Pedestrian’s Guide To Sharehouse DOs And DON’Ts

Produced in association with the legends at the Victorian Fire Services.

The night is still young and so are you.

You’ve broken the living at home chains and thrown off the parental shackles and no doubt your next step was or will be a trip through the hallowed shared halls of a multiplayer living situation.

Whilst there may be some downsides to communal living it truly is a great way to forge lasting relationships, pay reduced rent and not have to buy your own fridge. What follows is a jumble of words purporting to help you find success on your journey.


The amount you care about who you’ll be living with is directionally proportionate to how old you are.
The younger = the more willing to live with any old Tom, Dick or Harry.

But ALWAYS consider things like working hours, their propensity to go out to ‘the club,’ party and have a great time vs your propensity to go out to ‘the club,’ party and have a great time, outward signs of lapses in personal hygiene, hotness and likelihood of hot friends, job stability and ~chill vibes~, when deciding on who to live with.


This one is pretty basic: Don’t be responsible for the death of your housemates.

Okay, so, to achieve this just try at all times not to be a dunderhead. According to the legends at Victoria’s fire services, in Victoria alone, “each year there are more than 3,000 preventable house fires – that’s more than eight every day.”

With that and the word “preventable” in mind, here are some of the commonly made mistakes in the home and the stats from VIC to bring it home:

. Leaving a straightener on. Whilst great, they overheat and people have legit died from related fires. Last winter unattended appliances caused 38 fires. 

. Leaving stuff on/too close to heaters. Listen to your mum. Last year ‘inappropriate heater use’ resulted in 237 fires.

. Not being careful with candles. It goes without saying that you should NEVER leave an open flame unattended. Yes, your candles and incense are doing the Lord’s work covering up the godawful smell of your housemate’s violent B.O. but there are plenty of chic holders you can purchase for them. This one caused 77 fires.

. Overloading power boards. Look, we get it. You’re a Gen Y/Z legend and you love technology. But your power board, it can only take so much and 19 fires in VIC last year were a result of heavy-handed circuitry so DON’T overload your powerpoints with your wiz bang electronics; especially if they’re old and busted. 

. Ciggie Butt Brain Syndrome. Even if you really must smoke in bed, on account of sexual fulfillment or whatever, be wary of passing out with a lit cigarette in your vicinity. Dropped cigarette caused 163 VIC home fires last winter.
. Laptop too fire. Give your wrists a break, because overheating computer caused 11 fires last year.
. Give your chimney a sweep. Realistically not many of you will have working chimneys, but for anyone who does or who would like to pass this on to their parents: poorly maintained chimneys caused 142 fires in 2014. Additionally poorly maintained washers and dryers were the cause of 46 home fires, with a further 29 starting from faulty dishwashers. 

SMOKE ALARMS. Give them a check on the reg. 

. The big one: unattended cooking. Not keeping your kitchen game tight is the thing most likely to give your smoke alarm and home insurance a work out – last winter, in Victoria alone, this caused 600 home fires. 

And, just as some general safety advice: much like denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, First Aid Kit is not just a Swedish folk duo comprising of sisters Johanna Söderberg and Klara Söderberg – it’s also something you should have. Even if, for now, that just consists of a crumpled box of band-aids to clothe your shameful knee scabs from drunken stumblings.


The debate rages on: do you have to clean your cooking utensils/dinnerware immediately after use?

Even if you only make a little mess?


Well, this is it. It’s over. EVERYONE has to do their washing, the longer you leave it the dirtier you are, and anyone who doesn’t is an absolute walnut. Your house is only as clean as the grossest person.



Sight. Look, if your contribution to the communal interiors decorations is a blight on good taste, keep it in your own room.
Hearing. High volume does not equal more enjoyment – this goes for sex and media watching. If people three rooms away need a SPOILER ALERT before you start watching Game of Thrones or schtupping your boo, it’s too loud.

Taste. The forbidden fruit must not be tasted. If you didn’t buy the food don’t eat it – unless there are enough housemates that you’ll get away with it .

Smell. Deodorise your situation. Open the windows in your room on the reg. Light a match. Don’t be that guy.

/your housemates belongings or person unless expressly invited to do so.


And the best kind of housemate is one whose wardrobe bears fashion-forward-fruit ripe for the picking.

Realistically the worst of all possible housemate transgressions are monetary. If you’re moving out with other people and you can’t pay your bills, you’re going to need to go ahead and move yourself back in.

There are certain products that everyone will use and failure to figure out who will buy them inevitably causes stand-offs, oftentimes resulting in toilet paper chicken wherein the vagina holders of the house always lose.

To avoid this, as dang as it sounds, it is worth creating a House Fund. Whether this is a physical jar of money or a joint bank account, figure out how much bills come to, decide on an amount that everyone has to put in and set up automatic transfers. This can also work a treat for rent and avoid:


In the important essay ‘The Importance of Rituals in a Happy Life FOR DUMMIES’, the author expounds the idea that “rituals are actually necessary to achieve happiness.” Whether it’s TACO TUESDAY (-__-), ‘must watch’ television events –

– or If You Are The One on SBS

– make the time to enjoy the finer torrents in life as a house family. The shared audiovisual experience promotes bonding and smooths over any tensions that have arisen in the week just gone.

Dance like no one is watching and live your sharehouse life like a ~hilarious~ episode of FRIENDS or New Girl. Housemates, no matter how terrible, make great fodder for anecdotes involving mouldy cups, used condoms and broken toilets that you can use later in life to ingratiate yourself with better people and become more popular.