Small budget, difficulties in finding housing, friendliness, simpler procedures, additional space, sharing of costs…the reasons to live in shared flat are manyfold! This post is dedicated to those who are living with one or several flatmates. Living in community can be an awesome experience but the daydream can quickly turn into a nightmare if some essential rules are not respected. In order to avoid a nuclear war, read and follow these 15 survival tips!
1. Communicate! Good manners start with politeness: “Good morning!”, “Good evening!”, “Thank you!”… This may seem obvious but a lot of people forget about it and that’s enough to set a bad atmosphere. So please, don’t be rude and make an effort to be nice with your flatmates. Never neglect “savoir vivre”, this will facilitate your exchanges with them!
2. Be respectful! You’re not living alone here so you have to respect the sleep and intimacy of your flatmates. Don’t make noise or listen to loud music until no time, this is crucial for group cohesion! Everyone has a different pace of life but we must learn to accept the biological needs of each individual.
3. Mind your own business! Don’t take part to conflicts that do not concern you such as torque disputes. Indeed, taking sides with one of them will inevitably draw you the resentment of the other! It’s better to keep a low profile and wait for the storm to pass. However, if torque disputes are regular, don’t hesitate to tell your flatmates that they bother you! This is totally legitimate because you don’t have to suffer the consequences of their relationship issues…
4. Be open-minded! Living with new people is so cool! However, they may not have the same opinions, passions or lifestyles than you. That’s why you have to show tolerance if you don’t want to be left out! Don’t forget that we also learn through differences…
5. Share the chores! This is an universal fact: nobody likes chores, speaking of doing housework or taking out the trash! Be organized from the beginning and make a schedule. It will save you from many conflicts! Very important point: if you are in a mixed flat sharing, forget machism! We no longer live in prehistoric times, boys should do the dishes as well! The sharing of tasks must be fair and alternated to ensure that nobody is scammed. Yep!
6. Display the timetable of each flatmate! Knowing the schedule of your flatmates will allow you to better adapt to the rythms of each, but above all, to know and predict who will be there and when. This is very useful to organize common meals, outings or flatmates nights!
7. Put a memo in the kitchen! Like this, every flatmate will be able to leave his comments at any time! It is essential to maintain communication, whether oral or written. The memo can also be used to put reminders about the functioning of colocation, fees to be paid or the role of everyone.
8. Be clean! Don’t forget to have a daily shower, don’t let your hair drag in the bathroom, think about the person who will go to the toilets after you and don’t let your dirty plates in the sink…be civilized! Indeed, dirt is the source of so many conflicts, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
9. Define time slots for the use of the bathroom! Nobody likes to be rushed or wait at the door of the bathroom, it’s the best way to ruin your day! That’s why you have to organize yourselves. One can have his shower in the morning, the other in the evening, before or after breakfast, before or after dinner, just communicate and make a schedule of shower times, it’s not complicated! Don’t forget to alternate if you have the same preferences, life is full of compromises…
10. Tidy your stuff! The mess of your room is not the business of your flatmates. However, you have to let the common areas (living room, kitchen and bathroom) tidy, to show respect to others! Pick up your dirty socks and don’t let anyone see your panties or boxer shorts, show a bit of decency and buy a laundry basket please! The surrounding disorder reflects the disorder of the mind. Admit that you feel better in a tidy apartment!
11. Make a common pot! Plan a monthly budget for the cleaning products and the common hygiene products. Then divide the budget by the numbers of flatmates: everyone has to put his share of money at the beginning of the month. Like this, you can be sure that it won’t always be the same people who buy the washing up liquid, kitchen paper, sanitizer, soap, air freshener or toilet paper! The common pot can also be used to organize evenings with your flatmates. Ask 5 euros per person for a festive meal, it should be enough to buy petits fours, cakes and drinks!
12. Pay your part in due time! Arrange to send your rent check simultaneously with your flatmates to avoid unpleasant surprises! This also applies to electricity bills and council tax. As we say, good accounts make good friends. And don’t forget the common pot!
13. Don’t launch parties without warning! Always tell your flatmates in advance if you want to receive friends at home, so they can arrange. But sometimes it won’t be possible and you will have to live with it. C’est la vie!
14. Spend some time with your flatmates! Flatmates are not only there to allow you to pay less for your rent. Take the opportunity to get to know them. Better to have them as friends than enemies! Who knows, one day they may be able to save your life! And as you live with them seven days a week, they are a bit like a second family, enjoy!
15. Follow the rules! Of course, if you wanna succeed your colocation, you should better stick to these tips! You know the saying “no pain, no gain”!
That’s it! Hope these 15 tips will allow you to enjoy the best of your shared flat! If you want to share your own tips or give your opinion about colocation, feel free to comment! Cheers 🙂