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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com