If you’re getting ready to share space with a new roommate, you’re not alone. In 2002, 25.4 percent of adults in the United States lived with roommates. A decade later, that number had increased to 32 percent—and it’s still surging.

At Bellhops, we can vouch for those statistics. We’ve helped thousands of roommates move in together all across America.

Maybe you need to find an affordable place to “double up” in order to be closer to work or school. Maybe you need to rent a room to someone in order to save money or make a dent in your bills. Maybe you’re just ready for a new adventure.

Whatever the reason you decide to share a space with someone, it’s essential to prevent any kind of confrontation before you and your new roommate start living together. While your initial conversations might have been great, there might still be some important things that you need to talk about with your future roomie.

Here are the four biggies:

1. Bills

Money is one of most stressful topics in any relationship, and that includes the relationship between roommates. Paying bills is already a hassle, and sharing the responsibility with a roommate can complicate matters. With that in mind, it’s best that you and your new roommate settle all money matters right from the start.

Pen and paper from the Bellhops article "Four Topics You Need to Discuss with Your New Roommate"

Discuss which dates your various bills will be due each month. Which payments will you—or your roommate—be responsible for? Is it a copay situation? What methods of payment will you use for each bill? Will you cash app each other, use checks, etc.?

Having mutually agreeable answers to these questions can go a long way toward promoting a mutually agreeable living situation between you and your new roommate.

2. Guests

Ranking a close second behind finances on the potential stress meter is navigating and respecting each other’s personal space. Before moving in together, you and your new roommate need to find a way to maintain to your individual peace, quiet, and privacy.

Establish standards for having guests. Will they be allowed to stay overnight anytime or just on the weekends? Are both guys and girls allowed? Will you have designated quiet hours? Are you okay with having 15 people singing karaoke at the top of their lungs at 3 a.m.?

A wall planner or blackboard can help you communicate when, say, you’re having friends over for dinner or when your roommate wants to have some quiet time with his or her significant other. A shared Google Calendar can help, as well. (Google Calendars are great for managing bills, as well.)

3. Cleaning

While you’ll both be in charge of keeping your own respective areas neat and tidy, you and your new roomie will have to decide how often the communal areas need to be cleaned, as well as how you’ll split up the cleaning duties. Consider using a chore chart—there hundreds to choose from online. Oh, and did we mention how handy Google Calendars can be?

Not only is it important to establish a cleaning schedule early on, but you’ll also need to discuss who will be in charge of purchasing the cleaning supplies. As we mentioned earlier, money can be a touchy subject, so the earlier the two of you can agree on who will buy the toilet paper, paper towels, dishwasher soap, sponges, and other supplies, the better.

4. Pets

Pets are great, but will your roommate be cool with you having one? If you don’t plan to have one, will you mind if he or she does?

Dogs on a hill from the Bellhops article "Four Topics You Need to Discuss with Your New Roommate"

Talk with your roommate about how he or she feels about pets. Is he or she allergic to any animals? If either of you has a pet, will both of you take care of it? If a pet deposit is involved, who will pay it? Will you be expected to feed the pet, walk the pet, or clean up after the pet when your roommate is not around—and vice versa?

Having a roommate can (and should) be a positive experience. After you’ve settled all of the matters mentioned above, make an effort to spend some regular time just hanging out and getting to know each other. Who knows? While you were originally looking for a good roommate, you might wind up finding a friend.

Whether you need a little help with your move, or a lot, Bellhops is here for you. Check to see if Bellhops we are in your location and feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Bellhops are handpicked, hardworking movers who make moving affordable for everyone. Book Bellhops online in minutes and save half the cost compared to hiring a traditional moving company.

Is there anything you’d like us to write about? Email our editor at editor@getbellhops.com

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