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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

How do you refer to the place where you live? Your crib? Your crash pad? Your closet? Your nest? Your castle? Fortress of Solitude? Batcave? Most of the time we just say, “my apartment” or “my house”. No matter what we call it, most likely we have to share it, otherwise, we could not afford it”s roof to cover our heads.

The relationship we have with our roommate(s) can completely determine whether  we come home to a place of sanctuary, rest, and recharge or return to the place where we just crash and keep our stuff. The difference between the two is reflected in your well-being. If we come home to a place where we cannot relax our nerves and our minds due to the toxic energy of the apartment, we cannot thrive personally.

However we found ourselves sharing living space with this other person who is not our partner or blood-related relative, we have to take responsibility to ensure that our home has an atmosphere of respect and congeniality.


Inspired by personal experiences, here is a short list about how to be a decent roommate:



Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.


Do not expect your roommate to read your mind. Communication does not always have to be face to face. That is what texting and emailing are for. In addition, texting and emailing keeps a written record of things you have discussed, such as household responsibilities, finances, etc. Also,  assume that your roommate has the memory of a goldfish, don’t expect them to remember anything, especially if you have only mentioned it once.


Your increased financial obligations are your responsibility.



If you take a new job where your commuting expenses have increased or are required to pay both NY and NJ taxes, do not tell your roommate that they need to pay you more in rent. Your roommate is not there to compensate for the extra expenses you have chosen to take on, your roommate is there to split bills and rent.  Nothing else.


Be attentive and responsive, especially when you see your roommate on your Caller I.D.



This one is important. Your roommate might be reaching out to you because something needs to be fixed in the apartment or needs to be serviced. Half of the time,  your roommate is trying to get in touch with you because they are locked out and need you to come open the door. Do not just press the IGNORE call button, get off your lazy ass so she does not have to kick in the door to break into her own apartment. Yes, I actually had to do this. Absurdly, the roommate yelled at me for breaking the door.


Have a Venmo account.



This just makes paying rent or bills easier if your name is not on the lease or the utilities. It is instant, there is no check to deposit, and best of all you can send an emoji along with the financial transaction.


Make the house smell good.



We may think we smell like a field of daisies, but the natural pheromones we emit might not be perceived as lovely or fragrant to our roommate’s sense of smell. As a precaution and an act of consideration, invest in an essential oil diffuser and a bottle of lavender. Your roommate will have less reason to hate you.


Discuss “common” purchases.

Do not buy an expensive item like a big screen tv or a limited edition Pottery Barn coffee table for the common room and then tell the roomie that they own you half, because “you both will use it”. This is just plain inconsiderate for your roommate’s financial situation.


Your roommate works hard.



If laying on the couch and the roomie walks in from work, sit up. Your roommate might need to sit down for a second after they walk in. Additionally, if you notice that your roommate has been slacking a bit on their end of the chore agreement due to being busy at their job,  do not meet your roommates with a bucket and a mop as soon as they get in after having a long day, believe me, cleaning is the last thing that they want to do. Instead, offer to split the cost of hiring a cleaning service or a maid once a week. You will be doing both of y’all a favor.  


Respect your roommate’s soul.



If your roommate is spiritually inclined, respect their Buddha statue in the living room, their Lord’s Prayer magnet on the fridge, or the cross in the entryway. They have displayed those things in the apartment because they are meaningful to them, not to impose dogma on you. Similarly,, if your roommate is an artist, offer to help hang their paintings in the apartment or suggest areas to display their handmade work. This conveys that you respect and welcome their artistic creativity. Telling your roommate to not display their work in their house because “it does not look good” or “go with the decor” will only drive a wedge into between the two of you.


Not just our personal wellbeing, but our social wellness can have a better foundation when we recognize that we are responsible for the energy we create at home. We all win if there is an effort to be a decent roommate.