5 ways to cope with house sharing in your 30s
If someone had told me a few years ago that I would be house sharing in my thirties I would not have believed them. As it turned out I landed a job in London and so getting a place to myself was not an option, so I began hunting for a place to share with other young professionals.
Now house sharing does have its positives, such as giving you the chance to build a social life and saving you money, but then there are the negatives: people leaving a mess, excessive noise at unsociable hours, strange smells and bad attitudes.
Here are a few ways to lessen the chance of any issues arising:
Get a cleaner: This may seem like an unnecessary luxury, but not having to clear up the dirt of multiple people before you can take a shower or make a cup of tea is well worth the expense. Dividing the cost of a cleaner by the number of people in the house means that two hours a week costs you each only £20 a month (on average for a house share of four people). You could even negotiate it so that the landlord adds it to your rent and takes control of it for you. The ill feeling that can arise when someone leaves shavings all over the bathroom sink, or casually drops the comment ‘I don’t clean toilets’, is quite frightening.
Create a rota: This is an essential piece of evidence if you need proof that someone is being a lazy arse. Make sure that what needs doing is clearly labelled, with the date and time of when anything should be completed. Most importantly, get people to sign it once they have completed the task. It could be as simple as emptying the bin, or sorting the mail.
The place I find most effective to place the rota is on the fridge. This means that whenever anyone who ‘can’t be arsed’ opens up the fridge they are met by the signatures of their housemates participating in something that they should also be doing.
Have regular house meetings: Depending on the number of people you share with then this could vary on frequency and effectiveness. I have found it essential in the smooth running of the house share. It is amazing the transformation that you see in someone when they are confronted with fellow housemates who are frustrated with certain activity.
One person I used to live with did nothing around the house, absolutely nothing. Week after week he would use the facilities and not lift a finger to clear up or help out. He would get in from work, lock himself in his room, and re-emerge after numerous beers and argumentative Skype sessions with his partner. So, we had a house meeting and it turned out that his personal problems had blinded him to the way he was treating those he lived with. We were able to talk to him about them and the resentment towards him resided and he began to open up and help out.
Keep a kitty: Money is indeed the root of all evils, and the root cause of numerous issues within a house share.
A small dish that has a few pounds in it means that whenever the toilet paper runs out, for example, means that you can simply head to the shop without muttering how you are having to spend your own money on things that other people will use.
Simply get people to sign for when they have added a few pounds to the pot in order that everyone is aware that this is a requirement, not an option.
Socialise with those you live with: Whether it is simply a take out on a Friday night or drinks at the pub, talking to your housemates on a social level means that it is so much easier to deal with any issues you may have.
This doesn’t have to happen on a weekly basis, perhaps once a month. Just sitting down and having a laugh, maybe a moaning session about work, means that you can quickly become friends with those that you live with.
I realise that this post may sound like in order to have a successful house share then you a regimental routine, but that’s not the case. Sharing a house is great, and can be incredibly enjoyable. It is just good to sort out those things that can cause a problem to make sure your work/life balance remains as in sync as possible.