November 11, 2016 - bellvue-admin - House Sharing
Whether because of university, or just to save a bit of money on the ever-increasing price of rent, living in a shared house is something that is becoming more and more popular.
Living with other people can be a really great experience, and you have the opportunity to learn a lot from each other and make some great new friends.
It will also come with its challenges, and there will be areas of contention. Sharing living spaces is tricky, and everybody has different boundaries and preferences.
The golden rule for living with others is to treat everyone as you would like them to treat you. Mutual respect is the foundation of a happy household!
Here are some tips for creating a peaceful and relaxed shared home.
Keep in touch with each other
Whether you end up becoming close friends or not, it’s important to make sure everyone is kept in the loop about what’s going on within the household. Don’t have someone staying over or host a mad party without asking first!
A group chat on something like Whatsapp is the ideal way to ask if someone can pick up milk on their way home, let each other know about bills, or even just share the latest hilarious memes with your new best friends.
It’s important to keep track of who owes what, so consider sharing a Google spreadsheet, or use an app like Splitwise. It does all of the hard work for you and has a lot of useful features like recurring costs, and being able to choose exactly how to split every bill.
Homeslice is another great app you can use to track not just bills, but also chores and shopping lists. There’s no way to send money from within the app so you will have to do this separately, but this is a great app if you think you’re going to be too shy to ask someone to do the washing up or take out the bins in person! Get it on iOS or Android.
Decide whether you’re all going to cook for yourselves, or cook for each other on a rota system. It can be nice to occasionally get together for a meal, especially when you’re still getting to know each other. You might also want to prepare all of your own meals so you have full control over your weekly spending.
Whatever system you agree on, decide which groceries are going to be communal, and make sure everyone either chips into a kitty, or takes it in turns to buy things like milk when they run out.
Don’t steal your flatmates’ food, and if you really have to borrow something make sure you let them know. Nobody wants it to come to passive aggressive notes.
Make sure that nobody feels like they’re always doing all of the cleaning by either drawing up a rota, or assigning everyone an area that they are responsible for keeping clean and tidy. Use a whiteboard to keep track of cleaning and to hold everybody accountable.
If you live with a few people, it may even be worth chipping in to hire a cleaner. It’s more affordable than it would be if you lived alone, and it can eliminate a load of stress!
Respect each other’s schedules
One of the biggest reasons for conflict when sharing a living space can be clashing schedules.
We spoke to LondonFoxLettings.co.uk, a flatshare operator who offer rooms to rent in London, for their advice. They told us: “It’s really important to respect your flatmates’ schedules. You don’t want to have a go at someone for having a party when you’ve got to be up early if you don’t have a leg to stand on because you did it to them the week before”.
Another thing to consider is who needs to use the bathroom first in the mornings. Keep in touch with each other and try to agree who’s gonna go first in advance, especially if you only share one bathroom and all have to be up at a similar time! Getting into a routine with these sorts of things will help keep things harmonious.
Don’t be passive aggressive
Just don’t. If somebody has done something to bug you, tell them calmly and politely, and hopefully they will stop. If you leave an angry note, or just start being off with them, they are less likely to care about whether or not they are bothering you.
Sometimes you also need to learn when to pick your battles. Weigh up whether the issue is important enough to potentially cause bad feeling between you and the offending party.
There are always different approaches you can take, and in some cases it might even be best to just let it go!