As much as I don’t like to admit it, I’ve been a highly questionable housemate in the past (and present, and most likely future).
I don’t particularly have a lot of bad habits and I’m relatively vigilant when it comes to dirty dishes, it’s more just the fact that I can be…careless. As in, I’ll come home absolutely shitfaced at 2am, realise I’ve locked my keys in the apartment and will spend two hours trying to climb over the balcony to break in (smashing a pot plant or two in the process).
Yes, I’ve made pretty much every mistake under the sun, which is why I consider myself overly qualified to tell everyone else how to be a decent housemate.
Do as I say, not as I do.
1. Pay your bills on time
This is as straightforward as it comes – do not leave your housemates hanging.
Assuming you have a steady, full-time job or at least some form of income, it really shouldn’t be hard to set money aside each month to ensure your rent and bills are covered on time.
Alternatively, you can enter Leatherman’s competition (HERE), tell them in 25 words or less why you deserve free rent, and they could save your ass for an entire year. Rent-wise that is, you’re on your own with the rest of your hot mess of a life.
2. Keep your sex noises to a dull roar
If you live with anyone, you’re just going to have to deal with the fact that they might have sex.
If you’re the one getting the D, V or A on the R, you also know that for some people, hearing others having loud sex can be uncomfortable. (I’m just assuming this, I personally don’t have a problem with the soothing background noise of people boinking.)
So with that in mind, just try to make sure that the unavoidable noise associated with bumping uglies is kept to a 7 on a scale of 1 to may-as-well-be-having-sex-on-top-of-your-housemate.
3. Learn some general maintenance skills
You don’t have to learn how to re-plaster drywall or build a spice rack, but just knowing how to do some general handy-work around the house can earn you serious brownie points with your fellow house dwellers.
Invest some time in watching Youtube tutorial vids for simple tasks like changing those built-in lights (you know the ones, they’re quite literally in the roof so you can’t just unscrew a light bulb and move on with your life), and grab yourself a multi-tool to keep in your bits ‘n’ bobs drawer.
(Quick side note: that same Leatherman comp I was talking about is also giving out 20 Leatherman FREE™ T2 multi-tools to runner-ups – just something to think about if you’re keen on not being a skilless dud of a housemate for the rest of your life.)
4. Don’t invite strangers over for kick-ons
This is really just a message to 23-year-old me more than the rest of you because something tells me this isn’t a problem most people face.
If you do have an affinity for inviting strangers you meet at petrol stations back to your house (true story, it did not end well), I’d strongly urge against it.
Said strangers may be slightly unhinged, they may also be low-key criminals and you may also find multiple household items are missing by the end of your sesh.
Just speaking from experience here, really.
5. Treat your housemate’s pets like your pets
Just because you technically don’t own the pets you live with, it doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for their wellbeing.
Simply put: don’t be a knob. If your housemate’s dog needs to go for a walk, take him/her for a walk. If they shit on the carpet and your housemate’s not home, clean that shit up.
And if you are planning on taking the dog to the park, do not get so drunk that you forgot you even brought him to the park and then have to spend the entire afternoon running up to strangers asking them if they’ve seen a missing dog.
Again, just speaking from experience.
If you’re truly incapable of being a decent housemate, you may want to look at alternative options.
My advice? Enter the Leatherman comp, score a free year without having to pay a penny towards your living arrangements and put the money you save towards an investment property or a genius idea you want to fund.
Not everyone’s cut out to be a housemate and sometimes, we’re better off on our own.
Like a sad, lonely hermit.