Things you need to know before moving into a shared house

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Moving into a shared house is commonly the first move when leaving home as a young adult. Either for Uni, or to gain independence, a shared house can be a fun and affordable experience and a stepping stone to independence.

Before leaping to a shared or communal living situation, we have seven things that you should know before moving into a shared house.

Be clear on expectations

Ask about the running of the household and be clear on rules and boundaries. There may be a printed list or email with all the expectations when it comes to cleaning, chores and food. If you don’t agree with the rules or feel you may not be able to contribute to the kitty, then reconsider the move. You need to feel 100% comfortable moving into your new home and with all of the living arrangements.

Respect personal belongings and food

You will be living in a shared household, but that doesn’t mean everything is up for grabs. Do not be tempted to tuck into someone else’s food, or enjoy another expensive berry scented salon shampoo. If you can’t support yourself and get yourself organised with your groceries, then maybe you aren’t quite ready to move out of the family home.


Do you have enough finances to call in the removalists and move out? A good test is to budget what shared house rent, bills such as internet and mobile, groceries and entertainment would cost each month. Before you move out of home, see if you can put away that amount of money successfully for 3 months whilst living at home. Once you can do that, you are ready to make the leap to shared house living and will have savings to buy yourself some cool furniture!!

Focus on your bedroom

Shared spaces can be fun, but you will soon learn that your bedroom will become your private sanctuary. Choose the best furniture you can within budget and look for smart furniture which has a dual purpose. Brands such as Koala beds and Ikea have some stylish space-saving solutions. Add plants and remove thick dark curtains to replace with light giving blinds. Create a bedroom which would be an acceptable Zoom background from your desk or bed, which will mean getting rid of the clutter. Only take what you need and either keep the rest in storage or hold a garage sale to boost funds.

things you need to know moving into a shared house

Understand that things take time

It will take time for the natural order of things to settle down. Make the transition period as smooth as possible by sitting back and getting to know your housemates. Resist the urge to re-arrange furniture or the way things run in the home immediately and make sure you don’t talk over housemates, or exert strong opinions. Be respectful with things like coming home late, playing loud music or leaving your personal belongings around the house. Give everyone a chance to adjust.

Start off on the right foot

Ease yourself into the home. There will be lots of personalities, quirks and changes to get used to and a bit of disruption when the removalists turn up. Take time to settle in and get the lay of the land. A great way to break the ice with new housemates is to organise a BBQ or cook a meal with some drinks on your first day. Another good idea is to arrive with a hamper of essentials such as cleaning supplies, milk, flour, pasta and some scented candles or incense to mark a new, positive start for the home.

Stay connected with your housemates

Join or create a housemates WhatsApp group. It’s a great way to build a connection with your housemates, but also handy if you need someone to pick up some butter for you on the way home, or to alert each other when someone is out of town. It’s also a good way to address poor behaviour, call a housemate meeting, or give a housemate a nudge if they need to pull their weight on chores.

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