So you’ve gone through the chaos of finding the right house, right location, right price but now you actually have to live in it….. with other people… unfortunately, more often than not, this isn’t as easy as it seems.
I have a few essential pearls of wisdom to bestow upon you, whether you’re a student or a professional, first-time house sharing can be tricky.
If you don’t know your housemates, then take heed, you don’t want to start on the wrong foot. And trust me, even if you are already friends, this is for you too. If you like someone enough to move in with them, you probably hope to still be talking to them by the end.
1. Set some house rules
- Washing up
- Cleaning rota
- Shared purchases (like loo roll and light bulbs)
- Partners/friends staying over for extended periods
Basically, try to cover anything that may end up being an issue later down the line.
2. Hang out
A perfect first time to slot this in is after making house rules, head to the pub to celebrate or have a group meal at home. Get to know who you’re living with, and afford some regular times where you can do something as a group. Include them in things you’re doing, but don’t harass them. Being over friendly is a thing, and you don’t want to end up being labelled as such.
Prop your bedroom door open when you're feeling social, it will encourage friendly vibes and communication. I know there are days where that isn’t really an option, especially if you’re tired and grumpy. If this is the case, shut the door and just hide in your room until you’re ready to deal with people nicely!
3. Communication is key
- NEVER EVER write a passive-aggressive note, it will definitely only make things worse and people will just think you’re an idiot.
- Having a group What's App chat is good but don’t use it to hide behind if you have an issue, is easy to misinterpret something that has been written.
- Reflect on some of your failings before directing angst at others. Don’t play the blame game.
- Try not to get high and mighty, saying things like “I never do that” or “I always take the bin out” is probably just going to rub people the wrong way.
- Give everyone plenty of notice if you're having friends over, it’s just a nice thing to do and will encourage others to do the same.
Everyone lives differently and have their own quirks. Pick your battles and don’t let the little things become a point of contention. We all have our annoying habits but generally, there is no reason to go to war over them. Accept that people do things differently and have patience with those that may not be doing things the way you’d like, they may be contributing in a different area of the shared living situation that you’d rather not do yourself.
5. Food thievery
Combat this unfortunate little fact of life by getting a . Encourage your housemates to do so as well, honestly, there will never be a food thief issue again. And, if you ever run out of something, ASK. Most of the time someone will help you out, just remember to thank them and actually replace it (even if they say not to bother, do something nice for them, trust me on this).
6. Money, Money, Money
You’re going to owe something to someone at some point…. even if you don’t know why.
is a handy little free app for keeping track of expenses and will save you all a whole lot of grief.
You may think you have the best taste in music but others might not. There is a volume button for a reason, use it. Or get headphones, even better. There will come a time when your incredible DJ skills can be put to use, but, it is most definitely not every morning at 6 am.
8. Coming home drunk in the early hours
We will all do it at some point, learn to laugh off others antics and hopefully, they will do the same for you.