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How To Get Along With Housemates

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

Introduction

When you share a space with roommates, it's important to have clear rules and boundaries. This will help keep everyone on the same page and can prevent conflicts before they even happen! The best way to make sure your house or apartment stays organised is by communicating openly with each other about what works well and what doesn't work so well in your living situation. Together we'll cover some of the most important aspects of creating shared rules.



Having shared responsibilities and rules is a great way to get things done in your home, but you also need to take each other's feelings into account.

  • Listen to each other's needs, and be respectful of their feelings.

  • Be mindful of how your actions impact others.

  • Be open to compromise and change.

  • Be open to new ideas, people and ways of doing things -- even if they're not your own.


Take the time to talk openly about what each roommate's responsibilities are




As a housemate, you're going to need to make sure that you and your roommates are on the same page: what's expected of each person? Who's responsible for cleaning the bathroom? Who keeps track of who owes money to whom? All these things should be agreed upon before you move in.

To talk about these things, start by asking each other what everyone's responsibilities are. If one person has been living there longer than another or is paying more rent, they may have different ideas about what responsibilities should be assigned. Try not to take any disagreements personally—they're just part of moving in together! If you find that no one can agree on rules or responsibilities (or if someone seems unwilling to compromise), then it might be time for everyone involved to reevaluate whether this situation is right for them. But if everyone is happy with the outline of shared rules, it’s time for action!


Have a conversation about cleanliness and how often each person wants the apartment cleaned


You will be living with other people, so it's important to agree on what is clean and what is dirty.

Cleanliness is a matter of personal preference, but the majority of people like the apartment to be clean at least once a week. Most people also prefer that their own bedrooms are left neat at all times. If you're a neat freak or have allergies, you may want to clean more often than this; if you're not so concerned about dirt and dust bunnies in your room, then cleaning less often might suit you just fine.

Make sure everyone has an idea of what constitutes "clean" before establishing shared responsibilities—you don't need to make it into one giant chore list if everyone agrees on some basic rules (for example: "Everyone should leave their bedroom door open when they're not using it"). It's also helpful for roommates who aren't as adept at keeping things tidy—or who simply don't want to—to ask for help when necessary (e.g., "Can someone help me tidy my bedroom?").


Everyone should contribute financially according to the size of their room and what they can afford




In the next step, you and the other housemates will decide on a budget for each of these things. Discuss how much each person can afford to contribute per week and then decide on a figure that everyone feels comfortable with. Remember to keep it realistic: if you’re sharing with two other friends who earn minimum wage, it might be unwise for you all to agree on a food budget that adds up to £25 per week when your wages don't even cover the rent!

Below are some more detailed examples of what might work in a variety of situations:

  • Everyone contributes equally towards rent (£400) and bills (£40). Total monthly expenditure is therefore £440.

  • Person 1 pays all their own rent (£300), person 2 pays half their rent plus one third of bills (e.g., £30), while person 3 pays half their rent and all their own bills (e.g., £40). Total monthly expenses are therefore £480 – but there may still be some left over at the end of the month after paying for communal activities like movies or cooking together!


Talk about who will be responsible for which bills especially if each roommate has different preferences


Talk about who will be responsible for which bills (gas, electric, water, cable), especially if each roommate has different preferences.

You need to agree on who is responsible for what.

Make sure you can afford the bills.

If you can't afford the bills then you need to talk to your roommates about how much everyone needs to contribute each month.


Be upfront about whether or not you want roommates coming over



  • Don't let your roommates come over unannounced. If you have a roommate who doesn't respect your privacy, this could be a problem.

  • Don't let your roommates come over when you're sleeping. It's one thing to have people in your house while they are awake; it's another entirely to have them there when they don't know anyone else is home and can't hear anything going on around them (or even understand what's being said).

  • Don't let your roommates come over when you're sick or contagious. First of all, no one wants to share their space with someone who is sick with something contagious like the flu or norovirus even if they do get along well with each other normally—and secondly, most people don't want to share their living space with someone who might be carrying around some kind of nasty bug that could make them feel miserable too if they were exposed!

  • Don’t let your roommates come over when you already have company over either—especially if it’s romantic company!

  • The Redwood.rent app has a search filter to find people who are more particular or don’t mind if friends come over. Check it out >


Have a conversation with your roommates about how much time you're willing to spend together outside of the house/apartment


The next step is to have a conversation with your roommates about how much time you're willing to spend together outside of the house/apartment. This is where it's important to consider everyone's needs and wants, as well as how they affect others. For example, if one roommate prefers spending most of their time alone and another wants to go out on Saturday nights, then a compromise will need to be reached in order for everyone involved in the house share agreement (i.e., the three roommates) to be satisfied. This can be accomplished by setting some ground rules that fit each person's lifestyle and preferences, such as having designated times when no one else is at home so that everyone has privacy—and vice versa!

It's also important for all parties involved not only understand their own needs but also respect those who may differ from them; this will ensure harmony within the household without compromising individual non-negotiables like "I need my space" or "Hey, I'd rather work than go out tonight."


Share Your Important Dates


Have a shared calendar. Digital or physical in a common space like the kitchen or fridge. If you have an important work or study deadline, let others know so that they understand when to be a bit more sensitive about loud noises and tidying up after themselves. Maybe also share when you’ll be out of the house for a few days so people know when they can invite friends round if you prefer to keep the flat quiet most of the time.








Create an open-door policy when it comes to communication about problems in the house/apartment



One of the most important things you can do to ensure that all roommates are on the same page, is to have an open-door policy. What this means is that if each roommate knows they can talk freely with any other roommate about any problem or issue in the house/apartment, then it will be easier for them to work together as a team and resolve issues quickly.

If you want your house share to succeed, being able to discuss problems openly and honestly is vital. In some cases it may mean that one person needs to apologize for something they did wrong, or perhaps there's a disagreement over who did what in cleaning up after dinner last night (maybe someone left their dirty plate on the table). Whatever it is, without an open-door policy you will find yourself unable to resolve these issues quickly and easily because everyone will be too worried about offending one another by speaking out loud about their feelings.


If you have concerns that you can't bring up easily, write them down in a central area




It can be useful to keep a list of your concerns, so that you don't forget anything or get overwhelmed. That said, it's important not to let the list get too long: if you're using this as a way of organizing your thoughts and feelings about the rules (rather than just listing every single thing that bothers you), you should make sure that all of your concerns are included in each section. As an alternative to simply jotting down ‘I hate sharing my stuff with other people’ and then moving on, try breaking down what specifically about this rule troubles you—for example, does having to share space mean that no one ever cleans their own room? Or does it feel unfair since some housemates have more space than others?


No matter what, be mindful of other people's feelings when trying to enforce rules or make suggestions. Being kind goes a long way!


You can't be afraid to ask for help. If it's late at night and you're stressed out, don't push yourself too hard. Instead, reach out to your housemates and ask them for help with some of the household chores that are stressing you out. You'll be surprised by how much more relaxed they feel when they know that someone else is taking care of things as well.

Don’t hold grudges over small mistakes or misunderstandings – no matter how big they may seem at the time! It’s important not only to have a good relationship with your housemates but also with yourself in order for things like this not to blow up into something bigger than they should be (which will just lead everyone down an emotional rabbit hole).

Be kind! Life is full of stressors so sometimes we all need a little reminder about being kinder towards one another regardless if we live together or not :)



Working together while being respectful of each other's feelings will help create a safe space where all roommates feel comfortable expressing themselves freely without fear or judgment


When you're living in a house with other people, it's important to be respectful of their feelings. You should also be respectful of your own feelings.

Respect other people's needs and wants as much as possible—but don't feel like you have to go along with everything they want if it doesn't make sense for your life or just isn't something that will work for you.

Remember that there may come a time when someone asks something of you and your answer is no, but then they think about it and maybe change their mind later on. Or maybe the answer is no, but then they realise that they really do want what they originally asked for after all (or vice versa). So always give others ample opportunity to negotiate things out rather than shutting down any possibility from the start!


 

Conclusion

If you can, try to be as upfront with your roommate about what you want out of the house share and what they're getting themselves into. If there are things that need to be fixed (like a leaky faucet), it's best if everyone knows about them before moving in together so no one feels like they're paying for something that wasn't disclosed before hand. If you have concerns about how others might react during certain situations (e.g., if someone frequently has loud parties when everyone else wants peace), then talk about those situations beforehand so there aren't any surprises later down the road when things go wrong! In any case, being honest with each other about these details should help prevent any conflict from arising between roommates down the line - which will help everyone feel comfortable living together peacefully as friends or family members rather than strangers sharing space."



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