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!