Do's and Don'ts of Roommates

Living with others isn't always smooth sailing. Here are a few ways to avoid annoying your roommates.

Tessa Dempster
April 7, 2017
I have called a variety of places my home. I’ve lived in an all girls’ dormitory throughout high school, spent a year in a residential college, slept the odd week here and there couch surfing at a friend’s places, rented a room for a few months before finally ending up living with my sisters. In all these living situations there have been different locations, attitudes and lifestyle however after living away from the family home for more than a decade I’ve found there are some things that can either make or break a household. 

Guest etiquette

It’s your home and you have every right to have people over. However, there’s a fine line between guest and squatter. Couch surfing is a growing phenomenon, and while you may be fine with your friend parking up for a week or more in the living room, the rest of the household may not. Those special guests are a whole different ball game. With ‘Netflix and Chill’ being a common occurrence, the living room can turn from a relaxing area to a tense pre-mating zone. Let’s keep it PG-13 in high traffic spaces, and save the X-rated moments for the privacy of your room.

Toilet Paper Trouble

There’s nothing worse than racing home to use the facilities after being stuck in Perth peak hour for what seems like a large portion of your life. Well there is one thing worse, racing home to use the facilities only to realise mid-stream there’s a cardboard roll where the toilet paper should be. If you use the last square – don’t be an asshole. Some situations cannot be resolved with a simple drip-dry and no one wants the humiliation of having to yell for help while you’re occupotto after dropping the kids off, if you catch my drift.

Not it! The avoidance game

Whether it’s an overflowing bin, a spill on the floor or dish mountain in the kitchen; everyone has experienced this form of Mexican standoff. It’s the jobs that everyone loves to hate. Everyone’s gotta eat but no one likes the fact they gotta clean. Rule of thumb: leave it as you’d like to find it.

Passive aggressive behaviour

When you’re living with others there is going to be a time when you’re going to get on each other’s nerves. Whether it’s hair in the shower, leaving the dishcloth at the bottom of the sink or not turning the lights off before bed – it’s inevitable. We’re all adults, the best practice is to talk it out before one dirty mug turns into a full blown yelling match.

What’s mine is not yours

Though we may live together, this does not give you free reign on all of my products and food. As a general rule, work this out when you first move in together. There’s nothing worse than coming home to find the food you’ve been fantasising about all day has been eaten or your shampoo is all used up when you’ve got a date to go to. Always ask first, or if you do use something, replace it before they realise it’s gone and they’ll be none the wiser.

Bitch betta have my money

You like this house, you want to keep living here? Great we’re in agreeance. Rent is due on a regular schedule, so there is no excuse for being underprepared. While times can be tough financially, it is not up to the rest of the household to support you. You’re an adult living out of home the same as everyone else – so if that means living small until that next pay check clears, that’s what you have to do. Say no to the great jacket, new shows or resist the urge to jump on SportsBet. Plan ahead for bills and rent to avoid scraping together the $$ using pocket change. 

Tessa Dempster

Hi, I'm Tessa. I've lived all over Western Australia getting to sample food, wine, local events and more. I'm merciless when it comes to a long black, love a glass or three of red wine, and can often be found showing off my eccentric but enthusiastic moves whenever there is music playing (shopping centres included). I now document my finds and antics for Perth Underground. Hit me up if you want me to come discover your business! I'd love to pop by for a chat.