such great ideas! I definitely had some nightmare roommate experiences and these would have helped…

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

    • OH NO. Roommates are tough to navigate sometimes, I’ve honestly been blessed with the several that I’ve had so far!
      xo, G

  • These are such helpful tips! I feel like I struggle dealing with like finding a good balance with roommates, so these tips are especially helpful because they really center around the tough stuff (aka cleaning and food stealing) and also some of the fun stuff like a tradition (which I think is totally cute).
    Rebecca xx

    • I’m glad you liked this post! Food stealing is def not okay and has to be addressed hahaha! Thanks for reading!
      xo, G

  • These are truly great tips, Gabby! Reflecting on my experiences, your tips could have saved me a TON of time and stress while I was in college. Having a *reliable* method of communication and each person getting a shelf in the fridge are important, yet overlooked pieces of the roommate puzzle. Opening an easy line of communication and making space for everyone early on can help prevent that oh-so-stressful roommate drama. Thanks for sharing!


    • Yes for sure!! I wish we would have implemented these way earlier than we did. Would have made those first few months less stressful! Thanks for reading and leaving this comment girlie!
      xo, G

  • Katrina Torrijos

    These are amazing tips! I had 7 housemates which made our house seem like a small triple dorm room. Some times, we’re all getting a long, and other times we want to be as far away as possible. I feel like the communication and tradition tip were key factors as to what kept us all together. The more transparent everyone was, the better. Also, having traditions gave us all opportunities to learn and bond with each other which is super important as well! Great post!

    -Katrina | http://www.hellayoung.com

    • Ah thank you!! 7 housemates ?!?! Woahhhh. That’s insane! You must be an expert roommate then? Thanks for reading!

      xoxo, g