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How to Split Furniture with Roommates

An Apartment Guide survey found that the best roommates are often friends or relatives.

But even with the best roommates, there can still be problems. One of the biggest issues that can come up between roommates is due to splitting furniture. 

People have different ideas of what furniture they need, what style it should be, what acceptable uses are, and how the cost should be split. You have to learn how to split furniture with roommates in order to navigate these differences of opinion. 

In this guide, we'll go over tips for how to split furniture to make sure your apartment has what you need while maintaining a good roommate relationship. 

Keep reading to learn more.

furniture in apartment

Decide Who's Bringing What

Before anyone shows up to move in you should have a clear idea of who is bringing what furniture for the apartment. Be sure to have a conversation beforehand about who has what furniture to bring with them, and if they're willing to have it be a part of the common areas.

This way you won't wind up with duplicates of any furniture. And if someone has something to contribute, it won't get left behind just because they assume someone else is bringing the same thing.

This is also a good time to decide if you'll have any kind of theme or a certain look you're going for in the apartment.

Keep a List of Who Owns What

With people bringing pieces of furniture that they already own, everyone should make a list of what is theirs to begin with. This prevents any issues come moveout time if you've forgotten who brought what. 

This is especially important for any furniture that is going to be in common spaces for communal use.

Buy Furniture Separately

If you don't already have all of the necessary furniture covered between you and your roommates, then you'll have to purchase the pieces you still need. It's tempting to split the cost of each piece of furniture equally, but this can make moving out much more complicated. 

Instead, you should buy the furniture separately. This way one person buys the couch, one person buys a TV, etc. This makes moving out easier because you won't have to worry about fighting about who keeps what, or about figuring out how much someone owes if they keep a piece.

Be sure to add these new purchases to your list of what you own in the apartment.

Before you go out and buy any furniture, you need to figure out what you all see as essential, whether that's for the living room, kitchen, or even your patio. Everyone may care about something different.

a woman laughing while working on a laptop computer

If You Do Buy Furniture Together

If you do split the cost of furniture between you and your roommates then when you move out you'll have to decide who gets what. It's possible that everyone will want to keep different things and it will work out simply, but that won't always be the case.

If people are worried about getting some of the money they spent back and you can't agree on a price, you may need to determine the current value of the furniture

If you decide to split the cost of furniture, consider writing out roommate agreements right then that determine who will get what in the future. A roommate agreement is also a good place to address what kind of uses are acceptable for the furniture in your apartment.

Sell Your Furniture

If you're moving out of your current apartment and moving into a new place that is already furnished, that is the wrong size for your current furniture, or if you're just ready for new pieces, you can try and sell your current furniture. 

Of course, start with your roommates and see if they'd like to buy it, or you can give it to them if you're feeling generous. But if they don't want it, then there are a host of websites online that allow you to sell your used furniture. Consider trying places like craigslist or eBay.

If you can't find someone to buy it, or if you don't want to deal with the hassle, and it's in good condition, you can donate it. Consider posting in a local Facebook group to see if anyone is in need of what you're getting rid of. There are also organizations that will be willing to come to pick up the furniture you're donating. 

Dispose Of It

If neither you nor your roommate wants a piece of furniture, and all else has failed, you will need to dispose of it. But you have to be sure to do it the right way. While you might frequently see furniture left on the side of the road that is usually not the right way to get rid of it, and may even be against local laws.

Depending on what type of furniture it is there are different specifications for how it needs to be disposed of. Some things like refrigerators or air conditioners require a special pick-up to be arranged, while others can just be brought to a dump.

Many apartment communities have established relationships with companies that help to dispose of old furniture, so you should see what options they can provide you. 

Learn How to Split Furniture With Roommates

Living with roommates can be fun, but it can also come with a lot of problems. By learning how to split furniture with roommates, you can avoid any extra issues stemming from that.

Overall, just remember to be respectful and communicate with your roommates.

a group of people eating pizza around a table with a laptop

How to Split Furniture with Roommates

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