Top 10 tips for living in a shared flat

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Are you going to live for yourself for the first time? Some students move out for the first time when they are going to study. It can offer some challenges but it can also offer many good and fun memories! Living with other people is a great way to get to know yourself better and learn to meet people with different personalities. Here is a guide to living in a shared flat!

The students are agreed!

After this autumns flat meetings, we asked everyone the question ''What should you do to have a good time in the flat?''. This is what the students thought was the most important:

  • Communication
  • Respect
  • Do stuff together
  • Give and take - adjust
  • Don't judge others

Hope you find these points below useful to get a nice and cozy flat :)

1. Talk about boundaries in advance

Let the first thing you do be arranging a meeting where you talk about the following things:

  • What it is like to be a good cohabitant
  • Is it ok to borrow things without asking?
  • What about pre-games and parties?
  • Morning and evening routines
  • Cleaning routines

Let everyone answer, and come up with a solution that works for everyone.

Why? Because people grew up with different routines and have different boundaries for what is okay and what is not. Those with many siblings may be better accustomed to borrowing things without asking, while the only child may be accustomed to having their own. Talk about it in advance so you know what the others tolerate and what they do not.

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2. Ask / Talk about it

Rather one time too many than one too few. Most things are solved with a simple question, and your cohabitant will probably appreciate it. Not everyone likes to lend hair brushes and tea bags, so it's nice to ask so that the other does not have to get annoyed. Then you can rather set the standard and show generosity. Chances are high that sharing is contagious.

Communication is the source of all good! Do not go and get annoyed about things, try to avoid a huge explosion by talking calmly about it along the way. If you feel your mind start to bubble, take a few minutes to calm down before talking to the person in question. You rarely get anywhere with anger.

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​ 3. Letting go

Sounds unnecessary - but really, let small things go. Pick your battles. And if you are going to bring it up, do it properly, and make sure you leave the conversation as friends.

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4. Common project

A Common project can strengthen the feeling of community. Examples can be:

• All deposit bottle money is placed in a jar, and the money goes to, for example, toilet paper and cleaning, or a pizza dinner on Saturday.

• If this suits you: arrange a regular cleaning day a week. Play some music, clean for an hour, and finish with a coffee break.

• Sew your own pillows for the sofa. Then everyone feels a little ownership, and it's a nice joint activity.

  • Buy a potted plant or plant a seed for which everyone is responsible. Map how much it has grown for each week. Maybe a plant is all you need for everyone to become best friends?

The most important thing is to find something that everyone can take part in! It does not have to be big, but something that means that you have to communicate about other things than toilet brushes and electricity bills.

5. Put your private things away

If you have something private that you do not want anyone to borrow it, put it in the room. It is more difficult to keep track of who owns what of things that are in the common areas. Private equipment on the kitchen counter? Mark with your name.

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6. Invite in!

Are you having a party or have you invited guests over for dinner? Consider inviting your roommates as well! They are guaranteed to appreciate the invitation. It is everyone's home after all, and the vibes might be off if everyone does not feel welcome in their own home. The more the merrier!

7. Shared dinner

Try to do something cozy together once in a while. You are basically a small family for a while! Also, it is so much better staying with people you actually know. And a dinner once a week, or something cozy like move night, can do a lot for the feeling of togetherness.

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8. My mess = our mess

The tip here is to remember that when you make a mess in the common area, it becomes an inconvenience for the others as well. If it difficult to clean up after the mess has been made cleaning equipment like cloths, mops and soap should be easily available. Whether that be under the kitchen counter, a cupboard or in the toilet area. Consistency in cleanliness is important, it makes it easier to get started each time!

9. Use a headset

Sometimes it can be smart to keep your music or podcast to yourself. The things you might find enjoyable to listen to, might just be noisy and annoying to others. Use a headset to prevent bothering others, and at the same time keeping others from bothering you!

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10. Rules exist for a reason

And the reason for that is to keep our student housing in order, prevent problems and injuries for you and everyone else. These are the general rules, which we at SiMolde has made for you to enjoy your stay! But the internal rules of the shared flats are just as important. It is easy to look at rules as limitations but they are just guidelines for a good community!


​ Problems in the collective?

It is available for Book a Living Environment Coordinator to attend public meetings for you and your flatmates.

We hope that all our residents find themselves at ease!