7 tips for moving in with a flat mate
Whether it’s a lifelong friend or someone completely new, moving in with a flatmate is always an exciting experience.
However, sharing your home with someone else often means adjusting your lifestyle to suit theirs and vice-versa – which is sometimes more difficult a task that you would think. To help you along, we’ve laid out seven golden rules for keeping a happy home and a good relationship!
Keep it clean
The concept of a cleaning schedule might seem a bit OTT for two (or more!) adults sharing a space – but it can go a long way to preventing those “who’s not pulling their weight around the flat” arguments.
While you may not necessarily need a laminated sheet stuck to the fridge detailing minute weekly tasks it’s good to have a communal understanding of who should be doing what and when.
Otherwise the cleanliness of the flat could quietly deteriorate until you might just find yourself living in less than comfortable conditions…
Timing is everything
While most people will have thought about shared cleaning responsibilities, many don’t think of planning ahead when it comes to routinely sharing household amenities.
If you and your flatmate both work nine til five, it’s likely that you will have similar morning and evening routines – which can be an issue if you have a shared bathroom and a small cooking space…
In this instance a little bit of flexibility can make a big difference! For example, adjusting your morning slightly so that you can tuck into your breakfast while your flatmate showers could help both of you avoid the frantic pacing back and forth waiting for the bathroom to be free.
Similarly, if you make it to the kitchen first and your food will take a while to cook, make sure to clear space for your flatmate to prepare their food while you wait for yours to be ready.
Bending the rules
While it’s worthwhile to work out a routine that suits everyone, it’s important to remember that life might not always play by the rules.
For example, if you recognise that your flatmate is going through a stage that they frequently must work late, then it’s likely that they are feeling tired and perhaps a little bit stressed.
Little things such as preparing extra food for them to heat up when they get home, or doing slightly more than your agreed share around the house could do wonders for their well-being.
However, these small acts of kindness only work towards a good relationship if they are reciprocated in your own time of need – otherwise you may find yourself being taken advantage of!
A lock in stock
A spare key is always a handy thing to have lying about in case of emergencies – or even for a bit of extra convenience.
Getting one made and leaving it somewhere that’s easily accessible, such as with a trusted neighbour, avoids any disasters in which one person is locked out and has to track down the other in order to make their way in.
Additionally, if either of you ever has a guest staying for a period of time, it means that they can come and go as they please, making sure the house is always safely locked up as they do so!
What’s yours is mine?
If you and your flatmate regularly eat together, then sharing a grocery shop seems like a pretty ideal way of simultaneously saving money and preventing waste.
Even if you tend to eat separately, there are some things that you NEVER need two of in the house at any given time – such as instant coffee, common condiments and industrial sized packets of toilet roll.
It can be helpful to agree on shared items before-hand, and set up a kitty from which either of you can take money to buy essentials that both of you will use regularly.
If you know the person well you could even go as far as to set up a joint account. That way you can simply agree an amount that you can both automatically transfer over that could cover all your shared direct debits as well as a little bit extra for communal products.
On the subject of sharing products, make sure you’re never the person that uses the last toilet roll in the house without either replacing it or alerting your flatmate of its demise.
Similarly, there’s nothing worse than settling down for a comforting cup of tea on a rainy night before bed only to find someone has snaffled the last teabag and left the promising yet empty box in the cupboard.
Make sure that once you’ve decided which items are to be shared amongst the flat’s inhabitants, that everyone also shares the responsibility for ensuring that they’re always in stock – otherwise you could find yourself in the middle of a dreaded passive-aggressive post-it note war!
Stay in and hang out
If you’re lucky enough to have a flat-mate that is also one of your best friends – then this last snippet of advice will come pretty naturally to you, but even if you hardly know each other you should always make an attempt to form some kind of bond with those that you’re living with.
This doesn’t have to mean spending every second together when you’re both home – having your own space is important too – but making a bit of an effort now and then can go a long way!
This could be anything from watching a movie together in the living room during the week or sharing a takeaway on a Friday night in. You may never be best friends, and that’s absolutely fine, but getting to know each other a bit makes it so much easier to form a mutual respect and a happy living environment for everyone!