ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to survive flatmates, room mates and shared living

Updated on October 11, 2014

Whether you've just left home or just broken up with the man or woman of your dreams at some point in your life you may have to face the prospect of sharing your living space with people to whom you are neither related nor enamored.

These simple tips will help you navigate the minefield and avoid being sent back home to live with the parents.

1. Pay your rent on time

Non payment of rent or other bills is the single biggest flatties sin. Guaranteed to get you kicked out and un-freinded on FaceBook.

Non payment of bills often takes the form of “just crashing” on a mate's couch for six months or even longer. This is not cool. Know that your mate is getting grief from the rest of his flatties and you are putting him or her in danger of eviction as well.

2. Do your housework

The second most contentious flatting issue. Cleaning rosters are a popular mechanism for divvying up the tasks required to keep shared areas up to a standard where you could invite your Mum over for tea.

The key areas that need attention are:

  • Cleaning toilets and bathrooms – you'll need plenty of anti-bacterial detergent here;
  • Cleaning the kitchen – which includes splash backs, benches, the oven and the fridge;
  • Cleaning the living room – dust before you vacuum and don't forget to get under the furniture every once in a while;
  • In most flats you'll also be responsible for tidying your own bedroom and doing your own washing.

Everyone has different standards of cleanliness and this is one of those times when point 4 “Learn to get on with other people” is going to need to apply. As long as you make an honest effort and accept that others are too, you should be fine.

A cleaning service can be a good way of avoiding housework wars if you can afford it. Otherwise if things get desperate you can try all inviting Mum over for tea on the same night. If you play your cards right the Mums will clean up the mess and take the dirty washing away too.

3. Pick the right flatties

Flat mate interviews can be pretty hit and miss. It's hard to tell what someone's like from a half-hour meeting. If possible use your networks to find someone who's a friend of a friend, its more likely you'll have something in common with someone you meet that way. If you do have to advertise and interview random stranger here's some things you should be asking about:

  • What they do for a living and specifically how they're going to pay rent and bills.
  • What are their views on key issues such as cooking, cleaning and pets – if they have a rottweiler and you have a cat this could be a problem.
  • What are their hobbies and who are their friends - if they're going to want to do band practice in the living room every week you will want to know this upfront.

If you're the one being interviewed you're slightly better off because you'll be able to get a feel for what you're getting into by looking around the flat. I once walked into a flatmate interview to find crates of empty beer bottles stacked up at the front-door and one of the flatties passed out drunk in the corridor. Needless to say I did not end up living there.

Choosing the right flatmates can mean the difference between having the time of your life or coming home to a living hell everyday. If you're going to live with people who drive you nuts you might as well do it at your parent's place. At least you'll get good heating and a free laundry service.

4. Learn to get on with other people

“Hell”, in the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, “is other people”. Learning to get on with them is one of the greatest gifts your shared living experience will give you. This is one of those life skills that is going to contribute to success in almost all of your life's endeavors.

Unlike your parents and partners flatmates do not have to love you. They will not put up with your tantrums, mood swings and personal dramas. Conversely they will expect that you put up with their tantrums, mood swings and personal dramas.

The only suggestions I have to help you through this are:

  • Guided meditations, particularly ones like Metta Bhavana that will encourage you to empathize and relate to others.
  • Communication and relationship management training. Many modern work places offer these sort of development opportunities and the skills you will learn are just as applicable to your personal life.
  • Get your own place. The joys of shared living eventually wear thin for even the most gregarious of fun-loving party animals. Cats and dogs make for great company and generally don't come home drunk at 3 o'clock in the morning wanting to play loud depressing music and break open that expensive bottle of wine you left in the fridge because they've just split up with their loser boyfriend for the umpteenth time.

There's absolutely no shame in living alone if you can afford. it.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)