Moving into a new flat is an experience we all remember. Usually exciting, you and your new flatmates are not quite at the stage of hating each other’s entire being and haven’t yet discovered each other’s terribly bad habits. It’s definitely the honeymoon phase, particularly for those coming out of halls. Oh, the freedom! The thrill of bringing in your newfound couches, setting up your mismatched kitchen tools, finding a place for everything, being able to party any time of any day – it’s a feeling like no other.
First up on the agenda, clean the shit out of everything. Sure, you’d like to think that the people there before you would have done a reasonable job, but let’s be honest. They’re a bunch of young adults heading out of there; why the fuck would they care what state they leave the place in? Cleaning products will be your best friend and provide some peace of mind when you get into your new place. No one likes living in a house with strangers hair still in the shower drain. If you’re not the cleaning way inclined, feel free to move straight in and relax without a care in the world. Just try not to think about the habits of uni students too much and those random stains and strange smells will feel just like home.
Secondly, you must learn to accept the flaws of the flatties. When moving in with friends, you may think you know one another well enough to live with each other. But there’s always something hiding in the cracks, waiting to pop its head up. After the initial realisation that your flattie likes to leave week-old dishes on the bench, or that they like to bring home a different tinder match every few days, or that they sometimes mistake a shower for a toilet, you must learn to live with it. Choose a management tactic and run with it. For some of us, a pas-ag note on the fridge or under the door can work wonders. For others, perhaps a sturdy pair of headphones or a good face-to-face convo about “respecting the other people in the house” can be the way to go. Whatever mechanism you use to cope, make sure it works for you. Hunting for a new flatmate halfway through the year can be a challenge, so try to make it work where you can.
No matter how strong the bond, flatting can really make or break a relo. We all go in with a plan of how things are going to work, and it flies out the window almost as soon as you walk in the door. Embrace the challenges of living with other stressed, broke, and sometimes useless uni kids and make the most of it. After all, when you’re 45 and living in a nice suburban street, your neighbours might not appreciate the loud EDM music late on a Tuesday night, let alone join you. Make the most of the chaos and accept the stereotypes around university flatting, it’ll be all over before you know it.