Are you really a millennial if you haven’t lived in a share house? Living in an overpriced, slightly run down, house/apartment/garage/box, with a few of your mates is a rite of passage. It’s the first time we taste freedom and test our limits after flying the nest. Most people will be able to tell you of rosy, lovely times they had back in their day in their shared house. But for every one of these people, there’s 10 others just waiting to tell you a horror story or go on a 20 minute rant about their share house experience.
So to avoid this tension and bring a little peace back into our tumultuous lives, here is my survival guide to living in a share house.
Establish House Rules
OK so you’re supposed to be adults now with all this new freedom. But little did you know that the bubble you’ve been living in (your family home), is a bubble and it is about to be burst. People live very different lifestyles with different expectations and realities of cleanliness, what can and can’t be shared, how loud you can listen to your music, when people need to pee and you’ve been in the bathroom for 40minutes. You want to get off on the right foot and taking an hour at the beginning of your lease to talk about these things will save you a lot of frustration, confusion and bursting bladders.
Have a joint account
If you’re that sort of household that smokes a lot of weed, then a joint account is a good idea (haha get it) . And if you’re not, a joint account is still a good idea. It makes the complex adult world of ‘paying bills,’ much less stressful and much easier to handle. Transfer your rent plus a little extra every week to go towards bills, cleaning products and beer. A house that drinks and/or smokes together, stays together.
The Facebook Chat is the DEVIL – try a real conversation
You may be tempted to create a Facebook chat with a catchy, punny title dedicated to house updates. Whilst it’s a good idea for little things like ‘yo we’re out of toilet paper,’ it is not the place for ‘ok so our gas got cut off and we have no hot water’ crisis’. No joke – our gas got cut off and it truly did test our friendship (and strength to have cold showers in winter). We all know that sarcasm and Facebook rarely works, so why would we think that talking about serious house issues in the group chat would be any different. Call a house meeting or give them a call and talk about it. Talking about any issues is the best way to resolve it.
Don’t be a tight ass, share your milk, bread, oil….
Living in a share house implies sharing things. So don’t be that person who writes their name on the milk bottle… it’s just milk. Sharing is caring, plus there’s no point crying over shared milk.
However… label your hummus. That shits precious.
Sharing is caring, but sharing your hummus is for your soul mate.
I wish I had the answer to keeping a kitchen tidy. I really wish I did. What I find most effective is if you pile up all their dirty dishes into a neat corner of the kitchen and clean around it. I think the communal kitchen is a global unsolvable problem. Just like the chicken or the egg… whose dirty dish came first? (not mine).
Play music when having that special friend over
Most share houses that us twenty something humans can afford are pretty shit (I call it character building). But that means that they have pretty thin walls. One of the perks of living in a share house is that you can bring whoever you want back to your place without sneaking around. But living in a share house is all about respect, so if you like to get your groove on, um, loudly… play some music.
Living in a share house really is the epitome of being a twenty something human. As dirty, stressful, drunk or noisy it may be, your housemates become your family and your share house a home. Over the years you’ll live with good housemate, bad housemates, terrible housemates, and housemates that turn into your best friends. No matter what happens, at least you’ll get some good stories and character building out of it.