5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Moved into a Shared Apartment

Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Adulting is hard.

The first time I had to move into a shared apartment was during my university years. At first, we all thought it was a great idea. Not only do we get to live with a bunch of people that we know, we would have a large space all of ourselves. While that didn't exactly mean throwing parties every weekend, it did mean a whole lot more freedom and space than when we were living in the university's hostel.

Having to share an apartment and living area again at 24 is like reliving a nightmare that I didn't even want to admit happened. But that's how life is when you live away from your parents. So, all of you lucky ducks still living with your parents should really be thankful you don't have to worry about maggots in unwashed pots and pans, rotting rubbish and underwear lying all over the place.
Not to mention you guys don't have to pay rent or utility bills.

I really wished I gave it more thought when I moved in with my university "friends" back then.
However, if I didn't, I wouldn't have so many crazy housemate stories to tell.
So here are the 5 things I wish I knew before I moved into a shared apartment.

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1. I wish I knew the people I was going to live with

Life can't be like Friends or How I Met Your Mother where all your housemates are your buddies and you go out and have adventures with them in the middle of the night. I mean, it's totally possible I've seen people do it but it's also entirely possible that you and your housemates will continue to be strangers throughout your stay. 

2. I wish I didn't know the people I was going to live with

This is the other side of the spectrum where you move in with your friends. For me, the first time I moved into a place with some people I met from university, I thought everything was going to be great! It was going to be fun and all of us were going to be BEST FRIENDS! Spoiler, it wasn't great or fun and none of us became best friends. In fact, I ended up hating them but I'll save this story for another day. #housematesfromhell

You might end up getting sick of the people you live with (especially if it's your best friend or significant other). It will put a strain on your relationship and so you must keep that in mind. 

3. I wish I communicated more

I like to keep to myself and find it absolutely awkward to try and be friendly with people I am not familiar with. However, getting to know the people you will be living with is important as it allows you to discuss whatever problems you might have down the road.

Back when I first started living with other people, we never really communicated. I think we tried at one point but realized we were all different people with different interests and it just never worked out. 

Start a Whatsapp group to keep everyone connected and updated. It's especially great if you're locked out of the house or are trying to fight off a bat in the bathroom (true story). House owners can also benefit as you can easily check up on your tenants.

4. I wish I wrote down little details into the agreement

It's very tempting to just eyeball the contract and sign it thinking that nothing can go wrong. After all, you keep to yourself, you take care of your stuff and you're considerate. It's gonna be okay. Right?

 However, you have to remember your housemates are not you. They might not take care of their things (especially shared items like the fridge or the washing machine) and they might not be considerate and bring people over in the middle of the night for their a drinking party. 

Details are important.

5. I wish I knew not to leave personal belongings in the shared space

Staying with other people has made me extremely protective of my things. The last time I was living with a couple of housemates, one borrowed the pot to my rice cooker to cook something on the gas stove, while the other wore my shoes out and ruined them by getting them completely wet. In fact, I caught the shoe thief wearing my shoes cause we got on the same elevator. #awkward #Iwassopissed

Now, I store everything in my room. 

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In the end, living in a shared apartment is a lot about give and take. While some people might be horrible housemates, it doesn't mean that married couple in the middle room are horrible (but it doesn't mean that they're great either). Communicate and make sure that everyone understands what the dos and don'ts are. If all else fails, move out or make them move out. ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ) hoho

I'm joking.
Please don't be an asshole to your housemates. ❤

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Have a housemate or roommate horror story you'd like to share?
Tell me about it in the comments below! 
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