Author Topic: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette  (Read 47687 times)

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Sycorax

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2009, 07:26:44 PM »
From a long experience with housemates I have to add a few things too:

a) If you come home drunk as a skunk at 3 o'clock in the morning and you see that your housemate still is sitting on her/his desk, don't automatically assume that she/he waited all night for you to come and "entertain" her/his with your drunken rumblings.

b) If you're allowed to keep a pet, please do keep its food properly too! It's definitely no fun for your housemates to chase your chameleon's crickets under her/his desk and behind his/her closets all the time (and yes, I was once had to do that - and I can't tell you how much one single cricket in your study can go on your nerves!).

c) Close your door when playing scrabble with your s.o. or whoever you chose to do so. As "good" as you may be in vocalizing your pleasure - listening to it isn't a pleasure for people not involved in the game.

d) If you think you must take every friend of your housemate in your bed as quickly as possible, don't complain to your housemate afterwards about "this jerk" who's his/her friend not calling you. Don't expect your housemate to break up with this friend because he isn't interested in you.

e) If your housemate likes a certain, rather expansive brand of coffee, think about if you want to buy it too before drinking it. If you don't want to pay so much for coffee, get your own cheap brand, but don't drink the housemate's good stuff and replace it with something cheap. It's not fair.

f) You're religious? Fine - but please, don't try to decorate the common rooms with crosses, kitschy pictures with prayers on it and such stuff when your housemate obviously isn't fond of such decoration.

g) If your housemate answers the question if your partner can stay overnight or even for a weekend with "But of course, that's no problem" don't take this as permission to make your partner stay around for weeks - especially not when this partner of yours obviously thinks that cleaning the shower after having taken one or getting the kitchen back in the shape it was before the partner was cooking is beneath him.

h) In our area garbage needs to become sorted: Glass, paper, things for the compost, certain packages marked with a green spot, other garbage. I didn't make this rule, but I'm responsible for all the garbage in my house being sorted. I'm the one who gets in trouble if the garbage isn't sorted, so I think I can expect a housemate the follow the rules too, as uncomfortable as they may be. If you don't like them, don't complain to me, but to the people who made these rules!

i) Don't behave as if you wouldn't know that electricity is 1. expansive and 2. something one should spare for the sake of the entire world. It's really not necessary to let all the lights in the flat on from the moment you come home to the moment you go in bed, it's really not necessary to heat your room up until you can run around bar feeted and with only a thin t-shirt even in the deepest winter; it's really not necessary to get the heater in the bathroom on if you only want to brush your teeth there.

Sycorax
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Nannerdoman

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2009, 06:59:31 PM »
You had a bad day.  I, your roommate, am sorry and I sympathize.  However, I honestly do not want to hear about it All.  Evening.  Long.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2009, 11:18:16 AM by Nannerdoman »
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M-theory

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2009, 03:27:17 AM »
a) If you come home drunk as a skunk at 3 o'clock in the morning and you see that your housemate still is sitting on her/his desk, don't automatically assume that she/he waited all night for you to come and "entertain" her/his with your drunken rumblings.

This is the truest thing anyone has ever said. Many people, upon becoming drunk, believe that it makes them unbearably intelligent, interesting, and witty to anyone else who doesn't flee as soon as the drunk person enters the room. Well, the only part of that belief that's true is the unbearable.

(BG: I lived at home with my father for a while after becoming an adult. My "office" was in the dining room because there was no other place for it - my bedroom was too small for a desk. He'd get drunk and come rant at me about topic du jour, get mad when I'd ask him to leave me alone so I could work. Later, after sobering up, he'd complain that I didn't ever seem to make enough money to move out. I get paid by the line, which means that if you're distracting me during work you're costing me money!)

Emmy

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2009, 09:44:16 AM »
* You may have had a bad day of school, work, or just be a moody person.  However, it is unfair to go back to the apartment and take it out on your roommates.  You have the right to be alone and not talk to anybody if you in a bad mood.

* Follow the rules of the place you are living.  It's unfair and inconsiderate to bring pets, drugs, ect. into an apartment or dorm when there are rules forbidding it.  In some colleges all roommates are punished if one is caught with something illegal in the apartment (even if other roommates did not know about it and/or are not present when guilty roommate is caught).  It's a stupid rule to punish the innocent in my opinion, but it's a reality and it is completely selfish for one person to put their roommates in that position.

* Moving out etiquette -
   -  If all roommates are moving out at the same time, contribute fairly to the workload of cleaning up.  Don't leave your junk behind for your other roommates to deal with.  On the same note, don't try to take food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and other useful things you did not purchase. 

   -  If one roommate is moving out, be careful to take only the stuff you purchased.  Make sure your rent and other bills are payed up.  Make sure your room is clean and you aren't leaving behind a bunch of junk for your other roommates to deal with.

These are based on my experiences with roommates.

* One piece of advice for those considering a roommate.  More often than not, when a potential roommate complains that her other roommates were mean to her, they were unfair, and didn't like her for no reason, usually there is a reason.  Twice I've decided to live with 'victim' roommates who past roommates were 'mean' to them and they had nowhere else to go and twice it was regretting (both them were bat poo crazy, one was an uber drama queen who started forming her own clique with another roommate and the other was a druggie).


Mahdoumi

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2009, 09:53:06 PM »
Out of five housemates, I've only had one I adored.  She was my age and had returned to school.  Her DH and she owned a lovely home in Westchester; her school was on LI, so she lived with my DD and me during the week and back with her DH on weekends.  I had another housemate who fled her DH with her two kids and moved out a year and a half later with three.  She was very nice, but the house was crowded, and clearly it was not a season of Kate & Allie.  Two different parenting styles and expectations was rough, too.  The other three were positively out of their minds. One was dangerous and would break a major appliance, loosen ceiling fixtures, or not flush after a BM whenever I was compelled to reiterate the no-smoking-in-the-house rule.  Don't know how I broke that agreement without the house being burnt down.

At any rate:

When sharing an older home with two bathrooms, do not gleefully flush your toilet when you KNOW your housemate is in the shower.

Remove your clothing promptly from the washer/dryer, and don't run a gas dryer for one garment each morning because you were too lazy to fold/hang your clothes properly.

It's much easier to clean your dedicated bathroom every week or two rather than damage the fixtures because it was necessary to use Brillo upon moving after a year's negligence.

Be mindful that if the cesspool attached to the house where you grew up couldn't accommodate sanitary products/extra thick tissue/paper towels/your bulimia issues, neither can the cesspool attached to the house you've just moved into. (Yes, this is snarky, but the repairs were equivalent to two months' mortgage for me).

Each should respect the other's dietary choices.  Comments about the stupidity of a tofu turkey and faux gagging and running out of the house while a steak broils are completely unnecessary and stressful.

Each should respect the other's schedule.  If you get home at 5:30pm, don't wait to prepare your dinner until 7:30pm when you know your housemate gets home and has to cook for her child before helping with homework.  Equally on that subject, when you know your housemate will be rushing in to prepare dinner for her child only to find the pots/utensils/glasses/plates used and sitting in the sink, don't sigh and bash things around while cleaning up your mess because it's interrupting Wheel of Fortune.

If your standards for cleanliness are at a persnickity, obsessive level, be prepared to hold that standard all by yourself (I'm the persnickety, obsessively clean one although years of housemates has calmed me down A LOT).

Edited because I insanely used "two" instead of "too."
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 10:24:29 PM by Mahdoumi »

Lisbeth

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2009, 12:15:51 AM »
All roommates need to be on the same page when one plans to entertain in their shared quarters-and all roommates should either be explicitly invited to the event, or .their presence needs to be tolerated
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KitFox

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2009, 01:04:46 PM »
* Roommate does not equal psychiatric patient. If your roommate is a private person who would rather not discuss her personal life, that's her business. And remember, if you are not a licensed psychiatrist and your roommate is not your client, you are not qualified to discuss what her mundane behaviors "really mean."

* If you and your roommates have agreed on some form of signal to indicate when scrabble-playing is going on, please do not take that as an invitation to attempt to interrupt the scrabble game because "it's funny" or because since you have no one to play with, you feel no one should be allowed to play.

* Unless the pet in question is doing something to bother you, don't attempt to discipline a roommate's animal. Especially if your "discipline" is also known as "animal cruelty."

ETA the underlined text.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 01:09:43 PM by KitFox »

M-theory

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2009, 01:06:32 PM »
* Roommate does not equal psychiatric patient. If your roommate is a private person who would rather not discuss her personal life, that's her business. And remember, if you are not a licensed psychiatrist, you are not qualified to discuss what her mundane behaviors "really mean."

And even if you are a licensed psychiatrist (in which case you should really be able to afford your own apartment), mind your own dingdangity business.

blarg314

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2009, 03:47:26 AM »

Be realistic about your own requirements about your living space.

If you need absolute silence to sleep,  freak out at the sight of an empty glass next to the sink, or have to have things done exactly in a certain way or you get stressed, then you are probably better off living alone. If you do decide to have roommates, recognize that other people have different ways of doing things, that these can be perfectly valid, and that you cannot and should not impose all of your weird quirks on your room-mates.

-----

Just because you are room-mates doesn't mean that you are going to be friends. Sometimes room-mates click well, and form a social bond. Other times, you really have nothing in common. Be polite, and considerate, but if someone doesn't want to be best buddies, do things with you, or spend hours chatting, that is their privilege. Don't push it.

-------

Don't spend all your time camping out in the common areas. This is particularly true if you work from home or spend a lot of time there, whether relaxing or studying.  Be considerate of the other people's desire to sit in the living room, surf through the TV channels, or prepare dinner.











KitFox

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2009, 09:47:04 AM »
I might have missed this one, but it's a biggie for me these days:

##: a) If there are things that are in the common area that belong to one roommate, but are left available for general use (movies, shelves, throws, etc) be at least as careful with them as you are with your own stuff.
b) If you do damage something that belongs to your roommate, TELL THEM IMMEDIATELY, apologize, and repair/replace the item if at all possible.
c) Do not call a roommate "petty" for being angry if you break something inexpensive, but sentimental and irreplaceable.

Mopsy428

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2009, 05:17:12 PM »
a. If you have someone taking over your lease, discuss it with your roommates! They are the ones who are going to have to live with the new person, so they should have some say in it. Do not say to your roommates the Thursday after they return from vacation, "I'm moving out. And by the way, the new girl will be here on Saturday!"

b. Do not bad-mouth/lie about your roommates to the person who is moving in.

c. Do not break the rules of the house or the law and then whine, "But that's how we do it in ________!!" Guess what? You aren't in _______ anymore! (And you agreed to abide by the rules!)

d. Return the keys when you move out.

blarg314

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2009, 03:30:21 AM »
c) Do not call a roommate "petty" for being angry if you break something inexpensive, but sentimental and irreplaceable.

And as an follow-on: 

If you agree to share the use of items you own personally, from dishes, to books and DVDs, to furniture, accept that normal wear and tear is inevitable, and accidents happen. You can expect your roommates to be careful, but you can't make them promise, for example, that they will never trip and drop a glass.

If something is either extremely valuable, irreplaceable, or of deep sentimental value, it is better kept in your private area to protect it, rather than in the common areas.


And as general notes:

Renting a room or having roommates is a legal agreement, not just a social one. Therefore, there are things you need to have in writing, in a lease, rather than either assuming that other people have the same idea you are, or that they will follow your expectations. This is for all the roommates and the landlord, and includes

Rent: how much, when and how will it be paid.
Utilities: what are they, and how will they be paid/split.
Leasing: duration of the lease, renewal, how to give notice, how long in advance, subletting, who can have keys
Behaviour: Non-smoking, non-drinking, vegetarian, no recreational drugs should be settled in advance
Other people: policy on entertaining, overnight guests, long term guests and SOs, as well as what happens if someone wants to move an SO in.

And finally, the biggest thing is to not assume that other people do things the way you do, or have the same ideas. Ask them. Discuss things before moving in, so you have an idea about whether your style of living and boundaries match well before moving in. Odd Couple scenarios may look well on TV, but aren't fun to live in.
 

Hawkwatcher

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2009, 06:41:27 AM »
If you are no longer interested in your boyfriend/girlfriend, please break up with that person.  Do not leave it up to your roommate to deal with that person.

KitFox

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2009, 11:02:19 AM »
c) Do not call a roommate "petty" for being angry if you break something inexpensive, but sentimental and irreplaceable.

And as an follow-on: 

If you agree to share the use of items you own personally, from dishes, to books and DVDs, to furniture, accept that normal wear and tear is inevitable, and accidents happen. You can expect your roommates to be careful, but you can't make them promise, for example, that they will never trip and drop a glass.

If something is either extremely valuable, irreplaceable, or of deep sentimental value, it is better kept in your private area to protect it, rather than in the common areas.

I'm thinking of my own situation, in which we have a display mantle and our boarder came barreling into the common area, slammed against the wall, and knocked a bunch of stuff down, breaking a small glass rose that belonged to DH's deceased mom. We still don't know why he decided to run into the wall.

Mopsy428

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Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2009, 01:01:44 PM »
Another thing: Don't do something reckless and then claim that it was OK because you never specifically agreed to refrain from doing it. Use common sense! Doing things such as kicking/throwing balls in the house and turning cartwheels in the common areas are great ways to knock things over, make a mess, and break things. It goes without saying that you should not do these things.