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Moving in with Friends

The 1995 Rembrandts song “I’ll Be There for You” is stuck in your head as you envision what it would be like to live with your best friend. Perhaps you’ll get a pet duck and a chick, like Chandler and Joey, you think to yourself. While it might work out wonderfully, you shouldn’t dive into a living arrangement with a close friend headfirst.

“I’ll be there for —-“

The song stops abruptly. Enter, harsh reality.

The roomy NYC apartments of the Friends characters, none of which worked high-paying jobs, would be devastatingly expensive in the real-world ($4,500 per month for Monica’s). There will be no laugh track to accompany the passive-aggressive comments about who does more housework, and a leasing company probably isn’t going to buy that a chick and duck are emotional support birds. They’d stink up the place, anyway.

Read This Before Signing a Lease with a Close Friend

You love your friend, and despite the multitude of stories about healthy friendships obliterated over roommate drama, you can’t help but think your situation is different.

Unfortunately, a great friend doesn’t always equate to a great roommate.

Things to consider when moving in with your friends

Do your definitions of cleanliness match up? If not, can you compromise? 

Some people are okay with “surface clean”, shoving various items into drawers and cabinets before having guests over. For these people, out of sight means out of mind. Some people don’t realize that they should clean up that week-old greasy pizza box and take out the trash until the scent forces them to do so. 

Others need organization and will go on to develop an unrelenting eye twitch as their roommate continues putting wine glasses with the coffee cups; what kind of psychopath does that?!

Are your social lives similar? Do you like each other’s friends?

Imagine this… it’s midnight, and you’re snuggled up on the couch watching your favorite show. Maybe you’re donning a face mask. You’ve got no one to impress. You assume your roommate is staying at their significant other’s place because they haven’t responded to any of your texts. Until suddenly, you hear voices. A lot of voices. Your roommate and their drunken friends barge in with a case of beer. Oh, good, and your roommates’ insufferable friend who responds to everything with “that’s what she said” is here too.

If one of you keeps entirely different hours than the other, it probably isn’t a great fit as far as living situations go. However, if you have opposite schedules and both of you are courteous and mindful of this, it could work.

If you don’t like your potential roomie’s friends or vice versa, this could lead to some severe household tension. You can’t righteously forbid your roommate to have friends over. If you’re usually unflappable and of the mind that you can tolerate the occasional annoying guest, it shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re worried that they’ll have (annoying) friends over too often, then set some ground rules about guests for both of you to follow.

Is your friend responsible with money?

Having a friend that spends too much money on brand name clothing but isn’t able to buy drinks isn’t necessarily a friendship dealbreaker but having a friend that lives with you and can’t pay the bills is a different story. If you think there’s even the slightest possibility that this could happen, do not move in with this friend. A situation where your roomie can’t afford to pay the bills wouldn’t just put you in a bad spot financially; it would also destabilize your friendship.

Tips for success when moving in with a friend

If you’re still gung-ho about the prospect of living with your best friend, follow these recommendations to keep your friendship and your sanity intact.

Don’t wait until you’ve signed the lease to discuss the terms and conditions of your roommatehood. 

This is E S S E N T I A L. Discussing what you expect of one another before you commit will allow you both to make an informed decision and could end up saving your friendship. For example, if your friend sleeps like a rock, they might not think twice about having a few people over while you’re asleep. If you’re a light sleeper and would be livid about people socializing in your living room while you try to sleep, it should be made clear.

Talk about housework distribution. Even if you don’t mind a sink full of dirty dishes or an overflowing trashcan, your soon-to-be roommate might.

Think about what you expect of a roommate and discuss it. We all have our quirks, habits, and preferences. Disclose yours, and your friend is more than likely to do the same. Communication is key.

Talk about your finances ASAP. 

Most of us find talking about money to be a bit uncomfortable, but if you’re going to be splitting the bills, it has to happen. You’ll need to have an honest discussion about what you both can afford before making any major decisions.

In addition to the base household bills, do you want to share groceries or keep your food separate? Whose Netflix will you use? Does either of you want cable? Talking about finances before you move in together will make for far less awkward future budget discussions.

Keep the shared spaces clean. 

Clean up after yourself and keep the communal space(s) tidy. If you know you tend to be messy, be mindful. Your room can be as chaotic as you want, but don’t let it spill out into the spaces you share.

It may be useful to keep track and rotate the weekly chores, like taking out the trash and vacuuming. This way, no one will feel like they’re doing the majority of the housework. 

Continue making time for each other.

Just because you see each other in the hall or watch the occasional show together in the evening doesn’t mean you should stop putting effort into the friendship. It can be easy to get complacent when you feel like you’re seeing someone often, even if you don’t have any meaningful interactions. Schedule some time together out of the house, like grabbing a bite to eat or going to an event.  

Whether you decide to move in with a close friend or opt to continue your roommate search, we’d love to help you move into your next place. Because moving is often a necessary part of life, we aim to deliver top-quality service. As South Florida’s most recognized and trusted local movers, we stand by our customers from the beginning to the end of the move. Our services include packing and storage for business and residential clients with customized moving plans that work within your budget. We offer free transparent moving quotes and contracts that we don’t have to force you into signing. Just friendly, expert, service at affordable rates.

Call Colonial Van Lines for a free rate quote. We keep it stress-free, straightforward, and affordable.

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