Share housing is a rite of passage we go through at least once in our lives. We say “once” because one year of sharing cluttered bathrooms, dirty dishes and un-vacuumed floors makes you feel like once is enough, whether you can afford to live alone or not. We’ve come up with five “hypothetical” situations and things for you to do when you hate with the fire of a thousand burning suns really have a major beef with your housemates and everything they touch, do and say. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental… maybe.
PROBLEM 1: Dirty dishes EVERYWHERE
Leaving a dirty dish or two in the sink while you run out to do some errands is fine. But leaving a crusty, stained, ant-ridden bowl that you used two days ago is NOT OK. We’re not neat freaks or anything… OK we are, but seriously, if you can see bacteria growing, there’s something seriously wrong with your housemates.
SOLUTION: You COULD have a conversation about it, but chances are if you’re at the mould-growing, crusted-on stage, you’re WAY past that. So instead, do NOTHING! Don’t touch that disease-ridden ceramic; leave it there to make a point. Yes it sounds petty, but if you continue to clean up after your housemate (literally) you will be left doing if for the remainder of your lease. Or pile it all up and leave in their bed, Godfather style, so that they wake up horrified at the festering pile beside them. Or just go with the first one… You DO have to live with these people.
PROBLEM 2: Inviting robbers inside
Next up, safety. There’s nothing more annoying for a responsible human than if your flatmates are “whatevs” about locking doors and closing windows. If the doors are left wide open with no one home, you might as well put up a giant sign saying, “COME INTO MY HOUSE I HAVE A FLATSCREEN, THREE LAPTOPS AND A NEW WEBER.” Er… not that this has ever actually happened to us, or anything. Again, it’s totes fictional. Promise.
SOLUTION: Get a lock on your own room (with permission from your landlord, of course). Yes it sounds kind of crazy, paranoid and secretive, but if a stranger wearing a balaclava and gloves does wander into your abode, at least your Senso shoes and Mimco pouches will be safe (you know, the important stuff). Plus you have the added benefit of knowing your housemates won’t wander into your room and borrow use all of your favourite hand cream without asking.
PROBLEM 3: Mouldy food in the fridge
Your fridge conked it, no one would shell out the big bucks for a new one so you took one for the team and bought a shiny new cold machine. This fridge is the biggest investment since your car, so naturally it means a lot to you, but your roommates decide to stash fruit and veggies in the bottom draw for months on end. What does that mean? Mould… it means mould.
SOLUTION: The first time this happens, you should have a chat to them about making sure they throw out their festering piles of vegetable goo old food before it goes bad. Second time, it calls for a major fridge clean accompanied by penning a small manifesto explaining the current situation and asking for their co-operation. Remind them that you bought this fridge new and you would like it to stay mould free, because a) mould is disgusting and b) MOULD IS DISGUSTING. If it happens again, and no one is listening, then maybe just tell them to buy their own damn fridge.
PROBLEM 4: Bitching… about you
All of these OTT perfectly reasonable cleaning techniques might have you on the out with your lovely roommates. As such, you might be the subject of a few unfriendly conversations. For example, one day they might think you’ve left the house for the day – it was actually your S/O leaving, you’re still in your room watching Brooklyn Nine Nine – and you hear them outside your door talking about you and your craziness with some mean-ass impolite words.
SOLUTION: You have two options. 1) Sit quietly in your room, pretend you aren’t home and don’t emerge until the late hours of the evening. You need to sacrifice food, water, toilet breaks and the outside world. Things you must do if you want to keep the peace. 2) Unleash hell. OK so there’s probably a third option – calmly bringing up the fact that you heard them and you don’t appreciate them speaking about you in that manner. It will be awkward, they might be a bit embarrassed, but it might actually help change their behaviour so they’re not so damn rude in the future. But it isn’t as fun as unleashing hell.
PROBLEM 5: People disrespecting your stuff
A share house usually means you share the responsibility of supplying appliances, furniture and normal household things (like cutlery). Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Let’s make a list of the things you own (hypothetically, we promise) the fridge, microwave, cutlery, couch, dining table, TV, kitchen appliances and pots and pans. Things your housemates brought? Themselves and a bed.
SOLUTION: Establish a set of house rules from the get go. Encourage respectful use of all house items. And if you see them using a metal spoon on your best Teflon pan, speak up and tell them that damages the pan. Communication here is key. Don’t be aggressive about it, as tempting as that may be, but just calmly be all like “hey dude, can you not put your muddy feet up on my couch? Thanks.” Sure, this might add to the bitching in the above point, but hey, at least you won’t have scratched up pans or a muddy couch. Or just hide all your good stuff in your locked room and bring it out when you need to use it.
PROBLEM 6: Sexual relations in communal areas
Now, what your roommates do in their private areas with their private areas is their private business. Unless you can hear LOUDLY – then it becomes a little your business but still mostly theirs. But when their business is brought to the couch on which you eat your toast and watch Today, then it is your business.
SOLUTION: Use humour (fake humour is still humour). Laugh it off and make a passing comment such as, ‘Oi nasty, that’s where I eat my breakfast, you’re the worst housemate ever, LOL.” Using LOL pretty much makes everything you said OK, as it is now a joke. If they still don’t move, sod the bloody couch and turn the hose on them.
PROBLEM 7: Housemates eating your treats.
You’ve had a tough day and the only thing that will make it better is a dozen of your favourite cupcakes (vanilla with nutella frosting, FYI), you spend an hour perfectly crafting these cupcakes, take a nap and come back to find three of them missing. There are two things that could have happened: you either have giant mice that can open fridges, select the biggest and best cupcakes; peel off the casing and through it in the bin, OR your roommates are cupcake thieves.
SOLUTION: Go to Kmart or find a local Tupperware party, purchase a container that can be locked and lock that shiz up! Or, if you want to be all LOGICAL about it, write a little note saying DO NOT TOUCH, store them in your room (that you’ve locked), eat them all in one sitting, or don’t make them in the first place (if you can’t have them all, then no one can have them).
We would just like to reiterate that all of these scenarios are 100 per cent fabricated and in no way, shape or form, real things that have happened to any of us in the Style office. Love you, roomies!