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Getting used to shared accommodation: top tips

Moving into shared accommodation at university can be daunting for some. However, here are some top tips based on some of the most common concerns when sharing with housemates for the first time:

1. Get to know each another

Try to organise a social activity once in a while – arrange a movie night, make fajitas together or have house pre-drinks before a night out. Making the effort to occasionally socialise will help you grow closer together and also ease any conflicts if you get on each other’s nerves from time to time.

2. Sharing a bathroom

A shared bathroom is a scary thought to many freshers, but a majority of people share a bathroom at their family home, so it isn’t quite as new as you think. My top tip for sharing a bathroom is to put all your essential toiletries into a large washbag and carry it to and from the bathroom with you. This way, things won’t get used by accident and you can ensure your items won’t go missing!

3. Cleaning rotas

Trust me, this is a life saver. You may consider yourself a relatively tidy person, but that doesn’t mean your other housemates will be too. I’ve found the easiest way to keep your place tidy is to set up a weekly cleaning rota, so each person has at least one job to complete by the end of the week. If you have lectures and deadlines, it’s easy to forget, so a gentle reminder on the fridge can do wonders.

4. Sharing bills

During the winter months, it’s always tempting to pop the heating on when it’s slightly chilly and forget to turn it off. However, keep in mind that everyone’s financial situations may differ, so it’s good to make an agreement on certain times the heating should be on, or use the auto-timer on the boiler. Another tip is to stock up on some cosy blankets together for the sofas, to save some pennies here and there!

5. Dealing with noisy housemates

Not everyone is going to be on the same wave-length as you, so if you are someone who is a light sleeper or stays up late studying, it’s definitely worth getting some noise cancelling headphones or earplugs, to avoid your housemates being disruptive when coming in from a night out. If a gentle word doesn’t do the trick, then remember university libraries are usually open late during exam and deadline periods, so you may want to hang out there to get some work done.

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accommodationindependent livingPreparing for universitystudent housingUniversity halls

Elizabeth Taylor • 30th September 2020

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