THE UNWRITTEN RULES OF THE SHARED UNIVERSITY KITCHEN REVEALED
How to keep sinks clean and friendships pristine
When it comes to choosing where you will live at university, shared student accommodation is a popular choice amongst first year students. But, with being a first year, also comes the fact that most, if not all, of your flat mates have never lived away from home before. After living under your parents’ roof for your entire life, moving out into your own space can come as a shock – especially if some of your spaces are shared with other people. What you are used to at home may not be the same as your peers, so don’t be surprised if there is some negotiation at some point during the settling in process.
To avoid dish-related drama, tiffs about whose snacks are whose, and whose turn it is to take out the communal bin – it is worth laying down the law before larger issues arise. After all, nobody wants an awkward flat-mosphere…
Luckily, Yugo, the global student housing brand and operator, has compiled a handy list of its top five things to establish with your flat mates from the get go, so your shared accommodation journey is smooth and straightforward. Let’s get started…
1. Create a shared calendar and split common chores.
Whether it’s taking the bins out, doing the washing up, or mopping the floor, cleanliness is important to maintain healthy hygiene levels, and also to keep your accommodation in good condition. To split these tasks equally, set up a shared calendar (digital or physical) with each person’s responsibilities per week. It is a good idea to get your flat group together to divvy up the tasks fairly – one person might love washing up, but another may have a phobia of wet food! By allowing each person to have a say in which tasks they complete, your entire group is more likely to exist harmoniously together. You can also hold people accountable for the responsibilities that they agreed to.
2. Specify the levels of cleanliness expected.
Once you have dedicated tasks to each group member, it may seem like plain sailing from here. However, one person’s cleanliness standard may not reach everyone else’s. So, lay down the law to ensure each flat mate is aware of, and agrees on how the task should be done properly. If someone is slacking in their role, have a friendly chat and come up with a solution.
3. Decide how you will share food/cupboard space.
Food is naturally territorial, so even if you think your flat mate won’t get annoyed when you pinch a bit of their almond milk, instinctively they will feel the need to protect it. So, make sure you set out specific guidelines about which food is for sharing, and what is your personal stash. Maybe you all choose your own cupboard, and have a communal cupboard for shared ingredients such as tea and coffee, sauces, and seasonings? You could even agree to a shared meal plan within the household – which would also help everyone to save money on their individual grocery shops. Do what is best for you, but remember to stick to the rules and don’t be tempted by other people’s snacks!
4. Create a shared budget for the household.
Money can be a tricky subject to navigate by yourself, but splitting bills, rents, and household budgets is a whole other ballgame. Luckily, a few awkward conversations can save a whole lot of hassle in the long term. Setting up direct debits for any shared costs to one responsible account is the easiest way to ensure all payments are out on time. Be sure to have budgets set for shared household items such as cleaning supplies, too – as this can be costly for just one person to be responsible for!
5. Decide social boundaries.
If one of your flat mates is a suave socialite, and another prefers a more introverted lifestyle, there may be clashes of interest when it comes to social life in the flat. The easiest way to ensure a smooth ride is to have conversations at the beginning of the year regarding each flat member's boundaries, and how compromises can be met. For example, if one flat member is having people over for pre-drinks in the kitchen, why not establish a rule whereby after 10:30pm, loud groups move on to an external bar or club? Speak to your flat mates candidly about what you prefer, and come to a conclusion as a whole. Remember to be flexible – if someone has a tricky exam coming up, they’re not going to want to hear Britney Spears Karaoke at 1am. However, if it is a flat member’s birthday, maybe Britney Spears will be the soundtrack of the evening. Life is about balance.
So, with these five easy steps, your shared accommodation lifestyle will be a fuss free and fun experience. Remember, if you have any issues with your flat mates or accommodation, you can get in touch with your resident team for help and guidance.
For more information about Yugo, please visit here.
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