A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Moving in With Friends Part 2

My previous post addressed how to decide whether you should move in with your friends or not. If you’re here then you went through the steps and decided that you are suited to living together. Once you live together though there are steps to take to ensure that you continue to live together harmoniously. Living with friends is not always easy so communication and rules are necessary.

  1. Establish rules for the household – People have grown up in different ways or they have different preferences for the way they like to live. They best way to ensure these standards are met is to sit down when you start living together to establish basic rules for the household. This can be as simple as rules for dishes or for how much noise there should be in common rooms.


  1. Establish a cleaning schedule – Let’s be real, student houses can be messy and that’s not something that everyone’s comfortable with. If things aren’t clean or one member of the household is doing all the cleaning it can be a point of contention so establish a rota. It makes things easier and splits the workload fairly.


  1. Respect each other’s private spaces – There are often times when we need to be alone, either to focus or just to have some space. It’s important to respect that space. People need a space that is their own, so rules for entering it or respecting it are necessary.


  1. Make rules about having people over – Homes are often private spaces and whilst impromptu gatherings can be fun, they can also encroach on someone’s space. It’s best to have a simple rule of giving each other notice when there are guests coming over. This also extends to significant others. Some people may also prefer not to have people over if they have an exam the next day or are working early the next day. Talk about it and always ask.


  1. Have an established method of sorting out problems – Despite having rules sometimes people don’t stick to them or they have a problem that is bothering them, establishing how you deal with problems is important. It might be as simple as saying that someone isn’t sticking to the rules. It doesn’t need to be a big deal, and everyone can take some criticism without getting upset.

Dutch Streets

The key thing to take away is that it’s all about communication and respect. Tell me in the comments what problems you’ve had and any recommendation for how you’ve worked them out.


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