College Roommate Problems: How to Avoid Moving Out Chaos
By Sam Coren
Remember that day you moved into your dorm at the beginning of the school year and everything looked so…clean? Well the time has come to conquer Mt. Laundry and dismantle your tower of empty energy drink cans. Yes, move out day is just around the corner and summer vacation can't come soon enough.
But oh, what about those pesky roommates? Move out day is one of the biggest sources of college roommate angst. People are animals whenever they have to move (you remember move-in date, right?). Whether it's accidentally taking your favorite shirt, or carelessly knocking over your desk mirror - you need to brace yourself for the unexpected.
Here are a few ways to get through the process pain-free:
Start packing early.
Bit by bit you should be starting to pack up stuff you won't be needing over the next couple weeks. Not only does this make for less work on move out day, but if you share the same room it makes it less crazy if everyone isn't scrambling to pack and move things at the last minute.
Find out when they're moving out and offer to help if you're available.
As always, clear communication is key when it comes to preventing roommate problems. Offering to help them isn't just a courtesy, it's a way to make sure they're being mindful of your belongings without looking like a parole officer. One of the biggest issues on move out day is roommates who take things that don't belong to them regardless of intention. This is your chance to make sure they're not making off with your beloved copy of Call of Duty.
If you do run into a situation where you spot something of yours in their move out bin, it's important to NOT accuse them of stealing right away. Ask them, "Oh hey, isn't that my ____?" Chances are they'll plead it got there by accident and you'll be returned what's rightfully yours without a huge scene.
Determine a time when everyone is still there to clean.
Some schools will charge students an extra cleaning fee to all students who share a room if they leave it behind in bad condition. Even if they don't charge you a cleaning fee, it's still the respectful thing to do to leave the place spotless. Determine a time after papers and finals are over for all your roommates to chip in on cleaning.
When you make it a group effort it can get done quickly and you aren't the only one burdened with the cost of cleaning supplies. Nothing is worst than having to be the last one to move out and be stuck with a gigantic mess to clean up.
Have a goodbye lunch or dinner.
Whether you're BFF with your roommate or not, having a nice send off meal is a good way to ease tension before the move and pat yourselves on the back for making it through a year. You can also use this as an opportunity to coordinate move out schedules. Before you leave talk about each other's future plans. You never know when you'll cross paths again, and let's face it, no on needs more enemies, right?
Photo: Siena College