Telling your roommate that you are moving out is often harder than ending a five-year relationship. It is rarely easy. It’s almost easier to get in a huge fight with someone and leave angry than it is to have an adult conversation and deal with it. Still, it must be done, and putting it off will not make it any easier. The sooner you tell your roommate you’re moving out, the more time they have to find a replacement. Not to mention, you need to make sure you tell them before your full-service movers call to confirm, and you are not there to answer the phone.
Schedule a Time to Talk
This is most important if you work opposite shifts and are like two ships passing in the night. If you rarely see one another, leave a note on the refrigerator asking when a good time is that the two of you can chat.
You want to give the conversation plenty of time to iron out final details. Also, scheduling right before your roommate has to go to work is unfair because they may be a little upset.
Talk at Home
The last thing you want to do is spring it on your roommate when you are out to lunch or having a few drinks at the club on a Saturday night. This is a conversation that should take place in your home. It is common to feel more uncomfortable receiving news like this in a public place because they may feel as though you assume they would cause a scene at home. Of course, they may very well cause a scene, and no one wants to deal with that.
Know What You Will Say
It is not a bad idea to practice what you are going to say in the mirror. Do you look like you have an attitude? Are you crossing your arms in a negative way halfway through or pointing your finger? This conversation can go very smoothly when the approach is positive.
When you create your speech, try to think about how you would feel and react if the words were being said to you. Would you feel attacked or would you understand where the person is coming from?
Avoid the Negatives
It can be very easy to point the blame at them, but this will not solve anything. Chances are good that they are the reason you are moving out, but you do not have to get one final dig in and upset them more by doing this. If they are always late with the rent, tell them you just can’t afford it. If they are always borrowing your things, opening your door without asking or just not giving you any privacy, tell them you feel you need to live on your own to figure things out or to start the next chapter in your life. See, even if they are to blame, there are things you can say that is still truthful, but not so hurtful.
Don’t Leave Them Hanging
Once again, give them time to find a replacement for you. In the meantime, make sure you pay what you owe them. If you are telling them on the 30th that you are moving out on the 1st, you can’t expect them to come up with your half of the rent in a pinch. Throughout the entire process, just stop and think about how you would feel and how you would want to be treated.
Above all, be respectful of their belongings when you move out. Make sure you tell your small apartment movers what is going and what is staying. You could turn your head and they may be loading a lamp on accident that wasn’t yours. When you leave, be sure your space is spotless and ready for the next roommate, even if it was filthy when you first moved in.