Seventeen gift ideas for your roommates

If your Christmas shopping list wasn’t already overextended, did you consider your roommates? They may not be your best friends, but there’s nothing like a thoughtful gift to send everyone into the New Year in good spirits. Whether you’ve got one or ten, it’s possible to both please and come in on budget. It can be difficult to buy for someone you don’t cry on the floor to after a bad break-up or misbehave alongside on a Friday night. Give yourself credit though. You do live with the person—you see what they eat, drink and wash themselves with. And they too are a student. You both require certain supplies and necessities to navigate college life.

However, it isn’t the time for passive aggressive gifts like dish soap for that roommate who never washes their dishes or a timer for the other whose indulgent showers upset your morning routine. If your relationship is strained, better a card or nothing. Who needs unnecessary drama this holiday season?  Especially in your own house. The following gift ideas are for roomies whose presence (or even absence) makes for a hopefully comfortable living situation. Acknowledge this and express your thanks.

Friends presenting gifts each other in bedroom

In the bathroom

Ignoring the times you took a glug of their mouthwash or a squirt of their shampoo without asking, do a snoop of your roommates’ toiletries. Buy them each a back-up of one of them. Hair and oral hygiene products are best (and aren’t likely to prove controversial). Otherwise you could buy one pack of toilet paper per roommate in the house. While a communal item, who doesn’t appreciate a healthy supply of TP? Finally, speaking of shared items, consider a new bathmat, hand towels or shower curtain if your current is in rough condition. Your roommates should appreciate the upgrade. It’ll refresh your bathroom without the handy work.

In the kitchen

For most young adults, food is always a welcome gift idea. Again, like in the bathroom, some detective skills are required. Check out their cupboards and designated refrigerator space and note their junk food of choice. And buy as much of their guilty food pleasure as your budget allows. If they drink, conduct an investigation of their favourite beverage (assuming they don’t have expensive tastes). Otherwise a gift card to your local grocery, beer or wine store should do the trick. (I don’t care what others say, gift cards are always welcome in my opinion.) For your not so chef-savy roommate consider a meal plan top-up. They’ll think of you every time they sip their mid-morning coffee.

In the bedroom

As sexy as it sounds, when it comes to the bedroom, I’m thinking more towards school and sleeping supplies. Assuming they own a printer, buy them a stack of printer paper or if you’re a big spender, even ink. (So sexy, right?) Or if they still handwrite notes, try some new pens, pencils and lined paper. Maybe it’s the mom in me, but when it comes to sleeping there’s nothing like a new set of pillowcases to help with some restful shuteye. Likewise for a truly cosy blanket or pair of woolly socks. Because as much as students struggle to fit it in, we love our sleep.