Whether you want to save money or just don’t want to live alone, roommates are a great option; however, living with someone can sometimes be difficult! It’s better to know what you’re getting into before committing to this living situation.

When moving into a shared apartment, rent is not the only thing on your mind. Concerns about boundaries, cost compatibility, and sharing space can arise in these arrangements. Your roommate may not share your opinion on home design or decor. Personal preferences and routines can be pretty subjective, and this diversity is to be expected. Every relationship, whether it be a romantic one, a professional one, or a personal one, requires open and honest communication and mutual respect.

Here are ten suggestions for being a good roommate:

1. Communicate

No one can read minds, even a dispute over dirty dishes can be sudden. If you and your roommate speak openly and honestly with one another, even when it’s difficult, you can prevent problems like passive aggression.

2. Create rules

Establishing ground rules for cohabitation at an early stage is important to resolve issues. Define appropriate times to clean shared spaces or watch Netflix on the weekends. Decide who gets to shower first and when guests can come to visit. Early organization of these guidelines will help the process go more smoothly.

3. Respect each other’s personal space

No matter how extroverted someone is, they still require some personal space, so don’t intrude on other space. Never go into their bedroom without knocking.

4. Discuss your likes and dislikes

Despite the size, even a small subject can irritate someone. For example, do you know if your roommate prefers the toilet paper to dispense from the top or bottom of the roll? It might seem little but making sure you’re on the same page can prevent tense situations in your new home. Early discussions about these things are one way to avoid conflicts before they arise.

5. Clean your mess

Clean up after yourself. Counting on your roommate to help clean up after a party unless you both co-hosted it is just rude. Don’t wait until the next day to clean since the other person shouldn’t wake up to a heap of crumbs and filthy dishes. Maintain order and neatness in your personal items if you share a restroom.

6. Pay attention to the noise

Before cranking up the music, TV, or talking on the phone, take a moment to consider your actions. Respect whatever calm times you may have established. You can use headphones if your roommate is around while listening to music, watching TV, or playing video games. It can prevent annoying each other and contribute to sustaining a calm home.

7. When you doubt – reach out

Sending a short text or making a quick phone call never hurts, whether you can’t recall if that frozen pizza is yours or your roommate’s. It is always preferable to ask for permission when living with roommates than to apologize or argue after.

8. Never gossip about your roommate

You’re sure to come across something when living in close quarters that would make for great gossip. But remember, your roommate is just as entitled to privacy as you are. Consider how you would feel if they shared something you didn’t like.

9. Care for your pets

Your pets are your responsibility, even if you and your roommate have agreed that pets are OK. Clean up the litter box, feed your pet, walk it, and keep your apartment clean and odorless. If your roommate does something kind for you or your pet, express thanks and think about giving back.

10. Solve problems quickly

When you notice a problem, tell your roommate that a talk is necessary. Enter the conversation directly with your argument; avoid making accusations or attempting to refute them at every turn. Never use silent treatment, passive-aggressive tactics, or shouting to resolve a conflict.