New beginnings with roomies

Tips to have a positive roommate experience

Sarah Austin | Lifestyle Editor

Having a roommate can be an exciting experience for many, but daunting for those who have never had one or had a negative encounter. Here are some tips to make a positive and easy transition to living with roommates.

Avoid talking about events one plans to attend if the other person is not invited. This is a great way to be respectful while bypassing an awkward encounter.  

Try labeling food in the fridge so you don’t lose your favorite items.

Be mindful of food items. Whether it is in the fridge, a cabinet or on the table make sure to keep track of personal items. Close containers and bags to prevent insects. Watch for expiration dates to avoid both mold and a spoiled scent in the room. Don’t take up too much space either; leave the same amount of area for each roommate in shared spaces.

Establish guest etiquette. Having a guest in one’s place is not against the rules, but make sure to set boundaries with roommates beforehand. This can include things such as notifying roommates when and how long they will be there, acceptable noise levels, appropriate and inappropriate times or days, parking arrangements and so on. If in a dorm on Western’s campus, be sure to also follow all guest rules; see for details.

Make a chore list. Having set chores that are assigned to someone or are to be done on a certain day will ensure a clean living space as well as fair delegation. Use a whiteboard, sticky note, Google calendar or other method that everyone will be sure to see. Start by choosing what days chores should be done and how often, and rotate names for said activities. For example, have one roommate vacuum on Sunday, another clean the bathroom Friday, trade off who takes out the trash when full and so on.

Respect common areas. Give the same amount of respect to roommates that is expected of them.

Above all else, be open and communicate with each other so living together is enjoyable for all parties.

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