Smart Tips for Avoiding “Dishues” with your New Roomies

published Aug 23, 2016
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If you’ve ever had a roommate, you know exactly what we mean by “dishues.” They’re those petty but persistent issues—think unwashed dishes, stolen Kind bars and late-night commotions—that can only come of an inconsiderate cohabiter. Though trivial, they can prove problematic nonetheless.

When left unresolved, those previous annoyances can snowball into full-fledged fights with your flatmate, leaving you stuck in a living situation that isn’t very fun for either of you. To help, we’ve come up with a few clever pointers to prevent these dishue-style disputes. And while we can’t promise things will always end peacefully with a bad bunkmate, we can san say with certainty that if all else fails, they’re fairly easy to replace.

1. Set boundaries

Our most important piece of advice for avoiding drama with your roommates is to start things off by setting some ground rules. This means deciding everything from the shower schedule (if you share a bathroom) to how loud the television should be after bedtime. Though it may seem a little serious for initial move-in discussion, it’ll undoubtedly save you from lots of unnecessary stress—and late night noise—down the line.

2. Create a chore chart

While it may sound childish, divvying up and assigning household duties—i.e. dishes, sweeping, and taking out the trash—with your roomie is a actually a really mature way to prevent a plethora of cleaning-related confrontations. Establish each of your own daily and weekly housekeeping responsibilities early on and free yourself from future headaches (and dust bunnies).

3. Sign up for Venmo

If you aren’t already familiar with the mobile payment app Venmo, get ready for a game changer. Run by the good folks at PayPal, the service allows you transfer money from one bank account to another, with nothing more than a tap on your touchscreen. Translation: you can divvy up everything from the electric bill to groceries on your phone and directly bypass any dicey IOUs from the roomie.

4. Furnish fairly

In order to successfully coexist with someone you have to create an environment you both feel comfortable living in, meaning decorating your shared spaces should be a joint endeavor. Split all of the furniture and housewares costs (e.g. the sofa, chairs, plates, and pans) and be sure to confer on all major design decisions (see also: artwork, wall paint, and futon covers) and soon you’ll have a place you both want to kick back and chill in.

5. Plan a monthly “date night”

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy relationship with your roommate is to spend quality time with them outside of your apartment. Allot two hours a month to a roomie-only outing—i.e. go to dinner, see a movie, grab a coffee, or just take a walk around your ‘hood—and you’ll build a real friendship (and foundation) with your flat mate.

6. Invest in a good lock—or a mini fridge

While we hope for your sake it doesn’t get to this, an oft-overlooked solution for a solving a slew of roomie issues is to simply safeguard your stuff. Whether your roomie has a habit of “borrowing” your clothes without permission or drinking all of your expensive beer, before worse comes to worst consider protecting your property with a pad lock on your door or investing in a mini fridge so you can store your goods securely.

7. Consciously Cohabitate

Though cliché, remembering the golden rule is key to coexisting in harmony with your roomie. Do your best to keep your lines of communication (and mind) as open as possible and don’t forget that they, too, are sharing their personal space and privacy with you.