Living with roommates can take some getting used to, especially if you’re not familiar with sharing your space. So what are some tips to make the coliving experience the best that it can be? We have found that there are some very simple tenets and practices that can take some of the mystery as well as the potential problems off the table.
The number one thing is communication. It’s super important that the lines of communication are open between roommates and flatmates. If you are a night owl and your roomie is an early bird, there needs to be a discussion to let one another know-how that will be navigated. Don’t wait until problems arise. Have these chats early on when you are first getting to know each other. Sharing schedules and boundaries is a really good way to kick off the living arrangement especially if you are sharing a room.
In this day of digital nomads and travellers, it’s likely many of colivers are somewhat accustomed to sharing a space. Hostels, Airbnbs, college dorms, and apartment roomies have primed many of us for the ins and outs of shared living etiquette. However, there are different cultures and different ways of doing things so we need to readjust our expectations to include consideration for “what makes a premiere shared living experience?”
Here are a few tips to ensure you have the best possible coliving experience:
1. Communicate. It’s a great idea to share contact info with your roommates and flatmates. In case of emergency, to communicate messages about packages or drop-offs, or just general day-to-day issues, it’s always a good idea to have a way to get in touch if need be.
2. Keep your area and all shared areas clean. Dishes left in the sink, food sitting out, general uncleanliness are the most widely heard problems. As a general rule, it’s always a safe bet to rinse your dishes and put them away when you are done with them.
3. Respect common areas and keep your things picked up and leave areas like you found them or better than you found them. If you find one person is continuing to make a mess, it’s always good to communicate your request that things stay tidy respectfully and clearly.
4. Keep the noise down at night. We have a quiet rule in place and we do enforce it. There are common areas and spaces where night owls can go to visit and share stories there just needs to be an understanding of what the schedules are of people in the apartment. It’s respect and consideration that are the rules of the day for coliving.
5. Use headphones and earplugs if you need total quiet. Communicate about music and movies, phone conversations, etc and set expectations and schedules early on so that everyone is on the same page.
6. Let flatmates and roommates know if you are having a guest over. We ask that all guests register with us or let our house manager know before they come for a stay. However, daily guests or friends popping in are no problem. It’s always a good idea to let your flatmates know — introduce them and let them know who is in the shared space. Let your guests know the guidelines and ensure they are following community rules.
7. Pay attention to locks and security and keep your apartment safe. We have cameras and many security policies in place; however, it is important to always ensure doors are locked, windows are closed, valuables are kept in safes or out of sight.
It is most reassuring to know that when you exit the subway, walk down the street and put your key in the door that a friendly face is on the other side and that your flatmates are watching your back and paying attention to safety guidelines.
It goes without saying that the community is the heart and soul of coliving. Our houses are stocked, our decor is designer, our beds are comfortable, our locations are prime but it is our community and the living experience that they create for that sets us apart.