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3 ways to be a good housemate

Starting university? Moving in with someone? Parents sick of your sloppy ways? Fear not - I am here to share my 3 tips on being the best housemate you can be!

Share the cleaning

Nobody's house is spotless 24/7 - especially if you are, or live with, students. There just are not enough hours in the day to keep one's house immaculate day in, day out. I worked a full time job and my housemates both worked as well as studied; our dining room table was the designated 'washing' table as we just removed clean laundry from the maiden and put it straight onto that table. Who has time to hang clean washing up?!

Anyway, it's important that obviously you keep on top of the housework, but it's extra important that it's shared between everybody. I'm not saying you have to go as far as making a rota (although I love me some organisation and a rota sounds like a good idea to me!) but maybe if you've got a day off, no plans, etc... You could just give the house a quick tidy and make it fresh for everyone else. An even easier way to take the burden off one person is just to be vigilant when cleaning up after yourself - if you've got a dirty dish, just wash it rather than adding it to the ever-growing pile of soiled cutlery. 

Be considerate

If you've chosen your housemates wisely, then you probably won't have to do much negotiating in terms of whether you can bring someone over to stay, or have a few friends round, or whatever you want to do. I'm lucky because a) me and my housemates are pretty antisocial anyway, but b) we rarely had to ask permission to do things because we were all pretty chill with it.

Regardless, make sure you are considerate towards your housemates, especially if they're people you maybe don't know that well. If you're up in the morning when they're still in bed, make an effort to be a bit quieter. 

Being considerate doesn't mean you have to walk on eggshells around them, afraid you're going to upset them - there are some really cute things you can do to be a good, considerate housemate without feeling uncomfortable in your own home: sorting out everyone's mail in piles rather than just tossing them somewhere; folding up their clean laundry when it's dry, maybe even putting it on their bed for them to put away; sending a quick message asking if they're home for tea so you can make extra if you need to. A little goes a long way!

Establish house rules and prepare to compromise 

Rules aren't a must - like I mentioned previously, if you already know your housemates pretty well then there's probably unspoken guidelines you all already know about.

It needn't be a dictatorship, but for example, if you are of the mentality that any and all food you buy yours and yours alone, then make that clear from the get-go. Me and my housemates shared everything so this wasn't a problem, but in my first year of uni I lived in halls and wrote my name over every damn thing I dared put in the fridge or cupboards. I went to the extent of counting how many packets of crisp were left in my multipack. 

If there's something you want to make clear to make your own life easier, then make sure this is addressed at the beginning so no one gets into bad habits. But this goes for everyone in your house - you have to listen to what they're saying, too. You don't want loud music after 11pm? Fine, but maybe your housemate doesn't want noise before 10am on a weekend either. It's all about compromise.

What do you think makes a good housemate?
Have you had any nightmare housemates?

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More you might like...

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5 things I've learned living away from home [here]
Life skills they don't teach you at school [here]


  1. I couldn't agree more with you here, Alice! I've just moved into my new student halls with people I've never met before, and we all seem to be getting along ok so far, but we definitely need to get a cleaning rota sorted before the place descends into mayhem haha! Thankfully I have an ensuite this year so I'll have no problem keeping that clean, it's mainly the communal kitchen that will need some attention! 🙈

    Abbey 💖

  2. I could have done with sending this post to all my first year housemates for sure!!! I think being considerate is the biggest one, I think it can create such a harmonious household and can create such a monster of one if you aren't!


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