How To Be The Ideal Flatmate? We've Got the Answers!
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Living with other people can be an amazing experience, especially when it’s your first time such as when you’ve moved out to university and are living in a student flat.
Although, this living dynamic is not without its challenges so it’s a good idea to try and create a good relationship early on.
Which is why we’ve put together this guide on how to be the ideal flatmate with 10 tips for you to follow. You’ll be the perfect person to live with in no time, or you’ll know what to expect from the people you live with.
Carry on reading to find out how you can live in harmony whilst at uni!
1. Be Clean & Tidy
First up on our guide of how to be the ideal flatmate is to ensure you’re being clear and tidy within the spaces that you share.
Whilst your parents may have been okay with you leaving a stack of plates or cups on the side for days, your flatmates may find it annoying.
In a shared space like a student flat, there isn’t tons of room in a communal kitchen for everyone’s things either.
It can be a nightmare to try and cook and there’s a big pile of someone else’s dirty dishes taking up the kitchen side.
It’s even worse when you realise, that someone else has used your dishes and not cleaned them up – argh!
We’re not saying you must wash a plate straight after using it, but just ensure you’re being clean and tidy in the space that you share with other people.
It can also bring in flies or just leave a gross smell so, live how you want in your bedroom, but not in the communal areas.
The same goes for ensuring that everyone does their fair share of cleaning and tidying, don’t just leave it up to one person to do.
Or, if it’s you doing all the hard work, sit your flatmates down and tell them they need to make more of an effort.
You can even create a cleaning schedule, so everyone’s pulling their weight to be clean and organised equals a happy living space, and no complaints from your accommodation!
2. Don’t Set Too High Expectations
An important tip for you to follow to be the ideal flatmate is not setting high expectations when it comes to your relationship with your flatmate or flatmates for that matter.
You shouldn’t move in with the mindset that you guys are going to be the best of friends, yep, it’s great if this does happen but it’s not always the case.
Some people are quite happy to see their flatmates here and there without being super close friends, so you should respect this and not try to force a friendship, it can make things awkward.
Although, you can still have a great living environment without being close to your housemates so don’t worry.
3. Communication Is Everything
Communicating with your flatmates is one of the most important things about living in a shared space, otherwise problems can quickly occur.
It’s also nice to be able to talk to your flatmates whether it’s getting to know their home life, their interests or asking them about their course.
A big key of communication within a student home is to let the people you live with know that you’re going to be inviting friends over in your flat or home.
You should never assume that people are okay with people coming round, and it’s disrespectful to do it without asking or giving some fair warning.
At the end of the day, this space is yours AND theirs so they should be able to chill in the kitchen or living space without there being a get together every night.
Some people may be extroverted and love the presence of other people all the time whilst other people may be introverted and not enjoy this, so it’s about taking these things into account.
In terms of how to communicate, we’d suggest speaking to your flatmates face to face rather than texting them or leaving a message in the group chat when it comes to things like this.
It can be beneficial to set some ground rules that everyone should follow first and foremost, such as not leaving rubbish to accumulate as those who do this well, make less than ideal flatmates.
4. Work Out Any Issues Quickly
Similar to what we just mentioned, if you do things like inviting people around without asking or using other people’s items without telling them, it can become a recipe for disaster within your living space so, just be considerate and talk to your flatmates.
If any issues do arise, make sure to talk them out with those you live with.
Whilst it can be awkward it’s better to get these things out into the open so they can be resolved, rather than letting things escalate into something worse or for things to be passive aggressive within the space.
Although sometimes you do have to let small issues slide when living with other people.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t let someone know if they’ve upset you or got on your nerves, but if they’re not significant issues like your flatmate leaving the kitchen light on and forgetting about it, try not to let yourself get too frustrated.
It can make things feel tense and people may feel like they’re walking on eggshells within the living environment if you start to mention every little thing they do wrong.
5. Decide What Will Be Shared
We know that sharing is caring, but not everyone thinks that everything should be open for whoever to use and that’s okay.
You should speak to your flatmates about what will be shared between you, such as sharing a tub of butter or a pint of milk every week, rather than all getting your own and there’s 4 of the same thing in the fridge.
Although, when it comes to your own groceries, you should establish that you don’t mind people using these, as long as they replace them or let you know. Or vice versa, you should replace your flatmates food if you do eat it.
Otherwise, you’ll end up with the whole kitchen being a free for all and half of your food shop being gone – oops!
6. Be Aware Of Noise Levels
You should be mindful of other people when living in a student home or flat, especially when it comes to your noise levels.
Be aware of how loud you’re being especially if it’s late at night or early in the morning, people may have to be up early for lectures or part time jobs, or just want to be able to sleep soundly.
We’re not saying you can’t listen to music or speak to your friends on your gaming console, but just be wary of other that you live with, as well as within the rest of your accommodation or your neighbours.
You don’t want to get a noise complaint, nor get on people’s nerves! Being woken up or not being able to sleep is one of the most annoying things in life so don’t do it to others.
Another tip that ties into this is being respectful of other people’s routines, such as their sleep and study habits.
Chances are, their routine and when they wake up and go to sleep is going to be different to yours.
So, make sure to try and meet in the middle when it comes to things like this to ensure a good living experience and to be an ideal flatmate!
7. Respect Other People’s Finances
Living with other people can become complicated when money is involved, especially when it comes to splitting rent and bills in your second or third year if you choose to live in a student home.
You should ensure you’re splitting everything fairly and evenly when it comes to bills although if you stay in accommodation, utility bills tend to be all-inclusive, so all the hard work is sorted for you.
It’s vital to remember that everyone’s financial situation at uni is different, whilst you may be a bit more comfortable with money, your flatmate might not be or vice versa.
So, you shouldn’t assume that just because you can afford to go out every night of the week, that your flatmates can too.
The same goes for owing people money, whilst you may not be bothered about paying for an Uber on a night out and not asking for the money back, other people can’t afford to splash the cash for everyone.
Be respectful of other people’s money situation, and if you do owe someone money, make sure to send it back as soon as possible.
However, we think it’s important to remember that everyone should chip their fair share when it comes to sharing a space.
If everyone uses it, everyone should contribute. Otherwise, that’s also not respecting other people and their finances!
8. Don’t Invade People’s Space
Next up within our guide of how to be the ideal flatmate is not invading people’s personal space.
You should always knock before going into your housemate’s room, and don’t go into their space without asking first.
It can be invasive as this is their space after all and it can easily get on their nerves if it keeps happening.
Everyone’s entitled to privacy, whilst some people don’t mind housemates bursting into their rooms, other people do.
The same goes for letting your flatmates have some time to themselves to unwind and re-charge their batteries, it doesn’t have to be a social get-together every time you’re all in the flat or house together.
This can make people feel burnout if they feel they’re being urged to sit in the communal spaces or go out every time someone ask’s them to.
9. Ensure You Lock Up
We can’t stress this tip to being the ideal flatmate enough, when living with other people, you need to ensure you’re locking the flat or house you’re living in.
Not only will this be creating a safe and secure space, it will also keep the peace with your flatmates.
You don’t want to keep forgetting to lock the front door as this won’t go down well after the first or second time, don’t make it a regular occurrence!
The same goes for forgetting your key’s, if your flatmates keep having to open the door for you late at night, it will start to become super annoying.
10. Be Supportive
University as you probably know by now is not a smooth sailing process, it comes with it’s difficulties from academic pressure to feelings of homesickness to money worries to much more.
So, if we can offer you a final piece of advice to be an ideal flatmate, it’s to make sure you’re being supportive and lending an ear when needed to those you live with.
Whilst you haven’t known your flatmates at uni for the longest time and it’s still a process of forming a friendship, let them know that you’re there for them if there’s anything they need and hopefully they’ll be there for you as well.
Support networks at uni are so important, and who better to lean on from time to time than those you live with?
If you do think that someone you live with or even another person is struggling with their well-being, try and support them the best you can, but if necessary, speak to a professional if you’re worried.
So, there’s all the top 10 answers on how to be an ideal flatmate! We hope this post has been useful for you and that you have a positive living experience whilst staying in luxury student accommodation.