Tips for Living with Housemates
As a follow up to the blog on student accommodation by Lidewij, I will be sharing a bit of my experience today on some tips on how to live with housemates… harmoniously. Chances are, on a student budget, you’ll end up living in a corridor with 6, 10 or even 24 housemates. I know, 24 housemates seems a bit extreme, but these exist here. It may be daunting to think about having to share your living space with strangers, but it doesn’t have to be a terrible experience. In fact, you may find yourself enjoying the company of these people. Anyway, here are some tips that I may or may not have learnt the hard way.
Choose the right corridor/house for you
Yes, not everyone has the luxury of choosing their corridor mates especially if you found your room before arriving from ROOM.nl . However, it may be very helpful to know who your housemates are and to see if you will be a good fit in the corridor if going to hospitality evenings is an option. You are going to be spending a lot of your time with these people and will (hopefully) form some sort of community. Plus, its very convenient to have your friends 2 doors down when you need them.
Get to know who you live with
Whether or not you live in a corridor of your choosing, it will still be useful to form some form of a friendship with your corridor mates. Doing so will take the pressure of communicating to each other when something needs to be done. And obviously, who would wanna live with people they don’t get along with? If you’re looking for ideas to reach out, you could start by asking the corridor to have a dinner or a BBQ. Slowly, when ya’ll are tight, you can start throwing house parties. 😀
Have a cleaning schedule (and stick to it)
A bunch of young adults living together is bound to get messy very quickly. Having a fair cleaning schedule for common areas is essential and this way, not only do you keep your corridor clean, you also get to interact with your corridor mates and get to know them better. As you can see below, here’s a schedule for my corridor’s kitchen duties.
Be considerate, take accountability
Also seen from the list above, there’s not really a way to tell whether or not the corridor has been cleaned in the past week (other than obvious signs such as the place being very, very dirty). You could always sign away the task list or lie about it but you wouldn’t like that if one of your corridor mates did that to you. A good way to prevent this is to lead by example, and to do that you can be part of the team and take accountability.
Last summer, my corridor kitchen had a maggot infestation. Couldn’t say its anyone’s fault, but I would say it could’ve been prevented if only there was better communication within the corridor. Since it was summer, most of my housemates were missing and the cleaning schedule was not in accordance to who was present. Thus, the trash wasn’t being thrown out for weeks at a time and sadly for our case, that includes the organic trash. Well, my housemates took it as a lesson to communicate better and luckily, we haven’t had such gross mishaps since then.
Well, that concludes it for my experience in surviving living with housemates. I hope you could learn a thing or two from my tips here and if I missed out on anything or if you want to share your own experience, feel free to comment on this post. Good luck! 😉