How to Live with Other People

Are you going back to uni after the summer break? Or a fresher starting university, moving out of home for the first time and into halls or house sharing?! Whether you’ve lived with other people before or not, you need to be fully prepared, because even if you’re moving in with your best friend, living with another person can be difficult!

1. Do NOT steal their food!
Don’t do it!

One of the biggest issues housemates tend to have is food going ‘missing’. Yeah you might be hungry, but stealing isn’t the answer! Do your shopping in advance so this doesn’t happen and keep snacks in your room so you’re not tempted!

2. Don’t take up all the kitchen cupboard space

Kitchen cupboard space

Sharing is caring! There’s nothing more annoying than someone getting to your halls/house-share before you, and taking up all the kitchen cupboard space… sharing will take you a long way. The same goes with fridge and freezer space.

3. Don’t make too much noise in the evenings


Especially if you know your housemates go to bed at 11pm, keep it down after this time and be considerate. Now and again you’ll want to invite friends over, which is fine, going to uni = partying now and again, but just let your housemate(s) know beforehand!

4. Wash up after yourself

Pile of dirty dishes

There’s nothing worse than mould growing out of pots and pans! Wash up after yourself, you’ll soon get into the habit of doing it without even thinking.

5. Have a cleaning rota


Discuss the cleaning rota as soon as you move in – this way there will be no arguments about who needs to clean the kitchen and bathroom etc. You could be the tidiest person but you could have a housemate that is the complete opposite!

 6. Keep the communal areas tidy

Messy livingroom

Even if you do have a cleaning rota, don’t make a mess in the living room and leave it there – tidy up after yourself. It’s these types of things that bug other people and small things end up building and building which then turns into a huge argument!

7. Turn lights off behind you and the heating if no one’s home


If you’re paying electric and heating bills, turn the lights off when you leave a room, keep plugs out of sockets and turn the heating off before you leave the house. Also, there’s no point in wearing a vest top and shorts indoors in the winter and having the heating blasting! These are the type of things bound to annoy other people, especially if you’re all paying the bills.

8. Take it in turns to take out the bins

Taking out bins

I lived with three other housemates at uni and no matter how many times I said it, they never took the bins out! Where are you supposed to put your rubbish if no one takes out the bins? It’s not the nicest task but it’s got to be done.

9. Don’t be passive-aggressive

Angry student

One of the worst things that can happen when living with others is you or them being passive-aggressive. This isn’t a nice environment for anyone. Letting things build up and then exploding over something tiny isn’t the way to go. You need to be open about issues you have as and when they happen. If you find something really annoying, talk to the other person about it.

10. Compromise and pick your battles


You’re going to get annoyed over things, but you need to compromise and pick your battles. There’s no point in complaining about every little thing… just the things that really bug you!

11. Give each other space
Yayyyy time to myself at last!
Yayyyy time to myself at last!

Everyone needs a little alone time now and again, it’s fine watching telly together and hanging out with each other, but do give each other space now and again too.

But what if my housemates are the annoying ones and do all of those things?!


Talk to the other person. Leaving things to simmer will just makes things worse and if you’re not telling the other person what issues you have then how are they supposed to know? You can even discuss things like who will buy the toilet paper, fairy liquid etc. or if you’d prefer to buy your own. Talk to each other.

If you need any support, remember Coventry University is here for you and always happy to help. Have a look at our support pages and visit the Health and Wellbeing Centre in TheHub, where you can talk to people who are trained to help.