Claire Thompson
September 21, 2022

Moving Away from Home for the First Time: House Shares

House sharing for the first time is really exciting, but doesn’t always work. In this blog, easyStorage looks at the first steps to making it a success with ten things to ask yourselves before heading into it. (Wave it at your wannabe flatmates and blame us, if it helps!)

A house share is often our first step towards full independence from our parents or guardians. Moving away from being nagged about keeping spaces clean, monitoring what time we come in, wanting to know who we’re with. It seems idyllic. We’ll be with our student mates, friends, colleagues, and life will be rosy.

To avoid that feeling of ‘I didn’t realise how good I had it’ taking you back home with your tail between your legs, here’s our short guide to making it work.

Can you afford it?

Create a budget. Excel is your friend. What are your current expenses and what do you have left over? If it’s not enough to cover rent, food, bills etc, could you stay put for a while? Can you cut those expenses back. As a general guide, if you haven’t had enough money left over to save for at least three months, you may struggle to pay in a house share.

Who are you sharing with?

Their ability to party all night may be great when you’re out clubbing, but may not be such fun when the music’s still blaring at 4am and you have to get up to go to work at seven. Can they be relied on to pay their way? Friendships can be made and broken in a house share, so ensure you have a base set of house rules of consideration for others.

Ground Rules.

Once you’ve decided it’s all OK and you want to share, create an agreement. Just the process of creating it will help you all see if you really can live with each other and smooth the way.

A young student building furniture in his new house share

Here’s our ten-point plan for discussion to agree on, ideally BEFORE you look for your share=:

1.       Rent.

What can you, realistically, afford?

2.       Location.

Where do you all need to be? Close to a train station? Buses? Near the centre of town?

3.       Rooms.

Rooms in houses are generally very different sizes, from a master ensuite to a box room. There are several ways of dealing with this – biggest room, biggest rent; rotating every couple of months; first come first served.

4.       Consideration.

Who is working what hours? Consequently:

-          What time will you need to be out in the morning? Bathrooms can become a real bone of contention.

-          What time do we need the house quiet for sleep?

-          What about parking spaces?

-          Parties. Make sure you’re all on the same hymn sheet.

5.       Food.

Will you buy together or separately? Will you need to allocate shelves in the kitchen per person so no-one’s accidentally dipping into your secret stash of peanut butter? Is there space to all work separately or are there some things you could share (salt, pepper, tea, coffee etc.)

A young man walking in the front door of his new house with a moving box

6.       Cleaning.

Whilst it might seem appealing to be able to mess up your own space, stumbling in on someone else’s mess is no fun. Can you afford a cleaner? Will you have a rota? Fail to clean and you may lose more than just your deposit. Fail to keep the bathroom clean and you may find yourself on the end of a revenge prank or two!

7.       Bills.

Will you have a shared pot that you all pay into for bills, or will you divide them up? Remember that a bill in your name makes you responsible for the money. It will improve your credit rating if it’s all paid on time. But if it’s not….

8.       Who’s bringing what?

You won’t need four microwaves, twenty tellies etc.

9.       Wifi.

We all use it, we all need it. It’s a utility, but if one of you works from home or late into the evening, someone else’s gaming might create a wifi issue. Work out what you need, and agree to two installations if necessary.

10.     Belongings.

What are you going to do with excess belongings? Those extra microwaves and TVs that we mentioned – are they staying where they are, or do they need selling or storing? What about the photos of you as a child that your mum has pushed on you as you leave? Or the teddies and toys you don’t want your mates to see but can’t bear to part with. We also can help you understand why it's so difficult to let go of those belongings.

Once you’ve agreed these things, you have a solid base for a successful house share. Go find that place.

If you find you need storage for all of those excess belongings, or for the landlord’s hideous velour sofa, easyStorage not only collects but returns your things to the door, keeping everything safe, and is around half the price of traditional self storage. A no obligation quote is available 24/7 via our website:
(PS don’t forget to call home weekly!)

Claire Thompson

Claire joined the easyStorage family as a blogger in August 2020 and is loving it! Her passions include writing and learning, and with easyStorage she’s learning new things fast. When not tapping at a keyboard she can be found renovating an old cottage, despite having inherited a complete lack of DIY skills from her father. She has two children, now grown up, and a dopey, loving Vizler (dog), Chester, who steadfastly refuses to do the same. She claims he’s her soulmate!

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