In a share house situation, it’s imperative everyone’s values and expectations match up if they’re to foster any sense of harmony.
Unfortunately, people are different and come with different principles and standards. For example, what might be considered ‘clean’ to you could very well be ‘absolutely fucking filthy’ to someone else—and if you happen to live with that someone else, things can get tense very quickly. With that in mind, we’ve pieced together seven tips on behalf of our friends over at flatmates.com.au to help you be, if not a good housemate, at least a tolerable one.
Newsflash: it’s not cool to play music at full volume at any time of the day or night—even when it’s The Smiths. Another newsflash: thudding up the hall at 6 am isn’t okay either. We all know you’re getting up first to go to work at Ikea, Greg, you skinny orange poo; you don’t have to announce it like a gorilla. Being a good flatmate means not slamming doors or moving cutlery around with violence or burping like a truckie or farting like a St Bernard with giardia. Being a good housemate means being the opposite rowdy. Remain mindful and considerate of your roommate’s ears and you’ll live a happy life in your share house.
- The Bathroom
If left unchecked, the bathroom can quickly become extremely gross, and it’s not a bad idea to set up a cleaning schedule. To some of you, that may sound uptight, but I’ll wager you’re the slovenly buggers who’ve never pulled the rubber gloves on. Leaving your clothes in the bathroom is a no-no. I once lived with a person who routinely left his underwear draped on the sink, and I had to kill him in his sleep. With a cinderblock. Additionally, remember to put the cap back on everything (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.), and if you piss on the floor, go ahead and wipe it up, fellow. It’s always a good idea to turn the tap off after you wash your hands (washing your hands is a great idea too) and why not put the seat back down? If you can help it, don’t leave shitty skid-marks all over the bowl, and if you finish the toilet paper—pop in a new roll.
If you’re a passive-aggressive already, there’s nothing we can do with you. The Lord cooked your brain, and you’ll just have to eke out an existence with zero friends. Because that’s what happens to passive-aggressives: they become miserable, friendless hermits with B.O. and eczema. If you live with a passive aggressive, by all means, wait till they go to work, throw their things on the nature strip and change the locks. If you’re thinking about doing something passive-aggressive, like, say, leaving a note on the fridge about ‘someone’ never emptying the dishwasher, don’t. It’s a slippery slope and you’ll just end up hating yourself.
Dude, what are you doing in there? The only time anyone sees you is when you emerge to get more 2 Minute Noodles. It’s disturbing. When you live with people—even people you don’t necessarily like that much—it’s best to be social. You don’t have to initiate Charades, but at least watch some TV and hang around for a chat every now and then. If you’re the hide-in-your-bedroom type, you might also be the install-a-padlock-on-your-door type too. This is never a good idea. Trust me, Nathan, no one’s interested in the mattress you got on the floor, your Qantas slippers, your box of tissues, or the plant you’re neglecting. Come watch Married at First Sight and yell at the TV with us.
If the walls in your share house are thin, don’t fuck your boyfriend like he just got out of jail. Knock yourself out if you’re certain no one is home, otherwise, put pillows over your heads. Additionally, don’t have sex in any other part of the house but your room—that includes the shower. I used to live in a share house with this couple who were definitely taking it outside their room, which was very unpleasant. They thought they were all 9½ Weeks, but they were just gross, and they turned everyone in the house celibate. Sometimes I’d come home after work and find their clothes strewn up the hall. One time I found a G-string in the sink. God, it was awful. You didn’t want to touch anything. Anyway, keep it in your room, please.
- The Kitchen
Try not to eat other people’s stuff. I know, I’m hungry too, but those Kraft Singles belong to Jacinta. Also, resist the temptation to write your name on your own stuff. That’s a bit weird. I lived in a share house once, and half the contents of the fridge said ‘Ingrid’ in black sharpie. It was embarrassing. And unnecessary (no one was eating your stuff, Ingrid, you psychopath). Always leave the kitchen spotless. Don’t leave things in the sink or spill stuff and think ‘I’ll clean that up once I’m done eating this sandwich.’ Keep the counter clear for the next person. If you open the dishwasher and it needs to be unloaded, be careful not to close the door and tip-toes out of the kitchen. Unload it. It’ll take you ten seconds and you’ll feel good about yourself.
- Cup of Tea
You’d be surprised how much a cup of tea can change the vibe of an entire household. If you’re gonna make a cuppa, why not ask everyone if they’d like one too? There’s nothing better than getting a cup of tea made for you. Put this down right now and offer your flatmate a cup of tea. Go on, be a good roomie.
Now you’ve digested our fail-safe roomie tips, head on over to flatmates.com.au to find like-minded people to share a cup of tea with.