Living in shared housing has its own unique challenges. To keep your shared housing lifestyle stress-free, take these pieces of advice to heart.
With the price of rent on the rise, especially in big cities, shared housing is becoming more common among students and young professionals alike. However, in exchange for affordable accommodation, you have to share the space with strangers who have different personalities, careers, and home life habits.
Sharing a home with people who are practically strangers offers its own unique challenges. That said, here are the ways you can keep your home life as peaceful and enjoyable as possible:
1. Follow the rules
The rules of shared housing exist for a reason, and it’s to keep each resident’s experience pleasant. When you move in, take another look at the rules and be sure to follow them. Otherwise, you could be causing unnecessary conflict between you and your housemates. And if you want your shared housing to be peaceful, conflict should be avoided as much as possible.
2. Promote cleanliness
Cleanliness is one of the biggest issues when it comes to shared housing. With strangers, this can easily become a problem when their definition of “clean” is different from yours.
Promote cleanliness in shared spaces by setting up ground rules. For example, everyone should clean up after themselves, and no one is allowed to leave dirty dishes in the sink. For cleaning of communal spaces, such as the bathrooms, kitchen, and living room, suggest a cleaning rota so that everyone does their bit of cleaning. Alternatively, if you and your housemates don’t have the time to clean due to work or school, have everyone pitch in for a cleaner to come by.
3. Secure your belongings
Another common issue within shared accommodation is the security of belongings. Since you don’t know the people living with you, you can’t be sure that they won’t take your stuff.
To prevent your things from being stolen or borrowed without your permission, keep your high-value items in lockable storage, always lock the door to your room, and don’t leave any personal belongings in communal areas.
4. Split costs for essentials
With your housemates, make a list of the items that you want to split costs so that everybody can save money and that the limited storage space that you have won’t become overcrowded. Things like condiments, spices, kitchen utensils, and cleaning products are some examples of household items that you can split. You can also split the costs for rice, bread, milk, and other staples, as long as everybody agrees to get their fair share.
5. Hang a notice board
Buy a whiteboard where you and your housemates can leave notes to each other, such as reminders and a tally of the week’s expenses. You can also use this to keep track of the bills, the cleaning rota, and other essential household matters.
Living in shared accommodation is not always easy. There may be a time that your housemate will eat your food, wake you up with their noise, or forget to pay the bill. But it’s all part of the experience. And as a student or young professional, the shared housing experience can teach you some unique life lessons.
However, to keep your shared housing experience as stress-free as possible, take this guide to heart. And if a conflict arises, communicate with your housemates instead of resorting to passive-aggressive measures.