COVID-19 has led everyone on this planet to stay at home and not go out. It is the only way to lessen the spread of the virus – stay at home, frequent handwashing, social distancing, and self-quarantine. It would have been a better situation for everyone if we all lived on a farm with a huge green space, a suburban home with a garden, patio, and balcony, or a huge apartment that has space for everything. But what if you live in a flat, a tiny place that you share with three other people?
Twenty-four hours is not enough to answer a question as simple as “Why do you need a roommate in the city?” The truth is that you should have one to afford to live in a decent residential area even if you only receive an average wage monthly. You can split the bills with that person and save some of your earnings for traveling, dating, or the future. You get to expand your network as well, considering you co-habit with someone you only met through Facebook or a roommate-finding app.
In fact, about a quarter of young adults ages 18-34 live with a roommate today, an increase of about 25 percent since 2005. — Sharon Sassler, Ph.D., and Amanda Miller, Ph.D.
Despite that, it takes the same amount of time to talk about the struggles of sharing a small apartment. Studio-type spaces, after all, are supposed to accommodate one person alone. When you put two adults here, everything feels cramped, and you practically have no room for visitors or even clothes.
In case renting a bigger residential unit is out of the equation, here are a few things you can do to cope with this living situation.
- Decide On What Items To Keep Or Throw Away
Although you and your roommate have accumulated various appliances, furniture, and collections before coming together, you know that not all of them will fit in your tiny apartment. Because of that, you need to agree on which possessions you can part with, and which ones you want to keep.
- Avoid Hogging Storage Spaces
When you speak of sharing a small residence, there isn’t a cupboard, drawer, or closet that is only for you or your roomie. You most likely have to leave a space for one another or end up keeping your stuff in a suitcase. That is irrespective, of course, of the fact that you are the primary tenant in that building.
- Try Not To Invite People Over Too Often
To prevent feeling like sardines in a can all the time, you should agree on not having guests often. One or two individuals may be okay, but a large group is a big no-no. While the roommate may not complain about having to sleep at a friend’s place as you party in your shared space, it is best not to exhaust their kindness, and vice versa.
Having a new roommate is tough. Especially if you are “assigned” to each other and you don’t have full control over the person whose bed will be right next to yours for a full year. — Irene S Levine Ph.D.
- Respect Each Other’s Needs
Whether you are real friends or are merely polite with each other, you two can live better when you respect the needs of one another. For instance, you may be working at a graveyard shift five times a week, whereas your roommate studies for the bar exam and stays at home often. Hence, you can tell him that you want the whole place to be quiet so that you can sleep peacefully during the day. The other person, meanwhile, can ask you to allow him or her to have the bedroom to himself or herself when studying.
- Clean And Organize Everything
Emotions tend to run high as well if the apartment is always in a state of disarray. Dirty dishes have been on the sink for days; piles of dirty and fresh clothes are mixed on the floor. The circumstance will only be more tolerable once you and your roommate make a habit of cleaning after yourselves and organizing your belongings all the time.
Sharing a studio apartment with someone can be stressful, primarily when it comes to dividing the living space for both of your sakes. There may not always be an option to have a separate room for each of you. Even the closet, the kitchen, or the bathroom has no space for more than a single person. Nevertheless, it is a choice to make your situation work.
To achieve compatibility around differences that can’t be changed (like personality, functioning, and values) requires understanding and tolerance, making respectful space in the relationship for the differences between you. — Carl E Pickhardt Ph.D.
Try the coping mechanisms mentioned above if you are still struggling. Good luck!
Having an apartment all to yourself in the metro can immensely improve your independence. You do not have to consider anyone’s ideas when it comes to decorations, furniture, and appliances. You can be as boisterous or as quiet as you want, and nobody will get mad at you for doing so. Being able to set your own rules is the best, after all.
Your job is to list the skills and the attitudes that you would use in dealing with the challenge, and describe how you would respond to the challenge using these skills. — Ron Breazeale Ph.D.
Nonetheless, with the high cost of living in most large cities, living alone seems to merely apply to individuals who more or less receive six figures annually. They can afford to get and maintain the space without asking for financial help from whoever. It may even be possible for such folks to purchase a condominium unit, which undoubtedly costs much fortune.
Considering you are an average citizen with a regular wage, however, you may need to get a roommate, irrespective of how small or big your place may be. Check out these five easy steps to finding a great one.
- Post Online And Offline Ads
For starters, you may want to use your social media account to let the world know about your desire to have a roommate. Your friends and family members will see that, and they may be able to recommend somebody to you. If that does not lead you anywhere, you can place an ad on the local newspaper or print some flyers and pin them on the community center’s message board.
- Meet Your Potential Roommate
In case someone finally contacts you through the e-mail address or mobile number that you included in your advertisements, you may set up an appointment with him or her at a café or restaurant. Remember that you don’t need to dress to kill for the occasion. The goal is to look decent and chill to entice the individual to share the apartment with you. You may then speak about your terms, e.g., how much he or she has to pay, what guidelines you expect him or her to follow, et cetera.
Even friends (much less acquaintances or strangers) do not automatically make good roommates. People are different in a host of ways – in physical, psychological, social, and cultural make up — and not all those ways are going to easily mesh or match. — Carl E Pickhardt Ph.D.
- Make Your Apartment Presentable
After the first meeting, of course, the person may ask if he or she can inspect your unit in person. You don’t want to be very secretive at this point and insist that it can only be seen after the payment’s been made. You are promoting your place to this individual; that’s why it isn’t appropriate to deny him or her of seeing the house. What you should do instead is clean the residential space and make it seem as presentable as possible.
- Hang Out With The Person Once Or Twice
Assuming the individual plans to move his or her belongings to your apartment after a week or so, you should make it a point to hang out with him or her several times before that. You can invite this person to go bowling with you and your friends, for instance. You may also go out for lunch and discuss your living situation. The more you speak with this fellow, the more you will realize whether he or she is an excellent fit to your residential unit or not.
In an article which appeared recently in The Atlantic, author Allie Voupe chronicled how delayed age at first marriage, student loan debt, and the rise of housing costs have led many young adults to cohabit with a non-romantic bunkmate. — Sharon Sassler, Ph.D., and Amanda Miller, Ph.D.
- Be Open About Your Likes And Dislikes
Do not forget to inform your potential roommate about your pet-peeves or habits too. Learning about these things before the move-in day can give the person some time to decide if he or she will still co-habit with you. You want to split your bills with him or her already, for sure, but being open regarding your likes and dislikes can save you from troubles later.
In a vast sea of people who aspire to fulfill their dreams in the big city, you should be able to meet a few who are looking for a place to stay for a while. However, even if there is one who has the cash for a deposit on hand, you cannot accept that immediately and let the person move in without getting to know him or her first. More than the halved bills, after all, you need to ensure that you won’t be allowing a serial killer or a psychopath sleep under the same roof as you.
Take the steps mentioned above to find a great roommate soon. Cheers!