Moving to a shared house for the first time is an exciting adventure. You get to make the rules, have more freedom and get a taste of what it’s like to make a house a home. It’s also a great cost-effective way to enjoy your university years as you can share costs and find creative ways to make your budget stretch.
You also get to share a house with friends which means living in a harmonious bubble of happy human habitation. Or does it? Living with other human beings can make you feel part of something great but there can be tensions, especially for students under pressure from exams, tight budgets and busy schedules.
What can you do to give your household the best chance of that harmonious habitation bubble? We’ve put together our favourite tips for surviving student house shares.
1. Communicate (nicely)
Keep everyone in the loop about what’s going on in the house via a WhatsApp group chat. BUT make sure the chat never strays into moaning about your housemates!
2. Be Self Aware
It might come as a surprise but walking around in your pants might not be everyone else’s cup of tea. We all live by our own internal rules but be aware of how these impact on others. Background music to one person might feel like blaring music to someone else.
3. Make it easy to pay the bills
Designate someone to be responsible for collecting the money and paying the bills, which could be one keen and organised person, or it could be split.
Huddle is a great service which combines all the household bills into one easy payment. Or look at Splitwise which keeps track and sends out diplomatic messages saying who owes what.
4. Make cleaning Fair
We all have different standards so if yours are high, accept that not everyone will feel the same way. If you know your standards are low, accept that you will need to step up.
It might sound boring, but a cleaning rota really does work, and if apps are your thing then look into Spotless or Tody.
If it really becomes a problem, consider hiring a cleaner. Costs vary between £8-£12 an hour, which might be well spent when split between all housemates.
And have a kitty for the household cleaning supplies.
5. Just Wash Up
Washing up is one of the biggest issues amongst house sharers. As with cleaning, people have different approaches with some needing to wash up instantly and others happy to let things fester. If you make a house agreement to wash up your own things not long after using them, not only does it avoid arguments but can avoid flies and other unwelcome guests. So remember…. Just wash up!
6. Don’t point the finger
When problems arise (and they will!), keep the conversation solution focused. Argumentative finger pointing is never going to lead to harmony and NEVER leave angry or sarcastic notes, they amplify problems and can lead to even more misunderstanding. And pick your battles – many things really aren’t worth the potential fallout.
7. Treat Other People as you want to be treated
Remember that it’s nice to be nice. This might sound incredible obvious but if you only one do one thing, do this one. Being treated by fellow housemates with respect is all most people really ask for.
For more advice on student living and accommodation, take a look at Prolet Student Homes.
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