It’s true that best friends do not always make the best room mates, but when faced with the option of a complete stranger and your BFF, you know who’s going to win.
I have on several occasions lived with my best friends and we all came out relatively sane at the other end. More importantly we have all remained friends (I think?! Folks?!). It was not however all sunshine and lollipops, and it never will be when there is a group of people cohabiting in a small space.
This is what I have learned from my experiences, that No. One, I’m a joy to live with and No. Two there needs to be rules.
So before the ink is dry on that lease, talk about the following…
Food: “Joey doesn’t share food” was often roared by my friend if you approached her whilst she was eating. This, coupled with the fact that she was frantically waving a fork, was a pretty clear sign that we did not touch her food! The rest of us had our own cupboard and bought our own food but shared on the important items like milk and vodka but she was not of this communal-living policy at all.
This sounds trivial, but check if it’s an ‘eat-as-you-like but replace it’ fridge or a ‘do not touch EVER’ fridge. Believe me, nothing will make you feel more small that being asked ” did you eat the last yogurt. If you do eat your friends emergency Dairy Milk replace it within 24 hours, there is nothing worse than checking the fridge and finding the thing your craving is gone.
Cleaning: Living with friends is where I learned that there are two types of people, those who are tidy and those who are clean. I’m the latter – I don’t care about the magazines on the counter and the board games in the corner but my friend did. She liked everything in it’s place. I, on the other hand, liked the mirror clean and floors moped so we had to strike a balance. I would refrain from leaving a months worth of fashion mags on the coffee table in return for her cleaning her hair from the sink.
Rotas work, just because you enjoy a clean bathroom, doesn’t necessarily mean you enjoy cleaning it.
Bills (bills bills): Not to sound all Destiny’s child, but this is a deal breaker and nearly ended a friendship in my house. It’s important to take responsibility for your portion of the bills. I have tried several different approaches, such as each taking a bill and splitting the difference but the best way I found was a bill kitty which everyone contributes a set amount to each month and if any remains after the bills are paid it can roll over to the following month OR you have wine money….simples 🙂
Communal rooms and bed rooms: Just because you live together doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking moment together. My friend and I worked out a system whereby if our doors were open, come on in but if a door is closed, the person behind it is probably needing some space.
The communal or living area was rarely used as the male housemates took that area as a football watching, poker playing, beer drinking, fart den. I always had a TV in my room for the times when we had to eat chocolate and watch Clueless AGAIN.
The Boyf/Girlf situation: When your BFF is loved up it can feel that you are constantly walking into your shared living space and feeling like you shouldn’t be there. Set boundaries so your not constantly walking in saying “Hi Kevin” and then eating dinner in your room. At the very least if he’s going to be there he can contribute, by buying biscuits and making the occasional cup of tea.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T:Yes we know you have fabulous taste in music but not everyone wants to hear it. Be mindful that sometimes it is not OK to stumble in loaded and blast your music or chat loudly.
So there you have my pearls of wisdom on best friend living. What have you found whilst sharing with friends? Any tips?