Living in Toronto is expensive, and one of the easiest ways to cut the cost of rent is getting a roommate!
Living with someone is a huge commitment, whether it be a friend, a significant other, or a complete stranger! Once you share a living space with someone you have to start taking the other person into consideration, and vise versa.
Living with a roommate can either be extremely fun, or completely awful. If you're having problems with your roommate and you're feeling a little passive aggressive, feel free to shoot them a link to this article.
1. Your food is yours, and their food is theirs.
The first time I lived with someone we made the mistake of placing our food anywhere in the fridge. Fast forward a month and my roommate had taken over the entire fridge except for the top shelf and I no longer knew which food was mine. Avoid this by splitting all storage, including your fridge down the middle. Your food stays on the right, their food stays on the left.
2. Have a group message.
If you're splitting a house/ apartment with more than one other roommate, start a group message. Having a means to speak to the whole house is super important, and saves the headache of sending the same "Who's laundry has been in the dryer for 5 days?" text 3 separate times.
3. If your landlord is coming over, let everyone else know.
Having your landlord visit is always a little nerve wracking, even if you haven't done anything wrong. Give your roommates the courteous heads up so that they can be on their best behaviors and not be caught in a super awkward situation.
4. Rinse everything, always.
Whether this be the sink, the shower, or a nasty dish. Sure, everyone forgets sometimes, but I don't need to find half your head of hair in the shower every time I go to bath.
5. Don't touch the AC.
Agree on a comfortable temperature, and stick to that. I once came home from a weekend away to my house being 89°F. Needless to say I was pretty annoyed for the 4 and a half hours it took for my apartment to cool down. Think about getting a fan or a space heater if you're having a hard time dealing with the temp your roommates have chosen.
6. Don't force a friendship
Luckily, I am best friends with my main roommate. Although if you're living with somebody new and you two don't seem to click, that's okay. A forced friendship is awkward and unnecessary.
7. Be mindful
I cannot stress this enough. If you share something with other people, like a driveway or parking space be sure that there is room for their car as well. Same goes for shared house hold appliances. If you leave something dirty or unusable it is your responsibility to clean it and restore it to working order.
8. Don't sweat the small stuff.
There will always be small things that get on everyone's nerves, but if your roommates quirks are harmless maybe let it slide. Chances are they are not a fan of your quirks either.
9. Split expenses and keep track of them
You don't want to be stuck paying the entire internet bill 3 months in a row, or being the only one that ever buys light bulbs.
10. If you have a pet, remember that it is your pet.
Sure you're roommate may love your dog, and offer to take it on walks or feed it when you're out. Just remember that they are not your designated pet sitter, especially if you are not paying them.
11. There is a time and a place for long AF showers.
Everyone loves a steamy hot shower, but don't take your sweet time when you know other people may need the bathroom or hot water. If you know that all your roommates are going to shower Friday afternoon before a night out, keep it quick. And if all you're roommates have class on Tuesday, feel free to steam up the entire bathroom.
12. Ask before you borrow
After two years of living together, my roommate and I have designated things that we share. Condiments and certain food items are free game, but you can't just assume that you can crack open one of her Vodka Snapples.
13. Knock before you enter
You never know what could be happening behind their bedroom door, you're safest bet is to knock.
14. If you make a mistake, own up
I know for a fact that I'm not the perfect roommate, and you're probably not either. Everyone slips up and leaves dishes in the sink too long, or finishes the Sriracha without replacing it. But if you fuck up, own it and fix it. Don't be that roommate that claims "I don't even use Sriracha" while you have a red stain on your shirt.
15. Don't feel weird about needing privacy.
It's totally okay to lock your bedroom door before you leave or take phone calls in the other room. Everyone needs their privacy and is totally entitled to it!