10 Gifts for Your Roommate to Make Up for Loud Sex and Dirty Dishes
If you're not going to give the gift of dishes done in a timely fashion, you should at least give the random person you share a home with a plant.
Living under one roof and all, it would make sense that roommates come to be quite close with one another. Anyone who's had roommates, however, knows that's not necessarily true.
Sharing an apartment or home with someone does not mean—nor should it mean!—that they become your best friend. If it happens naturally, that's great, but feeling obligated to invite your roommate out with you simply because they're your roommate isn't necessarily how you harbor a meaningful friendship. Their bathroom schedules, skincare routines, and occasionally hearing them have sex may be the only intimate details you ever come to know about them, and that's cool.
That said, to keep your anxiety at bay and ensure that your home remains a home and not four walls caving in on a pile of flaming resentment and tension, it's good to maintain a friendly relationship with your roommate(s), no matter how close you are with them. What better way to be a thoughtful roommate than a considerate gift? Below, you'll find gift ideas your roommate will probably like, even if you two don't spend your weekends drinking wine together until 3 AM and grabbing brunch the next morning.
A Magazine or Newspaper Subscription
A magazine or newspaper subscription is a thoughtful gift that can be inexpensive or expensive depending, but is always impressive. If you're wondering how you'll know what magazine or newspaper to subscribe your roommate to, don't underestimate how much you know about them just because you two aren't close—you live together, after all! You probably see your roommate's outfits before work every morning—are they into fashion? If so, consider classics like Vogue or independent mags like Tank Magazine. Do they smoke weed? If so, they might like Broccoli. Have they filled your living room bookshelf with Marxist theory? If the answer is yes, try Jacobin.
I don't understand these pretty jade facial rollers, but I do know I want one. According to Ulta, where you can find this particular roller for $16, a jade roller "boosts blood circulation, reduce[s] swelling, and helps your skincare products penetrate deeper." Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop says that their version of the skin care tool, a rose quartz roller that goes for $45, is "brilliant all over or just where you need it." If your roommate is into occasional pampering at all, they'll probably like this. Worst-case scenario, it looks pretty on a nightstand and jade is thought to encourage creativity.
The only person who should ever be allowed to buy you a plant is your roommate. You shouldn't even buy yourself a plant. Lugging a big ass plant home from the plant store is either physically cumbersome or means taking a pricey car ride. Do your roommate a solid and not only buy them a plant, but gift it to them within the confines of your shared home. ZZ plants, aka Zanzibar Gems, specifically are low maintenance and not as cliche as a succulent. If you know your roommate has a bigger space they've been wanting to fill with a plant, consider a rubber tree, which resembles a ZZ, only bigger. Maybe you'll get lucky and they'll put it in your shared space.
Your roommate might laugh at you when they unwrap your gift to find a large tin of magnetic thinking putty, but that's just the child within them jumping up and down in excitement. Now, I don't know your roommate, but I'm going to guess that, every now and then, they have to think. If that sounds like them, you can't go wrong with thinking putty. As I sit here writing, putty in one hand, typing with the other, I can vouch that the putty has not only improved my quality of life but also my IQ. Plus, my colleagues can't keep their hands off of it. (The magnetic element adds an extra layer of fun, but your roommate will be pleased with any thinking putty. Glow-in-the-dark cosmic putty is also good.)
If your roommate is a millennial or Gen Z-er (which they probably are, because whomst among us can afford to live without roommates?), chances are they're into skincare. If they're picky about what products they put on their face, go with a gift set from the brand they've filled your bathroom with. (If you don't share a bathroom, congratulations! Maybe sneak into theirs to see what skin care brands they like, or...just ask.) If you think they'd be into trying a new brand, I recommend Tangina Stone's On the Move Gift Set by Plant Apothecary. Plant Apothecary is a Black-owned business based in Brooklyn which focuses on natural ingredients. This is especially a good choice if your roommate appreciates ethical products (which I hope they do!). If your roommate might be into something trendier, go with Glossier's Mask Duo.
The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions by Kenji Kawakami is the best of both worlds in that it is essentially a coffee table book, but it's hilarious, not pretentious, and you can carry it around. The book features hundreds of Chindogu (the art of the unuseless idea) inventions in photos with short descriptions. If you're close enough with your roommate to know that they appreciate clever humor and/or innovation, they're guaranteed to have fun with this book. Bonus: there are some genius inventions in there that the two of you could certainly DIY for your home, like the butter stick (think glue stick, but butter) or the duster slippers for cats.
Imagine, for a moment, resting your head on a smooth, heavenly silk pillow after a hard day's work. Now imagine someone who wouldn't want to do that. Impossible! I don't care if your roommate is the biggest grump in the world, they're waking up with a smile every day once you get a Celestial Silk pillowcase in their hands and under their heads. These pillowcases come in 15 colors, and because you probably have the special advantage of knowing what your roommate's room looks like, you can ensure the pillowcase not only feels incredible on their bed, but looks it too.
If you're living with someone, you're probably aware of their drinking habits. If your roommate likes to drink, specifically tequila, consider getting them this set of four Himalayan salt shot glasses. They eliminate the need for licking messy salt off your hands, but more importantly are very cute and fun. Don't worry—the salt cup will not dissolve, so your roommate will be able to use the shot glasses long after you two have parted ways. Who knows? This could be the start of the two of you bonding over a shot of tequila.
Life is better when things smell nice. Make your roommate's life better with this lemongrass succulent diffuser from Paper Source. Small enough to fit on a nightstand, this diffuser comes with a five-milliliter bottle of lemongrass essential oil, so they can use it right away. It also doubles as decor, resembling a succulent instead of the usual nipple-like diffuser.
Another joy of living with someone is finding out whether or not they give a shit about the environment. If your roommate is always on top of recycling, perhaps annoyingly so, they might enjoy a Keep Cup. Many reusable coffee mugs have leakage, annoying lids, or tacky quotes plastered on them—not the Keep Cup. With its tempered glass base and sustainably sourced cork sleeve, this portable mug is sleek, and it works. They may even be inclined to toss all the useless mugs they've collected in your cupboards after they see how superior this one is.