Living in shared accommodation may be a familiar experience to a lot of you, and remind you of the good old university days! However, if you are taking the leap into agency because you are empty nesting now and it’s been a while since you’ve had to live around others, shared accommodation may seem like a tough aspect to get used to again. So here’s a few tips to help you adjust:
1. Come in with the right attitude. The house is not yours and your housemates do not need to work around your needs. It is a shared house, so you will all need to be respectful of each other and make compromises. Be flexible in your daily routine and have a positive attitude.
2. Clean up as you go. Cooking your dinner at peak dinner time? Then there’s a likely chance that your housemate will need to do this soon too. So clean up the kitchen as you go, don’t just leave it all in one big mess to clean up in an hour or two. Trust me if I can get my boyfriend on board with this – then it’s easy for anyone to do!
3. Sleep with ear plugs or listen to an audiobook. Working on opposite shifts is hard for anyone. But don’t expect your housemate to tiptoe around all day and not live their life just because you need to sleep. Put in some ear plugs or an audiobook to block out the noise of daily living. Chances are your housemate is already toning it down for you – but it’s unreasonable to think that they cannot make any noise at all.
4. Clean when it’s needed! There’s the age old paranoia, that your housemate doesn’t do any of the cleaning and you do it all. Well who cares, if it’s dirty just clean it. People have different mess tolerances and it will breed resentment if you sit there waiting for them to clean something that they are unaware of. They may be thinking the exact same thing too, if you don’t witness someone cleaning- it doesn’t mean they haven’t and it can be very easy to assume. One way to avoid this, is to have a chat and organise a day where you can clean the house together and split the chores. If you were living alone, you’d be doing all the cleaning anyway. If it would make you happier if it was clean, then our advice is to just get it done.
5. Make friends with them! It is so much easier to give people the benefit of the doubt or give allowances in daily living if you actually like who you live with. Make an effort, be friendly, do some activities together. If you don’t like who you live with, then small things will bother you a lot more and at the end of the day, it will only affect your happiness and your state of mind.
Living with people you don’t know is challenging. But it is all about attitude and taking responsibility for your own actions and needs. It can be a game of mental warfare, but only if you let it. Be reasonable, you are all here to get the most out of your agency experience so give each other a break!