Let’s get real: Sharing your space with a roommate isn't everyone's idea of a perfect situation. But by investing in a few useful items for living with a roommate (and making life easier for you both), you can ensure that living in a shared space doesn’t become a total nightmare.
Whether you’re in a teeny tiny apartment with an old school friend, you’re stuck in a super compact dorm with a college roommate, or you’re sharing a rental with a total stranger, adapting can be a journey.
The good news is that you can figure out how to be a good roommate without losing your cool or breaking your boundaries. There are a number of well-thought-out buys you can invest in to make the adjustment period a little easier to navigate.
Handy items for living with a roommate
Living with a roommate isn't always plain sailing. There will inevitably be some issues that you come up against along the way. But by investing in a few key items you can make mitigating these problems a little easier.
1. A label maker
The last thing you want when sharing your space is having constant roommate conflict over what belongs to whom. That’s where a label maker can be a complete and utter godsend. If everything is labeled up, then no one is going to forget (or pretend to misremember) who owns what.
Lightweight and ultra easy to use, this handheld label maker is the perfect compact buy. Plus, it allows your to make labels in lots of fun fonts, sizes and colors.
2. Noise-cancelling headphones
One of the most common reasons that roommates argue is because of noise. Yep, seriously. When I was at college, two of my roommates fell out because one of them insisted on playing loud music late at night. Luckily, all it took to fix the mess was a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. These are perfect for blocking out any kind of disruption throughout your day and also allow you to play your own music or podcasts without bugging anyone.
These Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones (which have over 15,000 five-star reviews) are designed to be super comfortable to wear and easy to use. They boast 22 hours of battery life and feature full noise cancellation, as well as an awareness mode.
3. Fridge storage caddies
Look, we get it: No one likes it when someone else eats their food. I remember when I shared a fridge with a roommate and they kept using my salad mixes and stealing my cheese. Honestly, it made me so angry, which is why I always recommend getting separate fridge caddies so that you can store your food separately.
This three-piece set of stackable storage caddies is ideal for even the most compact fridges. Put labels on them and food mix-ups won't happen nearly as often.
4. Mail organizer
Sick and tired of your and your roommate’s mail getting mixed up? Then you might want to consider investing in a mail organizer that has separate sections for you and everyone you share your living space with. It also prevents confidential letters from getting opened up by someone else.
This two-tiered mail organizer is ideal for shared hallways as it'll make keeping your and your roommate's mail organized far easier. Plus it comes with super useful key hooks.
5. White noise machine
Whether you’re a troubled sleeper and need a little helping hand drifting off or you’re someone who gets jostled awake by the slightest noise, a white noise machine is sure to come in handy — for both you and your roommate. It can help block external noises and give you some privacy, too.
Was $49.99, now $35.99
This compact white noise machine is super easy to use, features three timer settings, and has a built-in light. Our head of ecommerce loves this model. It's also one of the more affordable white noise machines out there.
6. Sunrise alarm clock
This might sound like an odd one but hear me out on this. Walls are thin, so your blaring morning alarm clock is most likely going to wake up your roommate (leaving them a li’l angry). Why not swap out your go-to phone alarm for a sunrise alarm clock that slowly wakes you up using light, not sound?
This realistic LED wake-up light is a great buy if you're looking for a way to wake up without waking the entire house (though noise is optional). The dimmable pick also mimics the light and colors of sunrise and sunset.
For sharing an apartment or dorm, these handy buys should help living together go a little smoother.