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5 Top Tips For Surviving Life in a Shared House

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5 Top Tips For Surviving Life in a Shared House

It’s fair to say that shared housing is more popular than ever. With rising numbers of young professionals heading to the big cities in search of work and the monthly rent climbing to new heights, sharing with others is becoming the best compromise.

Sharing a house or apartment with people who will likely be strangers initially is a pretty unique experience. Different people have different personal boundaries, making shared living spaces like living rooms, bathrooms and kitchens, potential places of contention.

No matter how tricky shared living can get, there are ways to make it a more relaxing, friendly and liveable space. With that in mind, here are the 5 top tips for surviving life in a shared house.

1. Plan Your Meals

Whether you’re sharing a place with 2 people or 10, there will seemingly always be a fight for space to store food. Whether it’s the fridge, freezer, bread bin or fruit bowl, there will always be a battle for space.

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To make the most of your space, you can try a number of things. The first is to suggest (if you haven’t already) sharing certain basic things like milk, bread and condiments.

They are all things we need pretty much daily and cost relatively little, so having a weekly whip-round for bread money  shouldn’t be the biggest of deals to even the most stubborn housemate.

Another thing which really saves space is to make meals in advance. Batch cooking is a really effective way to prepare all your week’s meals, meaning all of your loose ingredients aren’t filling the fridge.

Follow this handy post from Nutrition Stripped for all you need to know about batch cooking.

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2. Share The Cleaning

Another potential sticking point in any shared house is the issue of cleaning in the shared rooms. Bathrooms and kitchens in particular often become the battlefields for many shared house arguments.

Looking to the blog of London Fox Lettings for their expert advice and guidance on these situations, they said, “First, you need to work out which rooms need the most attention. Usually the kitchen comes top of the list because of dish washing.”

“Make a timetable or rota that best suits everyone’s work shifts and spread the workload evenly amongst yourselves. Often a simple whiteboard can do the trick for this, making it easy for everyone to see, especially if you don’t actually get a chance to speak in person that often.”

3. Make Time For Each Other

It can be very easy to exist in a house share without offering more than the odd “hi” to your housemates when passing each other in the kitchen. However, while it is easier than getting to know them, it’s probably not the healthiest solution.

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Life is so much easier when we all get along right? So why not try getting to know everyone with a house movie night or put a team together for the local pub quiz?

It might not work out and that’s fine, you can’t be friends with everyone, but even knowing everyone a little better will certainly make the whole experience a lot easier.

4. Keep In Touch

Even if it turns out that you aren’t going to be the best friends in the world, it doesn’t hurt to keep in contact, in fact, it could save you from having a lot of pointless arguments in the future.

Recommended apps for housemates include:

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  • Home Slice: a great platform to keep on top of bills, chores. Specifically designed for housemates.
  • Chroma: perfect for planning chores between your housemates
  • WhatsApp: because how else do you speak to anyone ever.

5. Pick Your Battles

Sometimes, you have to concede that you might not get along with someone. Perhaps they woke you up, maybe they ate your food, whatever the reason, you can’t always give them both barrels, no matter how frustrated you are.

The best thing to do is to prioritize the problem. Is it going to impact your daily life? Has it left you short financially?

Consider some compromises before you burst into their room like a bull in a China shop. Sometimes we all feel like we need a win in these situations, but you’ve also got to consider how it might impact your housemate.

Going overboard with them over a couple of slices of bread might not be the best move. These things are never easy, but do try and take a step back and reassess every situation as it comes.

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Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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