roommate

How to Survive Living With a Roommate Who’s Also Your Friend

Adulting, Author: Danny Abriano

I didn’t go away to college, so the first time I ever had a roommate was when I was well into my career. And that roommate just happened to be one of my closest friends.

There are all types of things — good and bad — that come along with having a roommate. When that roommate is one of your best friends, those things present themselves in different ways. And how you handle them will impact not just your living situation, but your relationship with someone whose presence in your life you value.

 

Rent and bills are business, even when your friend is involved
Do not be the person who needs to be asked more than once for the rent. If only one of you has your name on the lease, the other is responsible for paying the rent each month. That means the other roommate has to transfer the money over at least a few days in advance. Whether it’s with Venmo, by handing your friend cash, or some other way, do not ever slack off and pay late. It’ll put your friend and roommate in an awful spot. The same goes for bills (cable, internet, other utilities, etc.). Pay your share immediately.

Understand that you’re a team
If you’re a millennial who is living with another millennial, odds are that one or both of you has an active social life that often precludes you from paying attention to the cleanliness of the apartment. When you do have time to focus on it (at least once per week, unless you want visitors to think you’re a slob), help one another out. Dishes in the sink aren’t yours? Wash them anyway. The bathroom is filthy and you don’t want to clean it alone? Guess what, someone has to. Your roommate will recognize that you did something you didn’t have to, and take care of it for you next time.

Respect boundaries
Even though you’re close friends and have probably seen and done almost everything with this person, there are times when they’ll need space. Offer to be there for them if you think they’re in need, but back off if they reject it. If your friend comes home, and is furious for no reason, chalk it up to them having had a bad day. Don’t take it personally. And give them time to cool down.

Enjoy one another’s company
This seems obvious, right? You’re close friends who are living with one another. Hanging out and having fun should come naturally. But often, it doesn’t. If you both have full-time jobs, life will get in the way. And seeing each other every single day and night can take a bit of the shine off the friendship. But you’re close friends for a reason. Go out to dinner. Watch the game together. Sit on the couch and talk nonsense for a bit. Unwind.

Have an issue? Don’t let it fester
If your roommate/friend is doing something (or multiple things) that get on your nerves, tell them. If you keep it inside, you’ll start to resent them, while slowly going insane. That’s a bad combination. It can be awkward to tell your friend if something they do is bothering you. But the alternative is much worse. Tell them what’s on your mind. Your friendship and relationship as roommates will be better for it.

How You Can Make Your Parents’ Basement an Apartment

Adulting, Author: Claire Greene

As of 2015, about 39.5% of millennials are living with their family. That is a 75-year high. With property values and college loan payments creeping higher and higher, this is not only a last resort, but also a smart choice.

I am one of these millennials who opted for the rent-free option. However, living with your parents does not mean that you can’t have your own space. I turned my parents’ basement into my own haven. It is a place where I can go, relax, have a cup of tea and be at peace. But when I decided to take on turning it into my apartment, I had a lot of work ahead of me.

 

All of the cleaning and sorting
The first thing you need to do is clean out the space. This unfortunately can involve several days of sorting through things, and deciding what to keep, give away or trash. In my experience, this was probably the hardest part of the entire process. But, you will be grateful for a clean slate before making the space your own — at least I was!

Time to decorate
Decide on a color scheme. If you’re a fan of bright and bold colors like I am, go for it. Since I was working with a basement, I wanted to make sure that when people walked in, the colors were light and cheery, and put everyone in a good mood. Of course, for most of us, price is a consideration. Paint is a great way to change the feel of a room, without breaking the bank. Add some block color accents on the walls to help other things, such as artwork, pop. Little things like this can really draw the eye up.

Make it yours
When “living at home,” privacy is obviously a concern. Hang curtains to block off the apartment from the stairwell — this way, parents can still access the basement if needed, but you have a greater sense of privacy. Make sure to add those little things that make a house a home, especially any keepsakes that inspire you. You know, the things that make you smile when you look at them. Hang up lots of pictures of loved ones to remind yourself of the great people in your life.  Indulge your senses with candles, soft blankets, and pillows — plus all are also inexpensive to make!

 

I still smile every time I enter my apartment. Living at home doesn’t have to be a cliché. It can be both economically pleasing and joyful, depending on what you make of it.