Now that term time has started again you’ll already have spent a couple of weeks in your new student digs by now. We hope it’s going well – and that you haven’t felt like moving out or banning one of your flatmates just yet. And, if that’s the case then you’ll want that business of living together to stay on an even keel. Well, here’s some shared living tips to ensure just that:
Clean up after you
Pretty basic this one but you’ll be surprised (or maybe not) at the number of students who leave their dishes at the side of the sink waiting for the cleaning fairy to come along and do them. At least that’s what happens when you don’t have a dishes rota…
Respect people’s privacy
You may be sharing a flat with just one other – or even five others. But regardless of how many flatmates you have, everyone needs their own space every now and again. And that means knocking before going in to a flatmate’s bedroom. It also means appreciating that they don’t always want to come to the pub but sometimes prefer to just lie on their bed and read or watch a movie on their own.
Keep your belongings safe
Leaving Macbook’s, treasured jewellery and other stuff you love lying around is going to end in tears. Instead buy a small safe or, for valuables you don’t use that often, hire a security deposit box. Then again, it may be simpler just to buy a lock for your door (you may trust your flatmates implicitly, but you don’t know who they’re bringing back to the flat when you’re not there).
Don’t have a partner moving in
There’s nothing wrong with a girlfriend or boyfriend staying over after a night out – provided it’s not every night (or every second night). And especially if they hog the bathroom/TV/Cooker the next morning while the ‘legitimate’ ie paying flatmates are trying to go about their business. If it becomes a regular thing then you can understand the other flatmates being aggrieved that they’re sharing a house and utilities with an unwanted guest who isn’t contributing to the bills.
Always pay your way
There’s nothing worse (almost) than living with someone who never contributes to the joint housekeeping fund because he ‘happens to be short of cash that week.’ IOUs just don’t cut it – especially when they start piling up. And, on that note, the fridge raider isn’t a popular housemate either. It’s ok if you come back starving from the pub one night and pinch some toast and cheese etcPROVIDEDyou replace it next day. Otherwise you’re really asking for trouble. Food stealing is a very serious offence in a student household and can definitely get you chucked out!
If there’s a row over who should get the biggest room then there’s at least a couple of easy ways to sort it. Firstly, you could simply toss a coin, secondly you could switch after six months so both parties can stay there (albeit for a shorter period of time).
What about you? What’s your tips for living in harmony with other students?