So, have you and your friends just moved into your shiny, new student house and are now wondering how you’ll maintain a relaxed atmosphere, and a fantasy of living like the cast of Friends? Perhaps you’re aware that the rubber gloves are still in their packet, and the sink is slowly filling up with a week’s worth of plates? How on earth do you decide who loads the dishwasher, hoovers the lounge or cleans the bathroom? Here are just a few handy hints on how to maintain a fun and friendly atmosphere whilst living in a clean, relatively tidy house no matter how many of you there are… but be realistic; it is a student house after all!
CREATE A CLEANING ROTA
Believe me, if you want to maintain a clean house from the start this is a must for any student house. No matter how good everyone’s intentions are of keeping the house clean in the first week, there will never be a line of housemates waiting to load the dishwasher or fighting over the Mr Muscle; and without routine, things have a habit of getting left. Firstly, don’t be afraid that your housemates will dislike you for taking the lead and suggesting a cleaning rota. From experience everyone appreciates it and will thank you later. Hold a house meeting: establish what jobs need doing and how often, and who is going to do what. Stick it up on the fridge or where everyone can see it and this will remind people what their domestic duties are. By suggesting that these jobs rotate every few weeks or even termly this can work well and saves the person who’s been given loo cleaning duty complaining that they’ve been given the short straw, which they inevitably will! It may seem trivial but usually the most unnecessary disputes between housemates come from a couple of people doing everything and someone not contributing to house jobs at all, and a rota saves any of these arguments. Also, a bit of creativity and some colourful pens can work wonders for making a cleaning rota seem much friendlier!
This is definitely worthwhile establishing in your house in order to pay for necessary household items such as toilet roll (if no one is on toilet roll watch this will run out surprisingly often, and is not at all ideal!), light bulbs, washing up liquid etc. If everybody contributes a small amount every week or couple of weeks this will again avoid any arguments over who’s paid for what and will maintain that much desired relaxed student house environment.
SHARE OUT THE BILL PAYING
Bill paying can be really stressful, especially if it’s your first time. The easiest way is to check out glideuk.com – they divide the bills up between tenants so everyone is paying for their share of the bill, meaning everyone is held accountable. This will help to maintain a happy atmosphere as it means the ‘lead’ tenant won’t be responsible if someone doesn’t cough up the cash... trust me, this happens all too often!
DON’T FORGET TO BOND
Once the boring bits are sorted, make sure you set aside time to have fun and bond as a house. After all, don’t forget that living with your friends should be one of the best times of your life. So whether you cook a meal together, watch a film or organise a night out, make sure you have fun together.
Happy student living!