The secret to living harmoniously with your flatmates

by Claudia

The secret to living peacefully with your flatmates isn’t about reinventing the wheel. It involves being respectful, doing what’s best for the house and most importantly cleaning up after yourself (this includes your pet dog, goldfish, rock, boyfriend and the plethora of mates who come to visit.)

image Image: Masao Nishikawa

With help from Shared Living, we go through our top tips on how to make shared living shine.

Know your Flatmates’ routine

Your flatmate works nights and needs to sleep during the day to be able to save lives as an ambo at night. You’re feeling your oats and think blasting some Ariana in the middle of their nap time is a good idea. It’s not. Knowing your flatmates’ routines is important so you’re not impinging on anyone’s sleep patterns or hogging the shower when they have a job interview in an hour.
Note: Generally speaking, headphones in for Netflix binges after 10pm on weeknights.

Invest in a quality couch

If this is the 5th share house this couch has graced and you still don’t know its origin (apart from the side of the road 4 years ago), maybe it’s time to move it on. Invest in bringing a comfy, non-fraying, non-smelling couch into the midst. The couch is really the heart of any share house and is where you and your flatmates will spend the majority of your communal time – movie nights, cuppa gossip sessions and board game nights. Invest in a good couch.

Take responsibility for your food

If it’s your mouldy banana in the fruit bowl, help a friend out and COMPOST that baby. You’ll be doing your flatmates and the earth a favour. Food responsibility also includes eating your flatmates’ food. Rule of thumb is if you eat it, you replace it.
Hot tip: If you just want to taste it, follow their fork marks and they’ll be none the wiser.

Embody your inner dish pig

Wash your dishes, wash your undies, wash the shower. It’s just nice to enter into a clean shower, when you yourself want to become clean. If your flatmate is a fake tan fiend, they might need a little reminder that Bondi Sands is long lasting – especially on the bathroom tiles.

Avoid clutter – Marie Kondo your life

You may think your 3 pairs of shoes by the door and your bike in the hallway spark joy, but they are grinding on your flatmates’ LAST NERVE as they trip on them every day when coming home from work. Move them. Better yet, keep your things in your own room.

Become the Bin Chicken you’ve always been

Tetris is only fun when it’s played on a screen. This means that you, yes you, NEED to take the bins out. The only thing less fun than Bin Tetris is Bin Jenga, when all of the cartons and boxes from the past week fall over the kitchen floor, flicking their old juices on you and the adjoining walls. Be a Bin Chicken. Take the bins out.

Want to live harmoniously like the flatmates pictured above? Make like Keisuke and Taku who share together in Tokyo. Their secret? “Keep tidy all the time. Also always care about your housemate and how they feel.”
Always think about your flatmates your shared living place will shine as well.

Flatmates has partnered with Shared Living to bring you the next series of blogs. Author Emily Hutchinson has complied photos and stories from flatmates from around the world. Enter our competition to win your very own copy of her beautiful book, Shared Living.

  • Claudia
  • claudia@flatmates.com.au
  • Claudia is Flatmate's Community Manager. She has been share housing for the majority of her adult life and still can't assemble IKEA furniture.