Harmonious house sharing for students

With the summer break almost wrapped up, across the country hundreds of thousands of students are poised to return to Uni. Ready to resume a life of partying and drinking – interspersed with an occasional lecture.

Here in London that means the population is about to increase by some 306,000 people – as undergrads and post-grads alike return to their studies. And as the maths boffins will tell you that’s 3.75% of the people living in London. It’s inevitable then that many will end up sharing accommodation with their peers. So here is our short guide to harmonious house sharing for students…

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Whilst first years will be in hall with their own cosy room, a shower and catering from a food hall, second, third (and beyond) year students might well find themselves in shared accommodation. The lucky ones will have got to know their housemates well the previous year – but its only when you live with people that you truly get to know them. So here are some helpful pointers and essential wisdom to ensure your shared house experience doesn’t descend into chaos (or worse).

1. Consider ‘House rules’ and a Rota

Some will try and insist that house rules are not needed, after all, you’re all young adults who should be able to get on and stay sane. But to be sure that’s true you already need to know each other inside out. It’s not worth the risk – some basic house rules can go a long way to keeping harmony in your shared student accommodation.

Simple things like do your own washing up/stacking your own plates and cutlery in the dishwasher. You might also consider a rota for general housework such as vacuuming the hall, wiping down kitchen work surfaces.

Or, give it a few weeks and you could all live like slobs, with a pile of washing up in the sink, a line of scum round the bath,  grubby footprints in the shower tray and something unmentionable in the loo…

2. Your room is your room

It could be Rule 1 of the house rules. Your room is your room to do with what you want and keep it as tidy (or untidy) as you like. If piles of festering sports kit draped over the end of the bed, or hung in the floordrobe are your thing that’s up to you. Alternatively you could keep it spick, span and minimalist – so that when you do decide to invite housemates and other guests to join you they won’t be overcome by stale air.

3. Keep a lid on ‘stuff’

No, not that kind of stuff. We mean things like sports and hobby equipment. Student digs are notoriously short on space, so if you’ve got a mountain of stuff it might spill over into the rest of the house. A canoe and two surfboards in the hall won’t go down too well with your housemates.

One solution is to rent a self storage unit at a nearby facility (and we’ve got some great offers). Self storage can be pretty useful outside term time too – if you have to move out of your property for the break, keeping stuff in your storage unit means you don’t have to lug it home. You might even get together with your housemates to share a unit (although one person will have to be the named individual on the storage agreement).

4. Be excellent to each other

Finally – probably the most important bit of advice we could give: show consideration for your housemates. YOLO is a fine philosophy – as long as it is not upsetting anyone – so don’t party too hard or too late if one of your housemates has exams the next day.

Above all have fun in your shared accommodation.

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