TOTUM's Top Tips On How To Survive Shared Living

Let's get real, you're about to share your home with a bunch of new strangers

Written byAbigail Meadow
Published on
Read time4 min read

Living with new people is all part and parcel of the university experience.

Let's get real, you're about to take the plunge, share a home with a bunch of complete strangers and enter a whole new world that requires both a lot of patience and an open mind.


It's important to start as you mean to go on to avoid any confusion, but don't worry TOTUM is here to give you some top tips on surviving shared living that you can share with your future house mates!

If evryone follows a few easy rules and works together there's no reason the next few years can't be some of the most enjoyable you'll experience!

Spend some quality time together


It's great to get along with the people you live with, whether you're best mates or just happy being civil, spend some quality time together to understand what they're like.

This way if (when) any future problems do arise you can speak to one another respectfully rather than writing passive aggressive notes on the fridge, we've all been there... don't be that guy.

Take turns to buy essentials... and keep track.


It's not fair if one person ends up buying washing up liquid every few weeks. So, to avoid arguments, try splitting the essentials and make a note of who bought what, when.

There's nothing more divisive than having a mexican stand off about who bought the last lot of toilet roll.

Another option is to have a house kitty that you all contribute to every month which is tyhen used to buy those shared essentials. This way one person can go out with the money and buy what's needed - nobody is paying more than they should be and also you're not doubling up on stuff.

Clean up after yourself


It might sound simple, but if you take anything away from this list we think it's this one.

Just clean up after yourself.

Rules are rules and you have to stick to them too in order to keep things amicable. If you don't want to clean your housemates' pots or put their washing away, likelihood is they don't want to do your stuff either.

Everybody has different standards, but if you do you and keep your own pots and pans out of somebody else's way you shouldn't have any issues.

Bills Bills Bills


Luckily in your first year you probably won't have to come accross this issue if you're in halls as bills tend to be included in your accomodation fees.

But in second year or if you go straight into shared living it's important that everybody is paying their share of the bills.

You can either divvy up responsibilities of who sorts out what, so it isn't left on one person's shoulders to sort out everything. If you choose to do this option you can make a spreadsheet with amounts, what it's for (i.e broadband, electricity, water...) and who to send the money to.

Or you can use one persons account to pay for everything. This is possibly the easiest option, but it does rely on one person having enough money in their account to cover everything, as well as everyone sending the cash over in time so they're not left out of pocket.

You can set up standing orders to your housemate every month so you don't have to remember, or just set a reminder on your phone!

Communication is key


Create a Whatsapp group, if you have left something in an inconvinent place because you were in a rush, let them know you're aware it's there and you'll sort it as soon as you get home.

If something is bothering you, speak to them about it. It's better out than in and they might be feeling the same way as you.

Sharing your space may test your patience sometimes. But don't worry, you've got this, and from our experience, the positives well outweigh the annoying stuff!

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