Whether you’re in a house full of students, a young professional cohabiting out of monetary necessity or someone living in shared accommodation for work, there are certain rules which make the house sharing experience a smoother, more bearable ride. We won’t insult your intelligence or manners with the basics; we know you know to flush the toilet from time to time, to slip some clothes on when there are visitors, and to keep the Tupac at low volume at two in the morning. Or at least, we hope you do. Instead, with being mindful at the forefront of our minds, here are 5 IDEAL tips on how to be the perfect housemate.
If you’re going to come back drunk and in full Wonderwall mode, don’t resent a similar chorus from your flatmate the following night. Should you feel your blood boiling at the empty space in your fridge where your cherished final slice of pizza once lay, cast your mind back to when you scoffed your housemate’s last jaffa cake. Hypocrisy and double standards are the enemies of a harmonious house, so be consistent in your expectations of each other.
BE SELF AWARE & COMMUNICATE
We all have our pet hate list; those little things that niggle and grate more than they ought to. Well, your housemate has their own set of annoyances too; unique to them and maybe not frequently voiced. You may think that they always use the last of the toilet roll and don’t replace it. And they might notice when you leave your half finished cups of tea lying around longer than is necessary. Be mindful and be self aware; habits woven into the fabric of your being could be totally strange to your cohabiting companion. Don’t let things fester (and we’re not talking about that mouldy cuppa), always communicate if something is irritating you, and expect the same of your housemate.
ARMS WIDE OPEN
An arms wide open, generous and inclusive vibe covers all multitude of sins in other areas of your domestic conduct. If you’ve opened a bottle of wine, always offer a glass. When making a cuppa, make a couple. If you’re having an adult sleepover, leave your door open. Okay, maybe not that one.
You don’t need to hang out together all the time – especially if you’re in shared student accommodation and the group is sizeable – but by fostering an environment of hospitality and largesse when you are in each other’s proximity, you’ll keep the mood of the house light and tension free. Once it’s gone the other way, into resentment, it’s hard to get things back on track.
ESSENTIAL SHOWER AND FRIDGE ETIQUETTE
The two biggest breeding grounds of hostility are without doubt the fridge and the shower. It’s vital, then, to replace and replenish items in both battlegrounds to maintain peace. Yes, we know this requires acute foresight – like predicting how many brushes are left in the toothpaste or how many number twos you may take over the weekend – but you’re an adult, you can do it! Also, removing something that has festered in the fridge for a while is one thing – but cleaning up someone’s personal mess is plain gross. If you’ve blocked up the toilet as a result of last night’s curry or clogged up the shower drain with your hair, then clean it up.
DO SOMETHING THOUGHTFUL FROM TIME TO TIME
Being a good housemate isn’t simply about damage limitation. To have your relationship with your housemates in the plus points rather than simply in neutral requires genuine acts of kindness. It could be something as small as paying a compliment to your flatmate on their outfit to a larger gesture like surprising the house with a wonderful home cooked meal. Just remember that everyone is a little difficult to live with at times, and nobody is perfect, so be kind, thoughtful and patient.