How to be the Best Flatmate Ever

Saturday, October 28, 2017


London is now so expensive that it is almost impossible for most people to find a place to live on their own. Even couples find it tough getting the money together in order to buy or even rent a modest apartment. This means that flatsharing is a necessity but if you've only just moved to London or you need to find a new place, figuring out who to share with can be tricky. In fact, sometimes it feels like the luck of the draw. If you’ve never shared a flat before, or if you have found things haven't worked out with flatmates in the past, you might find these three simple tips useful for making yourself the best flatmate ever. And hopefully, your new flatmates will follow your lead...

Be Considerate
If you’ve just used every pan in the kitchen to make an amazing ten course meal for yourself, do the washing up before wandering off. If you want to host an unforgettable party, check with your housemates that it's okay. If you haven't taken out the bins in a while, take out the bins! Being considerate is easy when you are in the habit but if you have lived alone for any length of time, these things might not occur to you. When you first move in, it’s a good idea to have a small house meeting over drinks to discuss boundaries and rules. You might want to create a cleaning rota and take turns to cook for everyone once in awhile too.

Make Compromises
Living in a flatshare is all about making compromises. You can listen to your music but please turn it down at night. You can microwave fish but only if you open a window. Everyone has their own little foibles that are always going to be annoying but hopefully you can agree a way to mitigate the damage and avoid falling out. If you have a problem with something a flatmate is doing, talk to them about it directly and try not to impose judgement. If in doubt use phrases like ‘when you do this, it makes me feel this.’

Be Supportive
Unless you hide in your bedroom all the time, you will spend a fair bit of your day with your housemates and you will have to learn the tricks that make living with them easier. Through thick and thin, you will be the person waiting for them when they get home. Ask your housemates how you can support them and give them suggestions for things they can do to support you.

Being a good flatmate isn’t really that difficult as long as you can empathise with the people you are sharing with. Sometimes, you might find you just don’t click with someone and that's okay as long as you can manage to rub along together anyway. Try to exemplify the behaviours you would like to see but beware you don’t become the person who does everything. It's all about balance.

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