When you’re sharing space with other people—whether they’re your loved ones or acquaintances in a roommate situation—respect and toleration are essential to ensure that all residents have a place they can truly call home.
That can be difficult if nobody adjusts their behavior and attitude to account for sharing space with others. Lack of boundaries, differing expectations, and personality clashes can turn a shared space into a battleground.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want a living space where everybody (mostly) gets along.
Designate Your Spaces.
No matter what size your living space comes in, it’s important to know what each space can be used for—and what shouldn’t be done there. Identify the common areas you all share and set up rules as to how to use them.
Some people might prefer to eat in the living room, while others think that space shouldn’t be used for eating. If such things are brought up in advance, you have the time to work out a system and negotiate so that everyone’s needs have a chance to be addressed.
Maintain peace at home.
It’s all about respect for the people who share your space. Agree on, and follow, house rules. Pick up after yourself. If you need to request permission to do something that goes against the rules, do so in advance, and politely. Accept that your roommates have the right to turn you down, and the same goes for you if their request makes you uncomfortable.
If you have a grievance to share, talk to the person involved; and if a mediator is needed, then request one. Don’t hold grudges and try to resolve things in a civil manner.
Breaking bread together is the simplest way to bond with family or roommates. Over the dinner table, you can get to know your family members or your roommates better—it can even draw people of vastly different cultures together!
Sharing a meal is an unstructured, undirected bonding activity that combines pleasurable food with good company—a common experience that takes so little out of your day.
Clean up after yourself.
Don’t leave a trail of destruction in your wake that other people have to clean up after you! Clean your own messes after you make them, following the “clean as you go” principle. It’s easier than it looks: you can take ten minutes to fix your mess without eating too much into your daily calendar.
You can simplify the principle even further, by reducing your unneeded possessions little by little (cough, cough—Konmari—cough, cough). This way, you not only simplify your own life, you leave more room for fellow dwellers’ things.
Know your roles in the house.
Sit down and have a discussion about boundaries and expectations. Leaving the dirty dishes for tomorrow might be okay for you, but it may be a no-no for other people who have to live there. If they brought in the coffeemaker, can you use it too? Things like bills payment, sharing groceries, chores, having visitors over, bathroom schedules, all need to be discussed in order to avoid any misunderstandings and missteps in the future.
Be Mindful of Others.
Consider how your behavior will affect others in the house. Just because you’re feeling under the weather doesn’t mean you can be rude. Always be ready to apologize if you made a misstep, and be ready to forgive if given a sincere apology.
Homes are such personal spaces, and having a place to you can comfortably share with the people in your life and create memories in is something everyone aspires to. With 93 projects in 25 strategic locations nationwide, Avida Land can help you find a home you can build your life in. Learn more at avidaland.com.