We’ve talked in other articles about how creating space for your roommate throughout the home can really help them feel welcome. Well, so can making space for them on move-in day. It’s probably a good idea to be there to say hello and welcome home, and then clear out of the way. Go to the movies and let them do their thing, unless your help is specifically requested.

For some of us, it’s tempting to also make a big deal out of move-in day and the first week. We want to make things convenient by buying a nice basket for their cycling gear. Or we think we’re being helpful by creating a coffee station in the kitchen.

Resist this urge. You can’t anticipate how you and your new roommate will share space together until you actually do it. There will always be a settling-in period during which your roommate gets used to the space and the two of you get used to each other. That means things will change. Maybe they’d rather keep their bike stuff in the shed. They might prefer to pick up their coffee down the street.

That said, a small gesture of welcome is usually really nice. Food and drinks are perfect for this. If you know your roommate has a favorite beer or soda, pick up a six pack and have it on hand. If they’re new to the area, maybe grab a few snacks from local providers or a gift card from that great pizza shop so they don’t have to make dinner. Something simple and a quick note of welcome is all you need.

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