Moving into your place is an exciting adventure – you’ll get more independence, freedom and a chance to grow into your own person. But for many, moving straight into your own place might not be financially viable. And it could be easier navigating this life change with others in a similar situation.
Which leaves the option of renting a space with other people. Living with housemates can be a great experience and help you learn about yourself. However, it does come with its own challenges.
Campus Living Villages has some advice on how to make your apartment a happy and comfortable shared space.
Open Lines of Communication
The first thing to ensure is everyone in the house practices open and honest communication. The first step is to set some ground rules as a household. Learn what everyone is and isn’t comfortable with. From there you can start a group chat for easier communication and if necessary, hold monthly house meetings just to check in and see how everyone is going.
If there is something that is making you uncomfortable or a habit you don’t like, it’s important to flag it with your housemates and have a discussion to avoid any arguments or fallouts. Conversely, you need to be open to hearing any criticism or advice given to you by your housemates and change your behaviour accordingly.
Create a Roster
It’s important to maintain the cleanliness and hygiene of your home. And to ensure that everyone is doing their share of the cleaning, it’s good to create a roster. You can divide the chores up into equal parts, and switch between housemates every cleaning session.
It’s good to take this opportunity to determine a cleaning schedule as well as how you would like to go about doing more smaller tasks: like throwing out trash, taking the bins out and clearing dishes from the dish rack. Some households might like to have a schedule while others just go with whoever notices the task needs to be done. The most important thing is making sure everyone living in the house is comfortable with the arrangement.
Aside from rent and utility bills, there are many other communal household expenses that tend to crop up. From buying cleaning supplies to shared products and kitchen utensils. Create a spreadsheet or have a system to keep track of how much everyone is spending on these extra expenses.
It is usually too much of a hassle to divide the price every time someone buys something for communal use. The easier method is to track everything in a spreadsheet and work out the spending at the end of each month.
Learn Each Other’s Schedules
Sometimes being constantly surrounded by people even in your home can be a bit much. Knowing your housemates’ schedule can help you plan for moments when you need a bit of alone time in the house.
But on top of that it can also help you be mindful and respectful of each other’s space. If you know your housemate has a 6am start the next morning, you can do your part to ensure you’re not watching things loudly or creating any ruckus late into the night.
Find Time to Hang Out
Finally, it’s always better if the people you live with can be your friends too! It’s a great bonding activity for housemates to hang out. Plan a trip to the movies or organise a fun day out hiking, it gives you the opportunity to do exciting things and get to know the people you’re living with.
Find the Perfect Shared Living Solution with Campus Living Villages