Living with others is a huge commitment, so make sure you take your time in deciding who to live with before you sign that contract. Make the effort to get to know people and remember that trust takes time. Below is a list of handy tips to help you maintain a good relationship with those you have decided to live with.
1. Make time for each other: There is often pressure to become best friends with your housemates straight away, but good, trusting relationships do take time and effort. Make sure that you spend quality time together and understand how each other likes to live. Try to do fun things as a house that will bring you together and allow you to really get to know each other’s interests.
2. Make rotas: Creating a housework rota ensures that everyone is contributing to keeping the house a clean and tidy space for all. As you are all responsible for keeping the communal areas clean, it may be a good idea to take it in turns to pay for cleaning products. Alternatively, you could set up a kitty to make sure that the responsibility is equally shared.
3. Calming any conflict: It is completely natural for fall-outs to occur. What is important is how you deal with them when they arise. It is important to maintain healthy communication, so calling a house meeting can help calmly resolve any issues. Make sure that everyone has a space within the conversation to speak and communicate how they feel. Try to remain calm and co-operative during these conversations even if you don’t agree.
4. Sharing things: Often, housemates decide to share certain items, especially things like milk. Make sure that everyone is comfortable with what is and isn’t being shared. If you decide to share certain produce/items, maybe take it in turns to buy what is needed.
5. Boundary setting: Everybody lives in a completely different way so make sure that at the start of the tenancy you sit down together as a house and set some boundaries regarding what is/isn’t acceptable behaviour in shared accomodation. Make sure that everyone feels safe, comfortable and happy in their own house.