Living with a housemate (or 4 housemates — thanks, San Francisco) is tough; you were raised a certain way and they were raised a certain way. You’ll have lots of disputes about things you’ve never even thought of before, and maybe you’ll begin to question humanity.
Roughly 25% of young adults in the United States (18–34 year olds) live with housemates who aren’t their parents or their significant other. If 18 million of us have housemates, we have good chances of finding great people.
At Kopa, we’ve been working hard on creating the Kopa Housemate Finder to help renters find housemates who are right for them. We spent 3 months researching and learning about the combinations of lifestyles, personality types, and schedules that lead to housemate compatibility. This research yielded many, many findings, but we’ll save those for another post.
One of the questions that revealed the most: “What bothers you about current or past housemates?” Here’s 20 of the top pet peeves that what we heard:
Top 20 Pet Peeves
- Leaving dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter.
- Consistently “forgetting” to do your chores or trying to convince us you’ve done them.
- Having people over without a warning. (You think your housemates won’t notice the extra 10 people in the house?) Also annoying — allowing your S.O. to sleep over every night.
- Leaving your hair in the sink, on the bathroom floor, or smeared on the shower wall like some horrifying rendition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night sky.
5. Packing as much as you can into the garbage can to avoid being the one to take it out.
6. Being loud — slamming doors or drawers, stomping around, talking too loudly.
7. Consuming other housemates’ food or drinks without asking.
Related: Forgetting to replace the communal milk you finished.
8. Leaving clearly expired food in the fridge. (Pro tip: If it’s curdled or rotten, it’s no good.)
9. Not using headphones between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m., especially if it’s electronic music.
10. Hogging the communal TV every hour, every night.
11. Leaving jackets or backpacks or 18 pairs of shoes in common spaces.
12. Blaming “mysterious” damage to the apartment on anyone but themselves.
13. Thermostat wars.
14. Leaving water running in sinks or showers for way too long.
15. Letting your phone on ring or vibrate and then leaving the room so your housemates hear your every text, call, and alarm.
16. Manspreading on every last inch on the couch so no one else feels welcome to join.
17. Having loud sex within earshot. Physical sex, phone sex — doesn’t matter.
18. Habitually leaving cabinet doors open.
19. Not taking your shoes off in the house.
20. Not being friendly enough OR being way too friendly.
Use pet peeves to your advantage.
Talking about pet peeves with potential housemates leads to more educated housing decisions. We found that potential housemates who empathize with each others’ pet peeves and/or housemate horror stories are significantly more likely to be compatible.
Ideally, the pet peeve conversation happens before you decide to move in with someone, but if you missed that chance, be open and tell them when they’re doing something that bothers you. Most people aren’t aware their behavior is annoying someone, and good housemates make an effort to change. These housemate chats aren’t always fun, but hopefully they lead to what you all deserve — to feel at home.