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How to be a good housemate

19 December 2018
Five tips to help you avoid becoming 'that' housemate
Living out of home is an exciting whirlwind of new found freedom and self-sufficiency. But with this independence comes the tricky task of sharing a living space. We’ve rounded up some tips so you can turn roomies into besties.

1. Clean up after yourself

Being someone who cleans up after themselves is a must if you want to win housemate of the year. There’s nothing like coming home from a long day of study to a clean and organised house, where everyone pitches in.

“We manage our responsibilities by having a rotating roster, so neither of us get stuck with less desirable jobs. As we both operate on opposite schedules (he has very early mornings and I have late nights) we try to keep the common areas clean when we leave them and when we have time we make an effort to keep all the jobs up to date, regardless of who's 'turn' it might be.” - Georgia Britt, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

You can use this share house survival guide to create a cleaning schedule or to address daily issues you and your roomies may come across.

2. Keep the noise down

Being noise-conscious is just as important as ever. You don’t want to wake up to sleep-deprived roomies, glaring at you over their morning coffee as they run off to a 9am lecture.         

“Being conscious of others is key to creating a good relationship with your housemates, and respecting their personal space plays a huge role. Be conscious of noise that is made during the night, and whenever in doubt always put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself - would I find this annoying if I was trying to focus or sleep right now?” – Emily Blackburn, Faculty of Science

Unless your housemate is also a night owl or thrives in noisy environments, keep noise to a minimum and try not to interrupt anyone’s schedule. But, if jamming to music all-night long is your thing, the University’s Manning Bar has gigs lined up for the rest of the year.

3. Communication is key 

Communication is key, especially when you live under the same roof. Being open to negotiations and easy to communicate with is the best way to solve disagreements and make sure everyone is happy. 

“You need to get over the awkwardness of upsetting people and be open and honest with each other. It’s so important to communicate constantly. It’s even more important than when you’re living at home because at home you know all the rules and expectations whereas when you move out you have to find out what everyone else believes the rules are.” - Jacqui Deilwart, Faculty of Engineering & IT

Roommate agreements are a good idea if you want to set out expectations from the get-go.

4. Hang out together

Getting along with your housemates can make the world of difference to how you feel about your living space. Coming home and talking about your day, watching a movie on a Friday night or sitting down and eating dinner together can make your house feel like a home.

“If you’re in the kitchen whipping up something fun for dinner or experimenting with a new drink get your housemates involved, see if they want to try some of what you’ve cooked or surprise them with a glass of whatever drink you’ve made. It’s just really important to have shared experiences, it creates a great vibe in the house.”– Remy Pajaczkowski-Russell, Sydney College of the Arts.

Doing activities together can be a great way to strength that roomie bond, why not get down to SUSF and attend weekly yoga and fitness classes on campus.

5. It’s cool to be kind

Everyone’s habits are different, and the most important thing is to respect your housemates. While everyone looks for different qualities in the ideal roommate, being kind to each other is the foundation to any healthy share house.

“You can bake goodies or even decorate your shared spaces with plants and art (but don’t go overboard). There’s heaps of little things you can do to bond with the people you’re living with, and it just makes it a friendlier, more homely environment. I remember coming home one day after uni and one of my housemate had baked fresh cookies and was making tea, it was the best thing ever to come home to!” - Lincoln Gray, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

How to be nice you say? Learn from the best in the Random Acts of Kindness Society.

Want to be a good housemate but don’t have a place to call home yet? Check out our latest accommodation guide to find your new home close to campus.

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