5 Tips into Coliving with Housemates for First-Timers
You’ve done it! Getting a new job in a new city; uprooting yourself professionally and personally to a whole new environment – what can stop you now? Moving in to housemates, especially coming from living with just family or being by yourself before, can be a touchy process to navigate. New people bring new processes, and getting used to accommodating them can be challenging.
Keep calm, follow these tips, and settle into your new home with new housemates!
Coliving with people can be like a dorm. Spaces will overlap, politeness can fluctuate, and staying in your room every time others are around is not a feasible option. Spend some time getting to know your housemates and build some trust and alignment! Not only will you make some new friends, these people can become a second family as they are the ones you come home to.
Some can be a little more social that what you’re used to, and might be open to bringing people over. If you are uncomfortable with this, or need time preparing, set some house rules where a notification system is running.
2. Be Ready to Compromise.
Despite the best efforts, there will be some lifestyle choices not everyone will agree with. Compromising doesn’t always have to be a verbal confrontation. You have to be ready to pull some extra weight and fix things yourself if a housemate cannot respect requests to keep tidy. And if your stuff is getting used without your permission, moving your things out of the way is not a petty option.
Boundary-making will only go so far as long as everyone is willing cooperate. Some tough acceptance will also have to be practiced, as you will have to exercise understandings that some housemates live their life differently.
3. Committing is Key.
Those who have lived with other people can tell that scheduling is helpful. Not all housemates have the same organizational skills, resulting in a need to plan bathroom usage, quiet times, and even times to wake up. Some might be night owls, active when others are not. A late person living with a daytime person can clash in ways you never considered!
A cleaning roster also helps, as some might need some guidance on maintaining the space you all share. Those with accommodating schedules can participate in a grocery buying arrangement, ensuring the pantry and fridge are stocked with things you use.
4. Settling Shared Spaces.
The fridge. A bathroom. The kitchen. The living room. These are spaces that belong to everyone in the house. Leaving things like hair ties, unused napkins, and other bits and bobs all over the place can cause some annoyance.
Everyone is going to come in with a different set of standards. Nothing is going to end amicably if everyone resorts to side-eying and judging silently at how each does their cleaning and storing. Encourage a little walk-through with everyone on their preferred methods of keeping the kitchen and bathroom area clean to set some baselines.
Most importantly, you and your housemates need to clarify what items are good for sharing and what items are off-limits. Salt, pepper, and spices may be a free-for-all, but someone might have been saving that block of butter for something special. You definitely don’t want someone trying out all your products out of curiosity’s sake!
5. Embrace the Experience.
Part of the coliving experience, positive and negative, is meeting people that had different upbringings, financial circumstances, and social levels. From religious beliefs to dining preferences; and even different professional industries, your new housemates are you gaining a wider view of the world.
Some housemates may even be more temporary than expected, with the instability that is the global economy nowadays. You’ll never know, someone you’ve shacked up with for only three months can turn out to be a lifelong friend!