How to be a good short-term roommate
There is an intermediate stage between being a full-fledged roommate and just visiting for a couple nights or a weekend – couch-surfer, short term roommate, those sort of cover what I’m looking for. Are you staying with friends or family for an extended period? The key to keeping that relationship harmonious is to treat it as a favor and not a privilege. Here are a few suggestions to keep your visit a welcome one.
Keep your hosts informed. Do everything in your power to provide a timeline for your hosts, particularly the date you intend to leave. Do not make your stay open-ended with no effort at communicating your intentions or you will wear out your welcome quickly.
Mind your mess. The absolute last thing you want to do is come to stay with someone and create a bigger mess than they already have. Keep your gear tidy, clean up after yourself in the bathroom and kitchen, make your bed everyday in you have one, and leave as little impact from your stay as possible.
Mind your host’s mess. Nothing says “Thank you!” like taking the initiative and removing some household burdens from your host. Volunteer to clean up the kitchen, do some light housekeeping in the common areas, take out trash or sweep. Some hosts will decline help, but you should at least offer to show your appreciation.
Get your own food. Don’t treat your stay as a vacation at a bed & breakfast. Take care of your own meal needs, and for bonus points cook for your hosts or order their favorite takeout once a week.
Leave a gift when you go. A small token of your appreciation can work wonders – you’ll end your stay on a warm note and hopefully leave the door open if you ever need to stay again.
If you are the host and your guest is starting to get on your nerves, you can leave a copy of this article on their pillow as a suggestion.