The Handy Guide to Shared Accommodation


No matter the situation, moving out of your home for the first time is always guaranteed to be a daunting, anxious and exhilarating time of your life. It is a natural step for everyone to take and the most common first move is to a shared accommodation; whether it be university or for a job in a city away from home. House sharing can be fantastic, but it’s also a stressful time if you all have a different level of ‘living’.

So before you move out, here is a handy guide to shared accommodation to ensure you’re more friend than foe by the end of it!



Photo credit: El Nariz/Shutterstock

Choose the right housemates

Common sense would have you think that to live in fewer numbers is the most sensible idea. However, university students are notoriously famous for living in large numbers of six or more and it ends up being a major problem throughout the year. There is no ideal number that would create the best living environment, but generally speaking, up to four is a good idea. When you live in odd numbers, it can create hostile and awkward situations if two housemates are not speaking to one another; leaving one to be piggy in the middle. Ensure your house is the right ratio to sexes – for example, having more girls to boys and vice versa could also be problematic. By balancing the numbers, you will create a harmonious household that is more than likely not to feel tense between all housemates. Not to mention, cooking, shopping and splitting bills is a lot cheaper for larger households.

Picking your rooms

If you live with friends, you’re more than likely to squabble about who doesn’t want the bottom room which backs onto the road, for all to peer in. If you’re moving into a shared accommodation, where you have been given a room, your choice is limited of course. However, if you’re fortunate to decide who sleeps where, there is an etiquette to stick to. You can use straws, cutting them to different lengths to represents each room, or use the traditional method of pulling your room choice out of a hat. Remember to have someone who is not involved in the housing arrangements to sort the hat, to ensure it is as fair as possible!

Cleaning rota

When deciding how to split the cleaning tasks as evenly as possible, arguments can occur. Perhaps there is someone in the group who doesn’t like to clean, or someone who does a half-hearted job? No matter the excuse, cleaning always ignites fire in shared accommodation. Once you have all moved in, it may be worthwhile getting everyone to say what they would be happiest cleaning/more willing to do on a weekly basis. You can either keep the rota the same or alternate between you, but if you find the right people for the right job, you shouldn’t have an issue.

What else should you consider when house sharing?

Understand the habits of everyone – you will all have things that annoy each other.

If you have someone to stay for the weekend, a boyfriend, girlfriend or family member, be considerate and even ask your housemates if it’s okay.

Have a kitty for communal essentials, such as toilet paper, bread, tea and coffee etc.… alternatively, rotate between you.

Establish rules regarding cleaning and when it should be done.

Understand when your housemates need space – respect their privacy and you will get on just fine!



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