Home may be where the heart is, but it’s also where you find a safe space to retire after a long day, unwind, and just be yourself. This is what share houses offer, along with other benefits.
Share houses are rental places or accommodations with separate private rooms and shared spaces where residents can gather together to “exchange” and “share." It’s an exciting way of living.
Whether it is a share house for expats living abroad for some time, backpackers and business travelers passing through a city, founders growing startup companies, or single mothers in a share house with a day care to help them out, share house living is a great way to meet new people, make new friends, and save money when you're on a tight budget or saving for something.
The share house lifestyle is the way to go for economic, social, geographic, and even health and well-being reasons. Some share houses are based on common interests such as gardening, cycling, and more. So, this co-living lifestyle is well-suited for building a sense of community.
But living in a share house isn't always sunshine and roses. We've all heard the horror stories about that one flatmate who's either downright evil or gross on television and online. Oftentimes, these scary stories in shared digs are at the front of our minds when selecting housemates.
While you can’t always weed out bad housemates during the search for a share house, there are ways to make your share house arrangement work for everyone involved.
Top Tips for Share House Living / Co-living
Here are six tips for share house living or co-living as harmoniously as possible in a share house:
1. Sort out kitchenware and storage for each tenant early on
Hungry people are angry people, so minimizing the chance of kitchen mishaps should be one of your top priorities. So, although you are sharing the fridge, your housemates’ food isn’t yours. Food isn’t communal – so do not just help yourself to it.
Make sure you sort out the fridge and pantry storage space for each tenant when you move in. Besides that, there are other things to consider as well.
Ensuring you have quality cookware and cutlery in sufficient quantities can go a long way to preventing arguments when Cindy stores her leftovers in the pan she cooked them in, and Jake stockpiles spoons in his room like they're worth their weight in gold.
2. Have a chore chart
Yes, this may make you feel like you're back in the first grade, but having a set schedule that everyone agrees on can greatly reduce arguments over who's turn it is to vacuum, or mop, or sweep the kitchen.
Depending on how many housemates you have, each person may only need to perform these chores once a month, as everyone can switch off week by week. Be sure to pull your weight.
3. Keep the bathroom clean
This one is about more than just respect and harmony. A dirty bathroom can quickly become a health hazard. So, no matter who's turn it is to officially clean the place up, make sure you always leave the bathroom in the state you'd like to find it in.
4. Invest in summer 'cooling off' necessities beforehand
Summer is an exciting and also uncomfortable time of year due to the heat. This can quickly escalate what might have only been a minor argument if people weren't hot and grumpy.
If your common areas don't have a pre-installed air conditioner, invest in a portable one and/or some quality fans beforehand. It may not seem important if you move in during the cooler months, but factoring these appliances and solutions for cooling off into your shred house budget before you need them will be a big help in keeping your home harmonious.
5. Respect each other's privacy
This one may seem like a no brainer, but it goes deeper than simply staying out of your housemates' bedrooms and other private areas.
Everyone has the right to quiet enjoyment of the property in which they inhabit. It's common courtesy to let your roomies know when someone is coming over, especially if they're going to be spending the night.
6. Pencil in family time
Although you're probably not related by blood, if you spend long enough living with someone (and you actually make an effort to know each other better) you're bound to form a bond. This will reduce stress within the house and make for a happier environment so be sure to have a little time set aside each week to catch up.
This is also a great time to air out any issues with all parties present. so it'll help prevent problems from building up and exploding.
There you have it, some top tips for living a harmonious life in a share house. Let us know of any other tips you have in the comments section below.