Life lessons

5 share-housing tips

I moved out of home at 21 to a whole new country. Since then, I’ve navigated sharing a place with at least 20 housemates in the span of almost twelve years. Let’s just say I learnt a thing or two about living in a share-house.

Here are 5 share-housing tips:

Set ground rules from the beginning

It helps to set ground rules about cleaning, noise, cooking, grocery shopping, cabinet spaces, washing the dishes and other household chores right from the start. You may think people are aware of what it takes to share a house but the fact is, not many do. I’ve had housemates who vacuumed probably once in their six-month stay because they assumed they didn’t have to do it. I soon learnt my lesson and started to explain expectations from the time they were inspecting and setting them in stone once they moved in. So if you want to clean the house fortnightly, say so. If dishes need to be done every second day, let them know.

Be considerate

Remember you are sharing with other people. It might be one other person, or like I did through uni, three other people. Be considerate. It’s not hard. You don’t have to spend an hour in the shower every morning when your housemates also have to go to work or uni. Don’t brush your teeth in the kitchen sink. Don’t leave dirty dishes piling up for a whole week especially when you share the pots and pans with your housemates. Don’t leave pee on the toilet seat or forget to flush after you’ve pooped. Don’t party loudly when your housemate is trying to sleep and has an exam the next day. Don’t threaten your housemate’s boyfriend. Don’t be racist and then tell your housemate they are okay because they can speak English. Be kind. Be considerate. Don’t be an arsehole. {Yes, all of these are real examples!}

It’s not like FRIENDS

When I left home, I envisioned a life like FRIENDS. You know, where Chandler and Joey pop in over at Monica’s and Rachel’s without asking. Or where the friends and flatmates all hang around all the time. The reality is far from this. In fact, I think I’ve only had three housemates I was actually friends with. S from my uni days, Z who was close to the perfect housemate ever, and B who was already a friend before sharing! I did talk to them about lots of things as did they. It’s no surprise they are the only ones I still keep in touch with. There are still days I miss because she was clean and treated my unit like ‘our’ home and looked after it sometimes even better than I did! And now I’m sharing with a boy! 🙁 Anyway, I digress. What I’m trying to say is that by not expecting it to be like FRIENDS, you won’t set yourself up for disappointment.

Try and hang out occasionally

While it may not be like FRIENDS, it doesn’t mean you ignore your housemate completely either. Trust me, that becomes oh-so-awkward after a while. I’ve lived with housemates who wouldn’t communicate much at all and I’d barely see them. It was weird! Instead, reach out. Share a drink occasionally. Or a meal. Cook for one another or just bake something and share. In the end, you are sharing the same space and you don’t want it to just be a hi-bye relationship.

Communicate

I’ve had my share of passive-aggressive housemates. I myself have been afraid in the past to communicate just because I’ve not known how to be assertive. But honestly, if you don’t communicate, you will stew about it and eventually end up resenting them. Or worse, you will have a major blow-up.

These are probably just some of the tips I’ve learnt in almost twelve years of sharing. I’ve also learnt sometimes, it’s harder to keep your cool with loved ones but it’s more important to do so than to be critical and have a meltdown. But that’s a whole different post.

Have you got any share-housing tips?

Do share!

***Linking with Denyse for Life this Week, Alicia for Open Slather, and Corinne for Monday Musings***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Obsessivemom
    23 January 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I’v shared rooms in the hostel. That’s not like a house but issues like cleanliness or having friends over remain the same. Agree about setting the rules in the beginning and being considerate but open. It helps in the long run.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Another Monday morningMy Profile

    • Sanchie @ Living my Imperfect Life
      23 January 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Yeah, I learnt a lot of those the hard way! I’ve always been relatively clean if not a neat freak so it shocked me when I saw how messy and inconsiderate people could be!

  • Obsessivemom
    23 January 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I’v shared rooms in the hostel. That’s not like a house but issues like cleanliness or having friends over remain the same. Agree about setting the rules in the beginning and being considerate but open. It helps in the long run.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Another Monday morningMy Profile

    • Sanchie @ Living my Imperfect Life
      23 January 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Yeah, I learnt a lot of those the hard way! I’ve always been relatively clean if not a neat freak so it shocked me when I saw how messy and inconsiderate people could be!

  • Denyse
    23 January 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Wow you do have so much experience and I like how many tips you’ve added to help people. I admire how much you have ‘had to put up with’ in some respects but maybe that is my less-adventuorus self speaking. I can surmise it sure helped you learn about human behaviour!!! Thanks for linking up AND adding to the topic with your tips today #lifethisweek 4/52 Denyse
    Denyse recently posted…Tips For Living In A Shared Household. #LifeThisWeek 4/52. 2017.13.My Profile

  • Denyse
    23 January 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Wow you do have so much experience and I like how many tips you’ve added to help people. I admire how much you have ‘had to put up with’ in some respects but maybe that is my less-adventuorus self speaking. I can surmise it sure helped you learn about human behaviour!!! Thanks for linking up AND adding to the topic with your tips today #lifethisweek 4/52 Denyse
    Denyse recently posted…Tips For Living In A Shared Household. #LifeThisWeek 4/52. 2017.13.My Profile

  • PhenoMenon
    23 January 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Set rules in the beginning or forget all rules 🙂

    PhenoMenon
    http://phenomenalworld.in/food-drama-broadway-the-gourmet-theatre/

  • PhenoMenon
    23 January 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Set rules in the beginning or forget all rules 🙂

    PhenoMenon
    http://phenomenalworld.in/food-drama-broadway-the-gourmet-theatre/

  • Raychael Case
    24 January 2017 at 5:25 am

    So pleased those days are behind me. Although with three teens in the house, it can feel like I’ve gone back to house sharing at times.

  • Raychael Case
    24 January 2017 at 5:25 am

    So pleased those days are behind me. Although with three teens in the house, it can feel like I’ve gone back to house sharing at times.

  • Rajlakshmi
    24 January 2017 at 7:33 am

    These are excellent tips… I too struggled with being assertive and used to let it all pass. My experience began in college hostel where I had to share one room with 3 other girls … Even after college I was sharing rooms… It is never like Friends is what I have come to realize. 🙂
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  • Rajlakshmi
    24 January 2017 at 7:33 am

    These are excellent tips… I too struggled with being assertive and used to let it all pass. My experience began in college hostel where I had to share one room with 3 other girls … Even after college I was sharing rooms… It is never like Friends is what I have come to realize. 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…5 Art Project IdeasMy Profile

  • Parul
    24 January 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Oh I completely agree. I have shared rooms in hostels and then one house that my friend and I shared for 3+ years. I was lucky but I agree that it’s not as rosy as it sounds. So setting expectations is the best thing.
    Parul recently posted…Did you hit snooze this morning?My Profile

  • Parul
    24 January 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Oh I completely agree. I have shared rooms in hostels and then one house that my friend and I shared for 3+ years. I was lucky but I agree that it’s not as rosy as it sounds. So setting expectations is the best thing.
    Parul recently posted…Did you hit snooze this morning?My Profile

  • Ramya Abhinand
    24 January 2017 at 3:57 pm

    We all learn it the hard way isn’t it. When I was living with my room mates. The thing which caused issues was the fact that there was a clear lack of communication. Once this was resolved we understood what to expect from each other and living became easier.

  • Ramya Abhinand
    24 January 2017 at 3:57 pm

    We all learn it the hard way isn’t it. When I was living with my room mates. The thing which caused issues was the fact that there was a clear lack of communication. Once this was resolved we understood what to expect from each other and living became easier.

  • Annie
    24 January 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I have never lived with a roommate, and I always imagined it to be straight out of a FRIENDS episode. My friends who have lived with roommates, were quick to crush my illusions about such an idyllic life with their horror stories. The strangest thing I have heard has been about the time a friend ended up living with someone who obsessively kept tabs on my friend’s AC usage. With a “sign-in sign-out sheet” and everything! 😛 Hilarious to hear stories about, not so fun living with them I imagine?
    Annie recently posted…5 Things I’ll do differently in 2017My Profile

    • Sanchie @ Living my Imperfect Life
      24 January 2017 at 7:28 pm

      Lol…that reminds me of something Sheldon would do! 😛 I had one housemate who was particular that nothing be left in the sink. Not even my cup in the morning which I was more than happy to wash up after dinner that night.

  • Annie
    24 January 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I have never lived with a roommate, and I always imagined it to be straight out of a FRIENDS episode. My friends who have lived with roommates, were quick to crush my illusions about such an idyllic life with their horror stories. The strangest thing I have heard has been about the time a friend ended up living with someone who obsessively kept tabs on my friend’s AC usage. With a “sign-in sign-out sheet” and everything! 😛 Hilarious to hear stories about, not so fun living with them I imagine?
    Annie recently posted…5 Things I’ll do differently in 2017My Profile

    • Sanchie @ Living my Imperfect Life
      24 January 2017 at 7:28 pm

      Lol…that reminds me of something Sheldon would do! 😛 I had one housemate who was particular that nothing be left in the sink. Not even my cup in the morning which I was more than happy to wash up after dinner that night.

  • Alicia O'Brien
    24 January 2017 at 10:40 pm

    I get sick of cleaning up after my lot, so I don’t think I could do a shared situation at all now. I like my own space! I actually don’t know how I ever did share a house when I was younger, but did with not too many worries. A bit more carefree back then.
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  • Alicia O'Brien
    24 January 2017 at 10:40 pm

    I get sick of cleaning up after my lot, so I don’t think I could do a shared situation at all now. I like my own space! I actually don’t know how I ever did share a house when I was younger, but did with not too many worries. A bit more carefree back then.
    Alicia O’Brien recently posted…Goodbye summer holidays, hello school!My Profile

  • Soumya
    25 January 2017 at 12:29 am

    It’s not like FRIENDS. Oh yeah, it never is!

    The only time I have shared a room is when I had to move to a different city for work for four months. Four girls in a room where three of them were from various parts of Tamil Nadu and I was the only Bangalorean. Talk about being a misfit. They were dirty as hell and the OCD freak in me would end up cleaning their cupboards and arranging their clothes as times.

    That is when I learnt that sharing a house is not for me.
    Soumya recently posted…One Day At The Passport OfficeMy Profile

  • Soumya
    25 January 2017 at 12:29 am

    It’s not like FRIENDS. Oh yeah, it never is!

    The only time I have shared a room is when I had to move to a different city for work for four months. Four girls in a room where three of them were from various parts of Tamil Nadu and I was the only Bangalorean. Talk about being a misfit. They were dirty as hell and the OCD freak in me would end up cleaning their cupboards and arranging their clothes as times.

    That is when I learnt that sharing a house is not for me.
    Soumya recently posted…One Day At The Passport OfficeMy Profile

  • Sid
    25 January 2017 at 4:14 pm

    I think the most important one in this is ‘It’s not like FRIENDS’. When I first shared a house with a bunch of others, fueled by shows such as FRIENDS, I expected a lot of things.

    Needless to say, it was quite an eye-opening experience. Well, I learnt some important lessons from the next time.
    Sid recently posted…Help! I’ve read a Parenting Book!My Profile

  • Sid
    25 January 2017 at 4:14 pm

    I think the most important one in this is ‘It’s not like FRIENDS’. When I first shared a house with a bunch of others, fueled by shows such as FRIENDS, I expected a lot of things.

    Needless to say, it was quite an eye-opening experience. Well, I learnt some important lessons from the next time.
    Sid recently posted…Help! I’ve read a Parenting Book!My Profile

  • Shalini
    25 January 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Wow!!!! Your real life experiences are, literally, shit-scary woman! I have shared a room in a PG dig – my horror stories of the roomie from hell will probably usurp yours anyday ?
    But I loved your tips. Though I have no inclination of ever sharing as I am a cleanliness freak who loves her privacy, even though sometimes thinks it will be so nice to have company but then I hear other peeps stories of sharing and I am like – ok I am fine like this only ?
    Going to explore these prompts that you have linked your post to. They look interesting Sanchie

  • Shalini
    25 January 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Wow!!!! Your real life experiences are, literally, shit-scary woman! I have shared a room in a PG dig – my horror stories of the roomie from hell will probably usurp yours anyday ?
    But I loved your tips. Though I have no inclination of ever sharing as I am a cleanliness freak who loves her privacy, even though sometimes thinks it will be so nice to have company but then I hear other peeps stories of sharing and I am like – ok I am fine like this only ?
    Going to explore these prompts that you have linked your post to. They look interesting Sanchie

  • Harini
    26 January 2017 at 5:54 am

    I have never lived with a roommate and I was thought if I did it would like FRIENDS. But now that I am married I realize it would be nothing like that :P.

  • Harini
    26 January 2017 at 5:54 am

    I have never lived with a roommate and I was thought if I did it would like FRIENDS. But now that I am married I realize it would be nothing like that :P.

  • J.Gi Federizo
    2 February 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Oh, I’ve been living with other women since college, so I’m used to this. Your tips are correct. I probably could think of some more but I’m lazy ha ha!

    I did/do (notice the present tense) experience clashing with some people. mainly those who try to boss us around like they own(ed) the houses/rooms. Those aside, I’ve met some pretty good people and a number of them have become my friends.
    J.Gi Federizo recently posted…Oh, My 2016! (Not My) Interview with Myself #AskWednesday #ThrowbackTwenty16My Profile

  • J.Gi Federizo
    2 February 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Oh, I’ve been living with other women since college, so I’m used to this. Your tips are correct. I probably could think of some more but I’m lazy ha ha!

    I did/do (notice the present tense) experience clashing with some people. mainly those who try to boss us around like they own(ed) the houses/rooms. Those aside, I’ve met some pretty good people and a number of them have become my friends.
    J.Gi Federizo recently posted…Oh, My 2016! (Not My) Interview with Myself #AskWednesday #ThrowbackTwenty16My Profile