Living with flatmates can be a really wonderful thing. Unless those flatmates haven’t a shred of common sense or respect for personal space.
If you recognized your mates in the last sentence, or said to yourself “But there is no personal space when sharing a home”, then this article is for you. You could even print it out and slap it on your shared fridge!
- Thou shalt not “borrow” without asking.
Flatmates often become very close, on the count of seeing and talking to each other every day, but don’t confuse that bond with the permission to take their things. Just ask, it’ll cost you nothing, and you’ll even strengthen your friendship.
- Thou shalt clean up after thyself.
Sure, the major chores are divided amongst the flatmates, but unclog the drain from your shower hair, or don’t pile up dirty dishes in your room (yes, it is your room, but still a part of a common household).
- Thou shalt not eat thy flatmate’s food.
This one is especially important if you’ve already established that everyone will buy and pay for their own. There’s not many things as disappointing as coming home to your long-awaited meal, or even leftovers to find that someone else has eaten them.
- Thou shalt announce thy guests timely.
And by guests we don’t mean a brother/cousin/partner who plans on camping in your room free of charge.
- Thou shalt not be a ghost in thy own flat.
Just don’t be that flatmate who stays cooped up in their room all the time. You don’t have to be best friends, but occasionally have a meal, a drink, or some shared activity with your flatmates.
- Thou shalt respect thy flatmate’s personal space.
While “ghosting” in the flat is often weird and makes you feel like there’s a stranger in your home, living with someone who has no respect of personal boundaries might be even worse. Between barging in the room without knocking (the door is there for a reason!) and the daily doses of TMI,
- Thou shalt not hog the shower for ages.
You flatmates enjoy hot water in the shower as much as you do. We know it’s easy to forget yourself in the relaxing stream and steam, but be considerate and don’t take over the bathroom and use up all the warm water.
- Thou shalt bite thy tongue from time to time.
Let’s face it – you’re not going to like or agree with everything your flatmate does, but that doesn’t mean you need to build tension about everything. Choose your battles wisely. Sometimes, keeping the house peace is more important than saying your piece.
- Thou shalt acknowledge that sleep is holy among all things.
Especially on a Sunday. If your flatmate hasn’t specifically asked you to wake them up, don’t do it. Respect their sleeping habits, and be as quiet as you can during that time. You wouldn’t like it if someone made a racket while you slept, would you?
- Thou shalt not go behind thy flatmate’s back
Unless you’re trying to get kicked out and ruin your relationship with them completely, then don’t double cross your flatmate. Whether it’s talking rubbish about their new partner, or you shacking up with their old one, nobody likes being made a fool of.
And if at any time you’re not sure whether you should or shouldn’t do something, just go by the golden rule – treat others as you’d like to be treated.