Sharing a house with another person can be exciting, but leaves plenty of room for tension as well. Whether you’re leaving home for the first time, sharing with friends or moving in with a partner, there’s a few tips to making sure your new home doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
Money is always a source of arguments, even between long term couples. It’s important to work out, probably even before you move in, how you will share the bills and shopping. You might choose to keep separate food cupboards, or to create a kitty for essentials such as bread, teabags and washing up liquid.
Keep track of any furniture or decorations you buy for the house as well, so that if you do move out you know who owns what.
Even if you have your own bedrooms, you and your new housemate will be sharing living space, so start by making each room into a place you both enjoy.
Enjoy picking out pieces of furniture together and discuss where you’ll put them. You may have pieces from home, and you will most likely end up with duplicates of some things, such as pots and pans and other kitchen utensils. If you do, consider putting them in storage until you move into your next home and need them.
No one likes clearing out the bins or cleaning the bathroom, but if these jobs don’t get done regularly and equally, tensions will rise. So it’s worth making a rota from the very beginning for the worst jobs and make sure you do your share.
Eating each other’s food isn’t the only way to cause friction. Helping yourself to shampoo, clothes or other personal items will just irritate your housemate. Remember as well that the furniture might belong to one of the others, even though it’s for everyone to use. So take care of it, just as you would your own.
No matter how well you plan or what good friends you are, there will be times when you get irritated. It’s important to discuss issues and be open with each other.
Spend time together to build strong bonds and – importantly – to have fun. Why not make it a habit to watch a favourite soap, share a meal or have a film night with popcorn once a week. That helps keep communication open and build shared bonds.
House sharing can be great fun, and create friends for life. It’s all about showing each other some respect, and getting through each issue together.