How To Live Harmoniously With Your House Mate(s)

The internet is rife with horror stories about house mates who indulge in wild nights of debaucherous behaviour only to leave a trail of filth and chaos in their midst… much to the horror of their fellow dwellers. While these can be rare occurrences followed by sincere apologies and promises to be better in the future, there are sometimes those incessant situations that can wreak utter havoc, thrusting the household into a pit of hostility and resentment, and possibly destroying previously sturdy friendships.


However, there are ways to avoid descending into this chasm of bitter loathing and ensure you and your house mate(s) live together harmoniously.

Maintain clean communal areas

When it comes to your bedroom it can be a squalid wreckage of grimy dishes, dog eared novellas and dirty laundry, but communal areas like the living room, kitchen and bathroom should be kept clean and tidy. By cleaning up after yourself and assigning different chores to each person, a level of cleanliness can be maintained with nobody being forced to clean up someone else’s mess. Cleaning is generally the biggest source of conflict in communal living areas so cleaning should be a priority for everyone.


Be considerate

While many people choose to share a house with other people because of the social aspect, it is important to remember that there are certain boundaries even when you are sharing a home with your best friends. Be courteous when your house mates are sleeping or studying by avoiding any disruptive behaviour or noise (i.e. loud music and boisterous conversation). Being considerate also extends to respecting their space and privacy (i.e. knock before entering their bedroom), asking before borrowing things and being mindful of overnight guests.


Fulfill your promises and responsibilities

If you have been allocated a particular chore such as vacuuming or taking care of the monthly internet bills, ensure these are fulfilled consistently and on time. Forgetting about water or internet payments and having these services discontinued, will only stir up unnecessary animosity amongst your house mates.


Spend time together

Living with people can be a volatile affair and although you may find yourself on tenterhooks every so often, this should not dissuade you from embracing the social aspect of living with people. Spend time together and enjoy each other’s company – this will help with communication and general comradery.


Although living with people is a serious undertaking, it is not a marriage complete with prenuptial agreements and mortgage bonds. Sharing a home with people should be an enjoyable experience, so try not to focus on trivial issues such as toilet paper politics and rather embrace this exciting chapter in your life.

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