Coliving spaces are becoming trendier than ever as they provide many economic and social benefits. While most people do have their own bedroom, this does not mean you are on an island. You still share a kitchen and other common areas in the community. After all, residing in a coliving space means you still need to do your best to be a good roommate. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips for being a better roommate in your coliving space!
Practice Proactive Communication
This is by far the golden rule of successful coliving. People often have differing expectations relating to a wide variety of things including tidiness, organization, and processes. Many times, roommates may perceive one another as being rude or unkind when the reality may simply lie in a different set of expectations. Thus, discussing your preferences for things ahead of time is important.
Additionally, many people may prefer not to “cause a problem” by ignoring small annoyances. Over time, these can build up and create greater conflict. Be sure to politely bring up things that concern you but be receptive to working out a compromise. Additionally, since many people are not comfortable with conversations that may seem based in conflict, be sure to encourage roommates to bring up any concerns they have with you. Approachability is a great quality and active communication is key.
Pick Up After Yourself
This may sound like common sense; however, it is one way that many roommates can outwear their welcome. It is also easy to forget to do, particularly when in a hurry. But practicing some common courtesies here can go a long way to make your coliving space roommates appreciate you.
This involves things like rinsing and putting away your dishes, taking out your trash, not leaving hair in a sink or bathtub, and other basic aspects of cleanliness. These are small things that can make a big difference in creating a reputation as someone reliable and considerate. Remember that you likely won’t be close friends with everyone in your coliving space, yet you still want to strive to show courtesy.
One way to make sure no one feels like the majority of chores falls on them is to divide up responsibilities. With many roommates, you may find that there are enough people where no one will have a chore they loathe. You could also simply rotate and take turns. Talking through this gives everyone a change to find the best structure for them. Additionally, when you get a new roommate, remember to give them an overview of how you’ve done things in the past while also being open to their ideas.
A chore chart can be an effective way to keep organized while ensuring accountability. Again, the perfect solution will differ depending on the size and needs of the group, but this is another area where discussing things up front can lead to a better living situation for everyone involved.
The great part about Starcity is that they offer weekly cleanings in all of the common areas and you can even get your room cleaned as an add-on service! Just don’t forget to tidy up your mess and be mindful of your community.
Don’t Force Relationships
Some people are very outgoing and love making tons of friends. If you have this “woo factor,” you likely know you’re the type that can quickly convert many strangers to long-lost friends. However, other people prefer small social circles. It is quite possible that you aren’t going to be great friends with everyone in your coliving space, and that’s ok.
What isn’t ok is to force friendships as that can end up making everyone feel uncomfortable. Definitely be a good roommate by including others in invites to outings, asking if anyone needs something from the store, amongst other things to create an all inclusive atmosphere. But don’t feel insulted if you don’t develop a close connection with someone. Also, if you get the sense someone prefers to be left alone, be sure to respect their space.
Pay Attention to How You Affect Others
One of the most important talents of a good roommate is that they have empathy and can understand how their actions affect their roommates. This can come into play in many ways. First, pay attention to the space you occupy, both physically and with your belongings. Leaving belongings lying around in common areas is generally frowned upon and can create a messy aesthetic. You are sure to have at least a few people in your coliving space that prefer organization.
Additionally, pay attention to how you affect others in terms of noise. Have you ever tried to work on a project only to be distracted by loud music or television? Be courteous and invest in a good set of quality headphones so that your music or television doesn’t bother others. Noise pollution can definitely create frustration, but headphones will let you stay entertained without being a nuisance.
Apologize and Forgive
The reality is that everyone makes mistakes. We forget to wash our dishes, don’t realize we are inconveniencing someone, or may even say something that hurts someone’s feelings. These are normal parts of cohabitating with others. However, it is important to meaningfully apologize and ask for forgiveness. This is a way to show respect and mend fences.
Additionally, it is important to not hold a grudge and be receptive to forgiving someone else. You cannot expect someone to forgive your mistake but then hold them to an impossibly high standard in return. Kindness is key. Practicing this will ensure you have a more positive coliving experience.
Coliving spaces are great ways to meet people in a new city and be social; just remember, like any cohabitating situation, there are many interpersonal dimensions present. We should all strive to become better roommates! There are many tips for doing this, most of which come down to the simple concept of respect and awareness. Coliving is a great living arrangement for many people, especially in larger, more expensive cities. By following the tips in this article, you can build stronger relationships with your coliving space roommates and have a more positive experience overall.