Roommate Tips from a Space Station Astronaut

A few years back, an astronaut named Terry Virts lived on the International Space Station for almost seven straight months. So a reporter just asked him for tips on how to live with people in close quarters.

Here are his four biggest pieces of advice if you have a roommate. And they apply if you’re married too, especially if you’re in a cramped apartment . . .

1. Respect the other person’s space, and create your own downtime. Make sure you spend time apart and do things on your own. He did a lot of reading up there, and played games. Obviously YOU have the luxury of LEAVING your apartment too.

2. Make sure you do your fair share of the chores. Otherwise it can cause resentment. He says they ALWAYS spent 2 to 4 hours cleaning every Saturday. And making it a routine was important.

3. Don’t eat their food without asking. Obviously it’s a bigger deal in space, because they can’t just run to the store. But in general, try to respect the other person’s stuff.

4. Don’t let problems fester. He says a big part of their training had to do with learning to air their concerns, so tension didn’t build up. They had to be open about their feelings and make sure they always talked things out.