It is very important for you to all sort out a few basics before moving in together. Even the best of friends can fall out over simple tasks such as washing up. Living with friends information leaflet.
Here are some areas to think about:
- Make a cleaning rota for communal areas.
- Do you want to create a kitty for items such as toilet rolls and cleaning products? This is a good idea if you suspect that someone will always ‘forget’ when it is their turn to buy.
- Decide if you need a bathroom rota. For example, do all housemates have a 9 am lecture on the same day?
- If not all of your housemates smoke, is smoking allowed in the communal areas?
- How are you going to divide communal storage space, for example kitchen cupboards?
- Decide whether or not you are going to share all or some food e.g. milk and bread. If sharing, will you use a kitty or rota?
- Are you allowed to borrow each other’s without asking?
- Put all of your names on the utility bills and keep a record of who pays what.
- If the gas and electric are on prepay meters will you take it in turns to buy the tokens, or create a kitty?
- Decide what the ground rules are about having people round to stay. If it is a regular occurrence, should they be contributing to the bills/food?
- Are you allowed to go into each other’s bedrooms when they are not there?
- Do you need a message board/note pad in a communal area?
- How will you resolve any problems that occur between housemates?
- Does every house decision have to be unanimous?
- Who is going to be the person to contact the landlord when things need doing? Or will you take this in turns?
Living in Harmony
- Address things when they’re little. Is your housemate always forgetting her stuff for the shower, and taking yours? Are your clothes being borrowed faster than you can wash them? Addressing things that bug you while they’re still little can help your housemate be aware of something she may not otherwise know. And addressing little things is much easier than addressing them after they’ve become big.
- Respect your housemate’s belongings. This may seem simple, but it’s probably one of the biggest reasons why housemates experience conflict. Don’t borrow, use, or take anything without getting permission first.
- Be open to new things. Your housemate may be from someplace you’ve never heard of. They may have a religion or lifestyle that is completely different from your own. Be open to new ideas and experiences.
- Be open to change. You should expect to learn and grow and change during your time at University. And the same should happen to your housemate, if all goes well. As the semester progresses, realize things will change for both of you. Be comfortable addressing things that unexpectedly come up, setting new rules, and being flexible to your changing environment.
- If nothing else, follow the Golden Rule. Treat your housemates like you’d like to be treated. No matter what your relationship is at the end of the year, you can take comfort knowing you acted like an adult and treated your housemates with respect.