Change is a scary thing at the best of times. Moving out can feel like the scariest step you’ll ever take – especially when you’re moving in to a new house with complete strangers, and especially after a global pandemic has kept people apart for so long. It can be difficult to know how to introduce yourself, where to draw important lines, and even how to make friends in such an unusual arrangement. Here are just a few things you can try to help make that switch from live-in stranger to lifelong friend.
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Respect Their Space
Given you will all be sharing the same walls for the foreseeable future, there will be many chances to hang out, get to know one another, and have fun. But an important part of sharing a house is knowing when someone would rather be left to themselves. Try to be aware of your housemates’ energy levels, and pick your moments for social interaction. Inversely, check in with your housemates to make sure they aren’t too lonely – eating meals together is an excellent, worry-free way to bond without soaking up too much personal time.
Be Prompt with Bills
While co-habiting with folk can extremely fun and deeply rewarding, it is unfortunately not all glamourous – after all, there are bills involved. A sure-fire way to keep on the right side of your housemates is to pay your bills on time; often, one person may be responsible for the house’s utilities, and if they do not receive payment from every member of the household it is their money that plugs the gap. If late payment of a bill is unavoidable, a conversation with the responsible housemate well in advance would avoid any awkward conversations in the future!
Celebrate with Them
Don’t be shy to think about special occasions with regard to your housemates. A small gift goes a long way, whether you’re showing that you’re thinking of them or just excited to celebrate something together. If you’re going to be sharing Christmas together in 2021, consider gifting them an advent calendar; or if you catch wind that their birthday is coming up, don’t be afraid to pick something small and thoughtful up for them.
Be Mindful of Noise
Walls are surprisingly thin in house-shares, and you might be surprised exactly how much your housemates can hear – especially if you’re new to having housemates. Keep an eye on volume levels in your room, and be sure to check in with your housemates to make sure you’re not irritating them. This, naturally, goes both ways – if a housemate is keeping you awake with their noise pollution, it’s no issue at all to ask them politely about their noise levels.