Negotiating with Roommates: Start Early, Communicate Often


Submitted by Julie Homerding

Living in a dorm room is like having your very own 10×10 home. And just like any home, you will have to fill your dorm room with things that you and your roommate will need on a daily basis. The question is, who is bringing what?

Contact your new roommate during the summer. You don’t want to buy everything or have doubles of certain items, especially the “big” things.

First, talk to your roommate about what you already have. For instance, if you have a fridge already, ask your roommate if she could get another “big” item, such as the microwave or futon couch.

If you both already have a certain item, talk to each other about who will bring it. If you or your roommate both have a TV, and one works better with the space provided in your room, definitely go with the better TV.

Another important tip is to make sure you know what your university housing already provides. Some dorm rooms come with a fridge and microwave already; some dorms offer rentals for certain items. Also, dorms may provide students with items such as garbage cans and vacuum cleaners, so make sure to check all of your options.

Let your roommate know about these deals as well. This will make things easier for both of you.

Smaller items such as kitchen utensils and cleaning supplies can be bought by both you and your roommate, but be courteous and help each other out with these type of expenses.

For more information on this topic, check out our First #UChic Twitter chat transcript.

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