Are you having problems paying the rent of your cozy studio unit? You’re not alone. Solo condo living is a fun experience but not all people have the financial capability to maintain the payments for the house and utilities. If moving back to your folks’ house is not an option, you may want to consider finding condo roommates who can split the bills with.
The idea of paying only half or even less of the rent and utilities should be motivation enough to share your pad with other people. But living with roommates has its share of pros and cons, one of which is the lack of space, especially if you’re living in a studio-type condo unit.
Making Use of Limited Space
Now if you still want to go ahead with your condo living plan and allow other people in your tiny abode, take note of the following tips in sharing small spaces and living harmoniously with your roommates.
1.Identify individual and mutual areas in the house
You may share the house with other people but each of you needs privacy. If you have individual spaces or corners, maintain the sanctity of personal space – no one can enter each other’s space without giving permission. Common areas are pretty obvious – living room, restroom (if there’s only one in the house), and kitchen. Your roommates should be allowed to decorate their own space to make them feel more at home. As much as possible, mutual areas should be kept clean and devoid of each other’s personal belongings.
2. Resist the urge to accumulate belongings
Due to limited space, you and your small condo roommates should keep personal stuff at a minimum especially if you don’t have separate bedrooms. If you’re a collector, you may need to cut down on stuff displayed in the living room to accommodate your roommates’ belongings. Learn to make do with whatever furniture is available in the house. If you’re still in the shopping stage, try to buy multi-purpose appliances. Choose furniture that is big enough for all of you to sit in but small enough not to occupy too much space.
3. Maximize storage space
With careful storage planning, even the smallest of units can accommodate stuff for two to three people. Make use of all the available space to store stuff. Boxes and drawers can be stored under the bed and top of bookshelves. Hooks can be installed on walls and ceiling so you can hang organizers that can hold light items. If there’s lack of built-in cabinets, you can use stackable plastic boxes to hold clothes and other stuff that shouldn’t be exposed to dirt.
4. Decide how each room should be used
A living room is usually the place for watching TV and entertaining friends but it can also serve as a study room. Same goes for the dining room or the terrace. You all have to agree how each room should be used in order to avoid conflict. If the dining table is strictly for eating only, then you shouldn’t put your books and laptop on it.
5. Label stuff
The kitchen is the perfect place to try this. Since you’ll be sharing a refrigerator, it’s wise to label each item and container so there wouldn’t be any fights on who ate up all the cookies in the jar or who drank all the beer in the pack. Identify which items are for everyone’s consumption. If you need to use your roomie’s barbecue sauce, make sure to ask her permission first before you take it out of the fridge.
6. Establish barriers
If you’re living in a studio unit and you’re not exactly keen on using bunk beds, you have to think of creative ways to give each other privacy. A floor to ceiling curtain is an inexpensive way to create separate space for each occupant. The bookshelf can be moved around to be used as a multi-purpose barrier. You can also make use of foldable dividers to make cubicles for you and your roommates.
Living Happily Under One Roof
You have to live as drama-free as possible with your condo roommates if you want your living arrangements to last. Here are some useful tips in fostering a harmonious relationship with your roommates.
Learn how to communicate
Each of you should be frank enough to tell the others about your likes and dislikes. This is important especially when you’re establishing house rules. No issue should be insignificant enough to discuss. If you need to talk, use the common areas in the unit to resolve problems in a respective manner.
Don’t touch your roommates’ belongings
This actually depends on how close you are to the people sharing your unit. Some roommates have become so close to each other that borrowing each other’s stuff even without permission is not really an issue anymore. Still, exercise restraint when it comes to valuable stuff such as jewelry. It’s still proper to ask for permission before using your roomie’s favorite pearl earrings. She’ll respect you even more for having the initiative to ask.
Assign or rotate chores
Unless you have a cleaning lady, all of you must split the chores to maintain the cleanliness of the unit. Make a list of the chore assignments and post it on the fridge for everyone to see. Be fair and rotate the hardest chores (cleaning the bathroom, scrubbing the kitchen tiles) among you.
Clear the rules regarding visitors
Having visitors is usually a sticky subject among roommates. Not all roomies are perfectly chill with having random strangers coming over their space. Be sure to consult each other about this. Know when to allow visitors to come over and how long they are allowed to stay.
Sharing a small space can be managed well if all of you will cooperate to make it work. Living with other people in great harmony is possible if you and your roommates will respect each other’s space and belongings. Make the most out of your living arrangements and you will find yourselves becoming not just happy roommates but also lifetime friends.