Whether it’s Facebook, Linkedin, or a dating website, personal profiles are an important part of online life. Homesharing is no different. Your profile is a place for you to share about yourself and what you’re looking for in a roommate. It’s also an important source of information for potential roommates to learn about you, your home, and what living together might be like. In fact, many Seekers will decide if they’d like to meet a Homeowner based on what they see in their profile–and a good first impression can go a long way!
The Odd Couples Housing profile questionnaire has many of the important factors for homesharing built in. However, there are also many opportunities for you to personalize your profile and make it yours.
So how do you put your best foot forward? If you’re having trouble deciding how much to share or what to include in your profile, you’re not alone. It can be hard to know where to start. To help, we’ve compiled a few ideas to inspire you!
Here are some tips to help you showcase yourself and your home:
HELLO, IT’S ME
You may be tempted to stick with homesharing logistics in your profile, but your future roommate is thinking about the house match and personality compatibility. Instead of focusing solely on the bedroom amenities or parking situation, share a bit about yourself! If you’re feeling stuck or aren’t sure how to talk about yourself, think about how a good friend might describe you or share a unique hobby or fun fact. That could end up being a good ice-breaker when you meet Seekers. Or you might find that you and your potential roommate have more in common than you expected!
CHECK YOUR BOXES
Your profile is a great place to share about yourself, but it’s also an opportunity for you to describe what you’re looking for in a roommate. The Odd Couples Housing profile questions cover many of the basic issues that can come up with roommates, but you might have more specific ideas about what you’re looking for. For example, you can note in your profile that you’d like to eat together regularly or go on occasional errands.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
Sharing a “typical day” or an “ideal day” is another way that Seekers can get to know you through your profile. You don’t need to get too detailed, but it’s nice for Seekers to know if you work the night shift, travel frequently, or have weekly friend gatherings at your home. It can also give some insight into what’s important to you and how you like to spend your time, which is important in a roommate relationship.
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Seekers are curious to know about you and your home, but they’re also often curious about the area in which you live. The questionnaire includes a section about your home, where you can indicate what is near your home (bus routes, shopping, night life, parks, etc.), but in your profile, you can elaborate beyond the checklist. Consider sharing a bit more about the coffee shop near your house, the library you frequent, or the bike path you’ve been meaning to check out. Let Seekers know why they should be as excited about your home as you are!
SMILE FOR THE CAMERA
A few photos of your house can have a big impact on Seekers who are imagining themselves in a new home. Use your phone or a digital camera to snap a few pictures of your space and upload them to your profile. We recommend taking photos of the Seeker’s bedroom, bathroom, and common spaces, like the kitchen. If your home has other interesting features (back patio, garden or cozy breakfast nook), you also might consider posting those photos.
Constructing your profile may feel overwhelming at first, but you’ve got this! As long as you complete the questionnaire, you’re off to a great start. Your home will become visible to Seekers as soon as the basic questionnaire is complete, so once that’s done, you can take a break and edit the details later. Remember, you can complete your profile at your pace—there’s no need to do it all at once if you’re feeling stuck. You can update edit your profile at any time by logging into your account and going to your profile tab.
Still have questions or want to sign up? Odd Couples Housing Match Team can work with you to answer your profile questions.
The last several months have brought enormous changes to the way we work, study, shop, travel and live. Whether we live alone or with a roommate, many of the mainstays of our lives have transformed during this pandemic. Despite these changes, one thing remains the same: we all want a safe, comfortable place to call home at the end of the day.
If you’re sheltering-in-place with a roommate, it’s likely that you’ve found yourself spending more time together—and perhaps depending on each other a little more these days. We know that many of the considerations related to COVID-19 are uncharted territory for roommates, so we compiled a few tips to help you and your roommate get on the same page and to serve as a reminder that we’re all in this together!
Whether you and your roommate have an established relationship, or you’re just getting to know each other, these helpful hints can help make sure you’re both looking out for each other.
1. Stay informed
Some guidelines are changing rapidly, but there are some great sources of evidence-based information out there! Regularly check your local and state policies on business openings, gatherings, and mask-wearing. Statewide information can be found on Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services website. Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for general physical and mental health information. When you find a trusted news source, bookmark it on your computer or follow them on social media, so it’s easy to check back later.
2. Make time for COVID-19 conversations
When it comes to the coronavirus prevention, it’s important for you and your roommate to be on the same page. Set aside time to sit down together and talk about your shared preferences and concerns. If you have a new roommate moving in, arrange for a phone call before they move in to talk about what you both are comfortable with. It’s always easier to set guidelines on the front end!
You might want to consider discussing cleaning/disinfecting schedules, social distancing, and special precautions if one of you is an essential worker or in a vulnerable group. Since you’re both probably spending more time at home than usual, it’s also worth discussing expectations around privacy or personal time. If you or your roommate is working from home, check out this blog for additional tips!
It might feel strange to talk in detail about your plan for grocery shopping or watching TV, but it’s important for the health of your roommate relationship that both of you understand each other’s concerns and agree on certain arrangements.
3. Follow precautions
There is no vaccine for COVID-19, so the best way we can prevent illness is by preventing exposure. You’ve probably seen these tips before, but we think they’re worth sharing again!
- Wash (or sanitize) your hands often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and face
- As much as possible, try to avoid close contact with other people you do not live with (6 feet rule)
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with an elbow, tissue or mask
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (think doorknobs, light switches, cell phones, faucets, desks, counters, etc.)
4. Plan ahead
We hope that both you and your roommate stay safe and healthy, but it’s important to have a game plan in the event that one of you does contract COVID-19. We recommend exchanging emergency contact information with your roommate and saving it in an easily accessible place. This is also a good opportunity for both of you to make sure you have copies of health insurance information, primary care physician contact info, and medication and allergy information on hand.
If you are a caregiver for a friend, relative, or pet, make a back-up plan for their care, just in case.
5. Enjoy each other’s company
While there are some important considerations to have in mind when living with another person, don’t forget that you can be great supports for each other, too! Ask how your roommate is doing, and genuinely listen to their answer. Have some fun together by finding activities you both enjoy or striking up an interesting conversation. Take advantage of the opportunity to get to know each other better and explore shared interests.
Without a doubt, these are challenging times. But, with some careful planning and a little empathy, you and your roommate can be set up for success!
We know there’s a lot of uncertainty right now and if you’re feeling easily overwhelmed, know that you’re not alone. Don’t forget to take care of yourself by checking in with loved ones, getting exercise, and doing activities you enjoy. A few weeks ago, we shared a few stories of people across generations supporting each other and having fun, which brightened our day. We hope it brightens yours, too!
Many of us have spent the last several weeks quarantining at home. If you’re sick of watching TV, baking bread or video chatting, we recommend using your time at home to start your spring cleaning! It’s the perfect time of year to open up your windows and do a deep clean of your house. Plus, if you’re considering opening up your home to a new roommate, now might be the perfect time to prepare your space! We’ve heard from several of our homeowners that a new roommate moving in was the excuse they needed to finally tackle household projects they’d been putting off! If you do have a new housemate moving in, check out these tips on how set you and your roommate up for success!
Whether you’re cleaning out a room to make space for a new housemate, or simply reorganizing your home, today we’re sharing some helpful cleaning tips that will leave your home sparkling!
Make a Schedule
First, consider your goals and your timeline. Your approach will be different if you’re hoping to declutter the garage by the end of the summer versus needing to have the guest bedroom ready to go by your new housemate’s move-in day. Start by establishing your goals, surveying the space you want to clean and jotting down a to-do list. Make a game plan and stick to it!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a room in your house, start small. For example, focus on cleaning out the kitchen cupboards first, then work your way up to the whole kitchen.
Not sure where to start? This Room by Room Checklist gives guidance on how to approach each space in your home.
Inventory your Cleaning Supplies
Take a peek at the cleaning supplies you have on hand and safely dispose of anything that’s expired or empty. Re-stock what you need, but there’s no need to go overboard. Although you can find a cleaning product for everything, to save yourself money and a headache, consider a trusted all-purpose cleaner. However, be careful on surfaces like wood or marble, which may need specialized products. If you have sensitivities or allergies, be conscious of any irritants your cleaners may contain. You also may want to consider buying (or making) environmentally-friendly, chemical-free cleaning products.
Before you start cleaning a space, make sure your supplies are easily accessible!
Once you start cleaning, make a step-by-step process for yourself. If you’re cleaning your full house, go room by room. If you’re working on one room, break it down into smaller, more manageable sections (remember the kitchen cupboards?).
Once you determine your area of focus (a room, garage, or closet, for example), start by organizing clutter. Make piles of what you will keep, store, donate, or throw away. Once things are sorted, you can deep clean. Work from top to bottom to avoid having to clean again since dislodged dust or debris can fall on furniture or the floor.
Don’t shy aware from those particularly intimidating spots, like junk drawers and ceiling fans.
Ask for Help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by tasks—or the physical demands associated with major cleaning endeavors—ask for help! If you live with other people, make sure they’re involved as much as possible. Live alone? Ask a friend or family member to lend a hand or keep you company while you’re working. Take breaks as needed.
As you make progress, it can be useful to pay attention to where the messiest areas in your house are. Once you know your problem areas, you can brainstorm ways to prevent mess from accumulating moving forward. Use this 4-Step Process to assess sources of mess and problem solve.
When you’re done, take a moment to celebrate your progress–you’ve worked hard to organize your space in a way you like! Now, you might consider how you can keep it that way. This is also a great opportunity to make some new cleaning habits for yourself. Even setting aside just a few minutes every few days to tidy up can make a difference! What small things can you do to keep your space clutter-free and clean in the future?
Don’t be intimidated–you’ve got this! Keep your enthusiasm high by listening to your favorite music and celebrating the progress you’ve made. Most importantly, make time to enjoy your new, organized space!
If you’re preparing your space for a new housemate, remember that in the future, you’ll have an extra set of hands to help with some of these household projects!
Lately, much of the media coverage around the coronavirus seems to pit generations against each other. While it may be tempting to point fingers or get swept up in these stories of millenials vs. boomers, old vs. young or us vs. them, these lines of thinking aren’t accurate or constructive. And, they make it difficult to bring generations together to do productive things like problem-solve and provide mutual support.
The coronavirus affects all of us, regardless of age, and now is an important time to come together.
At Odd Couples Housing, nothing makes us smile more than people in different life stages teaming up to support each other. It’s what inspires us and our roommate matches! We’ve spoken to a few of our matches this week, and they’ve been happy to have some company while sheltering in place at home. Hearing from them was a bright spot in our week!
What are the bright spots in your week? How are you keeping your spirits up? If you need to hear some good news, we have some inspiring stories about people of all ages stepping up to help their community and cheer up their loved ones!
- Feeling antsy inside your house? Check out this young girl and her grandfather enjoying a socially-distant dance competition.
- Jayde Powell, a college student in Nevada, saw a gap in access to grocery delivery services among elderly residents in her community. She devised a plan to meet their needs. Danny Goldberg, a California high-schooler, had a similar idea and created an online platform where older adults can send their grocery orders to a volunteer delivery team.
- Celebrating special occasions can be hard when we can’t be physically together. Despite the distance, this family was able to celebrate their grandma’s 100th birthday!
- Dr. Jane Bedell had only been retired a few weeks when the coronavirus pandemic reached New York. Since then, she has put her plans to travel, and visit family on hold and is preparing to go back to work. She is one of the thousands of retired healthcare workers returning to the workforce to combat Covid-19.
- These 91 year-old twin sisters are quarantining together in their San Diego apartment–and finding ways to have some fun! Check out the daily pep rally they host for their retirement community from their balcony.
- Ali Jaffe is self-quarantining in New York and her grandma, Roslyn, is doing the same in Florida. But that’s not stopping Ali from learning her grandma’s favorite recipes–which are full of surprises–virtually! Listen to Ali and Roslyn’s story here.
Although we’re in complicated and challenging times, we are inspired by people coming together across generations to support each other. We hope you stay safe and healthy, and we’ll be on the look out for other good stories to share.
Like many companies that work with older adults and college students in America, we’ve been watching the coronavirus situation as it evolves. We understand that COVID-19 could have vast impacts and we are taking current circumstances seriously. We are paying particular attention to the ways COVID-19 could affect the people we most often work with: students and senior communities.
You probably know that many colleges and universities have closed due to COVID-19. As you might imagine, this created a challenging situation for many students. In a previous blog, we highlighted some go-to resources specifically for college students. The main concern is that many students–especially international students–were asked to leave their on-campus housing and don’t have a place to go. Times of crisis remind us of just how critical it is to support one another during challenging periods. For this reason, we are so impressed by several of our homeowners who stepped up to help by offering rooms in their homes for displaced students. Thank you!
At Odd Couples Housing, we do our best to put older generations and students at the heart of everything we do. Because of this, we want to make sure you are staying up to date on news about coronavirus. When it comes to the coronavirus, things have been changing quickly, and we want to make sure you are aware of your resources and prepared, in case it touches your community. Moreover, we want to share some coronavirus-related initiatives and a few tips to help you stay connected.
First and most importantly, please be sure to follow reliable sources that have up-to-date guidance such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just to mention a few. We also encourage you to vigilantly follow guidelines from public health officials and to continue to monitor news from local authorities. A lot of experts are sharing information about COVID-19, so be sure to read their tips and advice on how people can protect themselves.
Secondly, we recommend that you consider using social media. Whether you’re a regular user or new to social media platforms, now is a great time to engage online. There are a lot of helpful social media platforms that have brought different groups of people together. You might try a Facebook group or app. Some pages and groups were created with the intention of sharing news updates, some are helping educate people, and some just want to connect people for socializing purposes. There are also pages that focus on local volunteer opportunities that you could use to both provide and receive support.
One great Facebook group matches people wanting to help others with those needing help during the coronavirus pandemic. Although the page cannot guarantee that everyone’s needs will be met, it has “brought people together as a community and hopes that this allows positive things to happen.” Anyone needing help can fill out this form.
Thirdly, since older adults have an increased risk of having serious COVID-19 related health concerns, (and some areas have stay-at-home orders) many people are concerned about going to the pharmacy to get medication. Thankfully, Walgreens and CVS have offered to deliver people’s prescriptions or complete essential online order with no delivery fee. Read more here. Furthermore, the two pharmacies mentioned above and Walmart will also loan their space for coronavirus tests.
Last but not least, it is understandable that those most at risk of contracting COVID-19 would be cautious about entering public spaces during this time. This makes it difficult to complete daily tasks, like buying food. Thankfully, many grocery store chains and other retailers have delivery options. Others are also setting aside certain hours exclusively for older adults to shop. The stores offering these special hours include Whole Foods, Target, Schnucks, and Dollar General, just to mention a few.
Lastly, here are just a few more resources for seniors in the St.Louis area who might need meals, transportation, and any other help. If you need food but can’t afford it contact St.Louis Food Bank and St. Louis Area Agency on Aging. The St. Louis Area Agency on Aging does not just deliver meals but also provides transportation like Aging Ahead.
We also encourage you to take care of yourself and don’t become too isolated. Call a family member, email an old friend, or learn to text or video chat to stay in touch! Try to keep to your normal routine as much as possible, even if your activities have changed. This means keeping up with your usual wake-up, sleep, and mealtime routines. Also, challenge yourself to do some kind of movement every day. Staying connected, engaged and active can help you adjust to the many changes happening in the world.
In conclusion, we want you to know that there are resources available to support you during this challenging time. It is a weird time for all of us, but we are confident that we will get through this together! Our thoughts are with all of you and we hope you’re safe and healthy. Take care of yourselves and each other, and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.