So, for just over a year, my boyfriend and I have been house hunting. We’ve had a couple of bumps in the road, and paired with me being super fussy, it’s taken us AGES to find a house. The process for us still isn’t over, and it’s reminded me so much of when I was at university looking for student accommodation, and indeed when my friends and I moved into a student accommodation for the Summer (we weren’t students then, we were essentially stop gaps between students for the landlord). It’s interesting, because I’m not sure I’d ever live with people who weren’t my family or partner again, but it’s a continuing trend for those over the generic student age.
When it comes to living circumstances, the stereotypical image of a millennial doesn’t initially scream “glamor”. We think of shared accommodation with questionable hygiene standards. Every house share tends to have at least one member who leaves kitchen worktops littered with cans and remains of mish mash food eaten straight from the pan. Huge rises in house pricing and fewer job opportunities have led to many of us house sharing into our thirties. But, you can always break the aforementioned stereotypes. House sharing doesn’t have to mean living in a hovel-like state that would make your parents blush if they were to turn up for a surprise visit. You can make your shared home truly beautiful without having to argue or break the bank.
Here’s a guide!
Put the Blu Tack Down!
When you are renting a property, chances are that you can’t make all too many changes to the overall interior design. You are likely to have the same carpets, wall colors, light fittings and general furniture as your housemates. But you want to express yourself! You want to make your room reflect your personality, giving others a taste of what you’re about. Many of us fall for the teenage trend of grabbing the blu tac and plastering our walls with band posters, Polaroid pictures of friends and family and sentimental notes. But refrain. There are two reasons to put that Blu Tack out of sight and out of mind. Firstly, regardless of what the packet says, it’s going to stain your walls. The grease from the product will take its toll after a year and leave marks that are nigh on impossible to remove. So unless you want to lose that deposit you put down before moving in, you might want to reconsider. Secondly, there are plenty more unique and aesthetically pleasing ways to get your identity across. Try out cute photo frames or picture frames that can hold and display your favorite records.
Make a Cleaning Agreement
If you find yourself living with a messy housemate, confront them early on. The longer you leave them getting away with their behaviour, the longer it will continue and the worse it will get. Ask them politely to clear up after themselves each time they leave plates out, clothes flung over the back of the sofa or hair in the bathroom plug. Most don’t have bad intentions and will quickly rectify their actions once they realise that they are bothering you.
Communicate With Your Landlord
Don’t be afraid to communicate any problems or requests with your landlord. If the sofa is falling apart and sinking to the floor, you might want to recommend that they invest in a new leather chesterfield sofa. This will last longer and is easier to wipe clean than fabric versions, plus they’re extremely comfortable. It’s a win win situation all round: you live in a better looking space and they don’t have to replace the furniture so often. If you fancy a change to your room, request if you can change the curtains or color scheme. They are likely to appreciate the input of someone who they are renting to!
Remember, This Isn’t Forever
You don’t want to invest too much time or cash into your student accommodation. Remember, this isn’t your permanent home. You are likely to live here for two or three years at the most. So if something isn’t perfect, grin and bear it. You can put your cash aside for investments in your more permanent home down the line.
I’ll keep you all updated on how our house hunting is going- wish me luck!