For those of you going back to uni in September, and especially if you are moving into a brand new student house with a group of people you have never lived with before, this blog is for you. There are a few things to bear in mind that can really change the atmosphere of your household. Even if you follow just one or two of these it will make a big difference.
Have a rota. This is a useful one for keeping on top of all the household tasks. Have everyone’s name on a list and the days of the week or dates of when they each need to carry out a task. And be sure to rotate the tasks on a monthly basis. You don’t want one person hoovering the floor every week for a year! Unless they really love it!
Hold regular house meetings. This one is good for keeping everything in check and everyone updated on how things are going. Perhaps someone wants to open up the living room for couch surfing, or someone ‘s brother wants to stay for a few days – whatever it may be, these are a great opportunity to discuss whatever is happening. If you want to be super organised you could draw up minutes and stick them on the kitchen fridge – depends how far you want to go!
Organise social events. This is a great one for keeping things light-hearted. No one wants an angry household with tonnes of rules and no play. Scout out for a local pub you can go and join their pub quiz, or a regular night out. Even just a trip to IKEA to get any extra items for the house.
Have a checklist. Perhaps on the fridge, or somewhere visible for everyone, have a list of all the household chores which need doing, as well as this a list of house values. These can include open communication, being friendly to each other, perhaps having days when you and your friends can dominate the living room. Taking it in turns to have it to yourself. These little quirks can have a real benefit for house cohesion and equality.
Open communication. Rather than passive-aggressive notes, I think it is always better to be out in the open with how you feel. If someone has stolen your frozen pizza, instead of putting an angry sticky note on the fridge, you could ask your house-mates in person or bring it up in a house meeting. The atmosphere will be so much better this way.
Keeping a few of these in mind can help you stay on top of household chores as well as feeling happy in your group friends and be able to live your life as usual without worrying about domestic fights, stealing, lack of communication or a filthy house. All it takes is a small bit of management and the whole thing can run like clockwork and you won’t notice it. Problems can get out of hand but if you catch them before they arise then you are already ahead of the game.