How to be a decent housemate


We sincerely hope that you never have to live with anyone as lame as these dorks, but, that’s a chance you’ll have to take.

If you’re legally single, under the age of 35, and living in or around a major city, chances are you’re likely living in a sharehouse.

For better or worse. But typically the latter because you wouldn’t be doing so if you could afford to go solo. Sure, living with your mates can be a shit-hot-blast. But as your besties partner off and break up the band, you’re often left to share a house with relative strangers. Or worse yet, their partners.

Not that sharehouses with strangers don’t have their pros – if you’re lucky, the new addition will have hot friends to introduce you to or they’ll meet the increasingly fine-tuned credentials to become a lifelong friend. It happens. But those scenarios are typically the exception to the rule. Like hot twins, unicorns or threesomes, you hear about them but confirmed sightings are few and far between. So on that note, here’s our guide to being a decent housemate:

Clean the fuck up after yourself

Trending now: the trash doesn’t take itself out. And if the dishwasher looks clean, it probably is. So empty the damn thing instead of dumping more dishes in there on the sly. You’re housemates aren’t your parents. It’s not a housemate’s responsibility to compensate for raising a careless grot by cleaning up after you and constantly making excuses for your sense of entitlement. That’s your parents’ cross to bare. “But my housemate’s got OCD!” Nope. A dirty house doesn’t make them anxious, it makes them angry. Wanting to live in a clean home is not an obsession or a compulsion that interferes with their ability to function on the reg. Keeping a clean house is basic human etiquette.
Tip: Want your messy housemate to see the error of their ways? Any dishes, pots, pans, rubbish or clothes they leave strewn around the house, simply collect and dump on their bed.

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Leave the damn house once in awhile

There are few things worse in a housemate than the resistance to leave the house. We leave for work, they’re on the couch. We come home with a date, they’re on the couch. It’s Friday night happy hour at the local but they’d still prefer to make a mess of the kitchen and dominate the couch. Now, laziness is a factor here, but this issue is usually the result of inherent tight-arsedness. Worse yet, this species has the inexplicable knack of being able to find a partner just like them and now it’s impossible to shake either of them. If this sounds like you, make use of the internet you’re likely not contributing towards and Google things to do for free in your area and get a move on. Then your housemates might tolerate some of your mess…

Enough with the random guests

And this includes renting out your room on airbnb while you head to your oldies’ house for three days to have your washing and grocery shopping done for you. An open mind is imperative when sharing with different walks of life. But an open door policy for anyone you’ve ever worked with or gone to school with can be the bane of a housemate’s existence. Whether the guests are nice or not, the constant presence of your partner means there are already too many people under one roof. Guests from time to time are cool, but those you share a house with need ample warning so they can make alternative plans. At least a week. On the flipside, if your housemate give you a month’s warning their parents are visiting, make plans to get the fuck out of the house. (see point 2)

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Common space common sense

Unless you’re lucky enough to have an ensuite, treat the shared bathroom like you would your dad’s classic car – not a hire car. Dudes, an industrial collection of pubes in the shower isn’t on. There’s running water and a sink hole at your service, wash that shit down. Babes, those 12 empty shampoo, conditioner, cleansing and facewash bottles aren’t going to magically refill and the shower ain’t a recycling refuse. (see point one)

As for other common areas, treat them as such. Too many cooks in the kitchen applies to every shared space in the house. Give a person their space. Simon says move the fuck around.

Show some goddamn appreciation

If any of the previous four points applies to you and your housemates tolerate it, let them know you recognise it. And better yet, shout them a cheap bottle of wine or cook them dinner – and clean the fuck up – to show your appreciation. Because in a world where common rights are rightly being fought for at every level, common courtesies, common sense and common decency have all but disappeared. Just be a decent housemate. It’s not that hard.

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