To move out from your parents house and to your own apartment is something most of us are longing for in our twenties. Me myself, I had a dream of finding a nice flat that I could decorate and make my own. Where I could use the bathroom every morning without having family members knocking on the door asking me when I’m ready, or watching TV in the evenings without hearing mum’s complaining from the bedroom about the volume.
And then, all of a sudden, the day was here, the day when I was supposed to move out from my childhood home to live on my own. I got a job in London and moved to another country with a short notice. I remember coming to London hoping to find a luxurious apartment for a small amount of money for myself, with the same standards as back in Sweden, where I’m from. I’m a lone wolf, so the idea of flatsharing didn’t attract me at all… However, I realised quickly that I had to share a flat with other people, to be able to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, puuuhh!
It was a tough process finding a flat, as well as flatmates that I liked, but in hindsight, moving to a flatshare is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Sharing a flat with other people is very interesting, but let’s be honest, it is exhausting and tiresome as well.
Here are some of my tips and ideas on how to make a flatshare work.
First of all, flatsharing is the optimal way of living when you are an introvert person like me. You are forced to being social, and your shyness disappears slowly when you get to know your new friends/flatmates. Moving alone to a city where you don’t know anyone can be difficult, but by becoming friends with your flatmates, you have already started to make new contacts. You meet people you never would have encountered otherwise.
Another advantage that many of us like when living in a flatshare, is that you share the household bills and utilities with the people you live with. By decreasing your living costs you can save a lot of money. Why not use that money on something else? Something more fun than bills…
The hardest thing with living in a flatshare, on the other hand, is the lack of privacy. The only room where you can relax and be alone might be your bedroom. All the other space is common area, where you and your flatmates should cooperate. It requires that you show your friends respect and have some common sense to make it work. Your flatmates are not interested in seeing your dishes every day, or to take out your clothes from the washing machine repeatedly because you forgot, or did not have time. Or taking the rubbish every day, or cleaning the bathroom once in a while… To avoid that examples like this occur it’s important that all of you in the flatshare communicate clearly. That can save you from a lot off irritating moments.
We decided early in my flatshare to eat dinner together once a week. By the time I moved in, me and my two flatmates lived very different lives, one of us was studying at University, the other one working daytime, and me, mostly working afternoons, evenings and weekends. By eating dinner together one day every week we always made sure that the flatshare went along well. During the dinners we had a chance to get to know each other, as well as syncing our schedules or bring up things that we had been thinking about during the week. By doing this we avoided getting irritated when someone was up early in the mornings or came home late in the evenings.
Moving to a flatshare when you move out from your parents house is definitely something that I would recommend. It is an unbeatable feeling to live on your own, and at the same time live with other people that care about you. By living in a flatshare you become mature, independent and you understand the importance of showing other people respect, qualities you need for the rest of your life.