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Types of roommates and how to deal with them

There are many benefits to having a roommate (or two or three), but there can also be a steep learning curve to cohabitation, even if they’re friends you’ve known for years.

To avoid tension, it’s key to recognize your roommate’s personality traits and communicate effectively.

 The messy roommate

No one wants to have to clean up constantly after their roommates, but for some people having everything neat and tidy isn’t high on their list of priorities. Some may need to lower their standards slightly, while others may have to be more considerate of how their roommate feels when they leave dirty dishes in the sink for days on end.

While it can be awkward, it’s important to sit down and discuss responsibilities. A slightly uncomfortable one-time conversation goes a long way toward preventing resentment. It can be a relief to the other roommate or roommates if someone else takes charge in creating a plan, as long as it’s not too rigid.

An easy solution is to create a chart to be hung on the side of the fridge, listing who is responsible for taking out the garbage each week, whose turn it is to clean the bathroom, and who will wash the floors. It makes for a happier environment if the same person doesn’t get stuck doing everything.

Dirty Dishes in the Sink

The social butterfly

If you have a roommate who loves to invite everyone over to hang out, it can wear thin after awhile. While it’s their home too and they should be able to entertain, it can be difficult if your place is always noisy or they’re having a boyfriend or girlfriend stay over every night.

Take time to have a chat and set clear expectations. Maybe you can live with them having guests over on weekends only and not during the week.

The “What’s yours is mine” roommate

You may get a roommate who thinks it’s fine to borrow your clothes without asking, or to eat your food. It’s a common problem that can lead to a major conflict. Consider getting a lock for your bedroom door and a mini fridge for your room to keep some food items separate.

Roommates hanging out together in their loft apartment

Communication is key. Your roommate may not understand this is a boundary you don’t want crossed, so it’s worth it to bring it up and let them know how you feel.

If you get annoyed with your roommate, take time to think it over before confronting them. No one is perfect, and having someone to share the cost of rent makes it easier to pay for that spacious all inclusive apartment in your community of choice. However, if the situation has become unbearable, check out affordable new places on