Sarah Webb is sure you can relate to all the mistakes she made during her first month of living in a share house.
Whether it’s deciding that downing one last shot really is a good idea (it’s not) or opting to throw your whites in with your colours (pink work socks anyone?), there are some things that almost everyone trips up on.
Well, I’ve had a good rummage and cleared out some skeletons in my rather full closet of rookie errors. All seven of them. And now it’s time to share them with you, in the futile hope that you won’t make the same mistakes as I did while living in a share house for the first time.
forgetting the essentials
Packing everything you need to survive for a year into the back of one car boot can seem like a daunting task (especially if you intend on making one trip), so it’s perhaps inevitable that some important things will be forgotten.
Yet, there are some items – like the laptop or your ID – that you really need to remember to take (if only to avoid embarrassment).
bringing pointless things you don’t need
By the same token, don’t go packing every single thing you own into the back of your parents’ car, in the hope that you might one day use it. Not only will it clog up space in your new house, but there is also the chance that your ‘rents will have no choice but to force you in the backseat with a 97 per cent chance that, during an hour-long trip, an avalanche of your stuff will come crashing down on top of you.
Trust me – if you’re a Bachelor of Communication student, you really won’t be needing your ‘cool’ art displays. Honest.
This is a mistake that my mum denies is actually a ‘mistake’. So I say to her, no, let’s actually put the camera to one side for a min’. I’m talking about checking your room when you move in. Whether you’ve moved into university accommodation, or a share house like myself, it’s important to check over your room for any faults or damage. (So ‘whoops’ on my part).
While it’s tempting to ditch the admin work, failing to check for problems already in the property could leave you with a heavily depleted deposit when you move out.
So take a good half-hour soon after you arrive to go through your inventory and note down any faults – however small – and take photos or video evidence!
hiding in your room
When you first move into a new abode, and there’s strange people aplenty wandering about, it can be tempting to drag your things into your room, bolt the door and never see the light of day again.
But, the fact is, you’re going to need to make friends and you need to live with these people for at least a year (in my case). Moving in is also the ideal time to bond over pantry space, ironing boards and kettles too.
So prop open that door, turn on the music and offer to make them dinner one night. Or just give them a hand in the kitchen. Or just give them some cold water. Yeah, that’ll do.
upsetting the neighbours
It’s going to happen at some point and I think mine was my first night. In the student haze of late-night partying and stumbling home at 4am, it’s all too easy for your neighbours to forget there are other human beings living around.
But when they decide to crash on your front lawn, and start asking you for food (um, no), then you’ll realise it’s time to start burning that midnight oil to finish an essay for the following day’s deadline.
So don’t be a Homer, be a Ned Flanders (but without the “Hey-Diddly-Ho!”).
throwing away boxes
Chances are people you’ll have to move out again at some point, and if you’ve thrown all your boxes away, then what are you going to put all your things in?
Sadly, you roomies won’t really approve of massive piles of stuff.
and finally, putting your hand through glass windows
It sounds exciting, but really, this happened in the most innocent of ways with me.
It was my second night, all alone, hanging some laundry inside to dry. I go to open a window and… yeah. Something about putting too much pressure on the glass? I don’t know. But what I do know is that it hurt. Real bad. Nice job me.
The only smart thing I did that night was phone my landlord as soon as it happened (and as soon as I stopped the bleeding, of course).
On that note: There you have it everyone! Take my advice and make sure to avoid the same rookie mistakes I made while living in a share house. I swear, things do get better as you settle in.
Feature image: Creative Commons attributed