Accommodation Hacks


When renting out shared accommodation, many students will agree that it can go either way – being in a house with people that you don't can be a bit awkward. Why? Because the truth is when we are with people that we don't like to let people see the real us because we don't want to feel that they are judging us. How can you improve banter and flatmate relationships, you may think? The thoughts may come into your mind that "you're not a people person." or " I don't like being with people that you don’t know". But this blog will show you how to overcome these thoughts and enjoy yourself.

Never forget that your housemates are people too, and give them the benefit of the doubt where you can. Treat them with the consideration you expect for yourself, approach them about problems the way you would want to be approached, and remember that you may not be the only one having a rough day. To work mutual respect and comfort into your house share, look at it this way: remember that regardless of how much you get along with your flatmates, everyone needs their own personal space. Respect this. If your flatmate's door is closed, knock. If they spend a lot of time in their room, they probably value having their own space, so try not to bother them too much. Just try to read the situation as much as possible and don't impose on anyone who doesn't seem like they want to be imposed upon. Always extend basic courtesies. Say hi, don't hog the shower if you all go to work at the same time, and offer food when you're in the kitchen at the same time.

Ok, so this might seem like a bit of an obvious choice, but you can wiggle out some interesting conversation out of even the most irrelevant topics. Why not ask them what sort of music they’re into, or better still, offer to watch a good artsy foreign film with them? Even if it’s only for a couple of hours, you might find that you share similar interests with at least a couple of your home buddies. The truth is the people who you are going to share rooms with are people who are going to come from completely different backgrounds from you. So ask them questions about where there from and how is it was like to grow up where they grew up. This is the perfect way to get to know someone without even having for yourself to talk too much. We have plenty of people come back to us and say our flatmate does this, my flatmate does that. The truth is when you’re with people that you don't know the best thing to do is to hold back on the things that may annoy people. But we will explain more further down.

Don't be lazy.
The truth is no one wants to live with a lazy flatmate! Why? The answer is simple nobody wants to carry dead weight. If you are going to be lazy with your maintaining the standard of your room then you will slowly but surely make your room very angry with your lack of care. Do your dishes! It's not hard and it makes everything easier. If dirty dishes are a major battleground in your shared kitchen, try these tips to minimise the damage: Running really late and just out of time to clean your porridge bowl? Avoid frustration by popping your housemates a text and letting them know that you know you left it, then take care of it as soon as you can. If they've done it for you - remember to say thanks! No one can say they don't use the toilet roll, but how do you establish who pays for it? Shopping for shared house essentials is important - not least to avoid a situation where you get up to use the loo at 3am, only to discover that someone's used the last of the toilet roll (even though you bought the last three packs!).

Make shared spaces more accessible for everyone.
Everyone should try to keep shared space and storage organised. It will speed up everyone's schedules and decrease small annoyances. Organise the fridge. If you share a fridge, get that thing under control! Use assigned pull-out bins to keep everyone's food separate, organised, and easy to access for quick meals. By-the-door storage. Assign everyone in the house a hook or bin by the door to keep umbrellas, keys, and other what-nots we all like to drop as soon as we walk in. Optimise the bathroom. Keep it clean in the shower and toilet space, and use clever storage and tips to make sure everyone has what they need while washing up.

Be in the know.
Start a group chat. If you're chummy with your housemates, create a group text where you can keep in easy contact and share important information and laughs. Create a shared calendar. If everyone in your house share has a smart phone, sync yourselves up to a common Google calendar so you're aware of each other's schedules - when rent's due, who's on holiday when, who's got what chores when, and any other important events and plans related to the common space. Phone it in. Smartphones = smart house sharing. Take advantage of apps that will keep you and your housemates informed and prepared. Keep up with the little things. Use the HomeSlice app send notifications to your housemates when your out of house essentials, or share a WunderList that pings housemates when items are added or completed from to-do or shopping lists. At the risk of sounding like a complete bore, it's probably worth having a quick group conversation with your flatmates about your routines - particularly if you work weekends or have a particularly arduous course that means getting up at 7am every day. If you iron this stuff out at the start and get in sync with each other, you won't have to wait for a fall out over blaring tunes at 3am to make you more aware of each other.

Make a food plan.
Do not upset the delicate balance that is your food arrangement with your housemates. Agree early on how you'll share or not share edibles to avoid frustration and starvation later in the game. If you're not sure what route to go, try some of these suggestions:
Share kitchen basics: Communal condiments, spices, and dairy will make sure these staples are used up before they're expired and replaced quickly. Have a communal "free shelf." Everyone should have their own separate cabinet/box/shelf for the food they bought and no should venture beyond their own space, but designate a "free shelf" to leave items that are up for grabs. If there's always something free, people are less likely to dive into their housemate's stash. Use the free shelf for items you can't finish before you expire, foods you didn't like, or you just want to share some biscuits because you're such. a good. Person.

Written by: City Rooms