How to Create Share House Harmony and Maintain a Clean Household
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Inevitably, at one point in your life or another, you will probably have to live in a sharehouse. This means having friends to laugh with, a shoulder to cry on, exploring your culinary skills with shared meals and learning to live in a shared space. Living in a sharehouse is one of the best ways you can learn vital skills for life. However, things can turn sour if situations aren’t appropriately dealt with. Read on to create a harmonious (and clean!) share household.
It’s always a good idea to have all people that will be living in the sharehouse as a signatory on the lease. This means that each housemate will have equal rights in the household, and as well having your name on a lease will add to your credit rating which will be useful later down the track in life. As well as this, having everyone on the lease means that everyone is equally responsible for paying their share of the rent and looking after the bond.
Located at the top of the list because of its empirical importance, cleaning is one of the toughest sharehouse issues to get right. This is because people can have wildly different expectations about what is clean, and how often cleaning must be done. Everyone has a different mess tolerance, and some people are even used to others cleaning up after them. Make sure that from the get go, you have established a clear cleaning roster that is adhered to. As well as this it’s important to keep on top of deeper cleaning issues, such as pest control. If you think your sharehouse may have a problem with pests or the like, be sure to contact the professionals at Dawson’s Pest Control.
It’s important to initially establish and agree on a means of paying rent, that doesn’t lay the burden all on one person. For efficiency, payments could be made into one third party account via automatic bank deposit. Loop in your property manager or landlord – they should be able to set this up. It’ll save you a lot of stress down the track.
Ideally, electricity, gas and water bills should evenly split between all members of the household. However, in hot or cold climates, disputes can arise when the heating or cooling bill comes in. If one of you has an appliance that chews through a lot of electricity (like a floor heater) it might be fairest for that person to pay a higher proportion of the energy bill. If sustainability is a shared value in the house, discuss things like recycling and ways that you can conserve energy and lower your bills.
Internet and tv
As with utilities, the bills for internet or any cable tv should also be shared evenly if they are to be used equally. Although, it must be considered that if you are going to use a per GB internet plan, it might be worth discussing just how much internet each person is going to be using. It wouldn’t be fair for the internet to be split evenly if one person works from home and constantly downloads movies, for example.
Food and cooking
It’s best to discuss early on how you want to manage food. Don’t make any assumptions because you may unwittingly step on someone’s toes if you use their butter without asking.
Furthermore, make sure you and your housemates always establish rules about who uses what fridge and cupboard space. That said, communal meals can bring great joy to a household. If this is something you’d like to try, you’ll need to arrange a cooking and shopping roster.
Noise and visitors
Treat your housemates how you would want to be treated. Be wary of thin walls, and be respectful when others are in the house. If people are studying or do shift work, they’re likely to be far more noise sensitive. Also, it’s important to be upfront and honest about having visitors over. While your previous household may have been cool with the odd couch surfer, your current housemates mightn’t be okay with waking up to see a stranger in the living room.
All it takes is a bit of consideration and planning to run a harmonious share house. If the perfect balance is achieved, a shared home can be a wonderfully rewarding and enriching experience.