Most people, at some point in their lives, will end up living with strangers. Although this may initially seem quite daunting, as long as you behave like a decent human being there’s no reason why there should be any problems! A little bit of kindness won’t do any harm, so why not follow these tips to try and be the best flatmate you possibly can be.
1. Lay the ground rules
Everyone has their preferences of how things should be, so have a chat and lay some ground rules! Whether it’s what time music should be turned off, rules about parties or cleaning, talk to who you’re living with about what is okay and what isn’t. If you’re okay with your flatmate nabbing some milk for a cuppa but not okay with them stealing your frozen pizzas, then be upfront and avoid confusion.
2. Divide it up
When you move in, work out what will be used communally in your home. This could be consumables like washing up liquid, loo rolls or milk. Once established, agree an amount for all flatmates to pay into a kitty for replenishing supplies. The same sort of thing works well for chores.
3. Let them know
If you’re planning to entertain friends, let your flatmate know. You don’t have to ask them for permission, but the respectful thing to do is to give a heads up in advance. Same applies if your parents are coming over, or if you’re having a party. In fact, the really nice thing to do is to invite your flatmate to whatever event you have planned!
4. Keep it clean
It’s hard to keep a home absolutely sparkling clean and perfect, but that’s not to say that you should live in a pigsty either. Put together a cleaning schedule so each person has their fair share of chores. Make weekly tasks easier by doing your bit as you go.
If you spill something, clean it up. If you cook something, don’t leave the pots and pans in the sink for days on end. If the bin is full, take it out. Agree on a minimum standard of cleanliness and do your bit to maintain it. Nothing breeds resentment quicker than feeling you’re the only person pulling your weight!
5. Treat your flatmate as you would like to be treated
This may seem like an obvious one, but try to make a bit more of an effort with your flatmate and they may treat you the same way! Say hello and goodbye, spark conversation by asking how their day was and offering them a cuppa when you put the kettle on. If your flatmate seems a bit withdrawn then don’t push your way into their life, but by showing an interest they might open up. Respect your flatmates privacy, and always knock on their door before entering their room. You don’t have to be best friends with the person you’re living with, but being friendly and considerate shouldn’t be difficult.