If you’re taking that first scary step to venture out and revel in the communal living experience, you’ll have to confront the somewhat terrifying concept of living with strangers. Indeed, living with a bunch of strangers isn’t something that comes naturally to anybody. Unless you’ve had your fair share of living with roommates, the entire concept of coliving might come off as intimidating and frightening.
Before you over.whelm yourself with the what-ifs, we’ve compiled a list of 6 general etiquette guidelines you’ll want to follow to start off on the right foot.
1. Step out of your comfort zone
The key to an excellent coliving experience is always going in with an open mind and being mentally prepared to step out of your comfort zone. After all, you’ll be meeting and staying with people from all walks of life – and this extends to having to live with their individual quirks and idiosyncrasies as well. Whilst it may come off as natural to you, certain lifestyle habits may not be in-tuned with others’. For instance, you may have a habit of leaving the dishes in the sink for an hour or two, but others like to wash their used dishes straight after their meals. This may cause tension that can very well develop into verbal disagreements.
As such, you’ll need to adopt a flexible mindset and adaptability so that you can navigate through such situations with relative ease. Living with other people will no doubt test your comfort zone, so you’ll need to be ready to take up the challenge.
2. Be friendly
Since you’ll be staying with your new neighbours for quite some time, it’s imperative that you be friendly and cordial throughout your stay. Take the initiative to introduce yourself to everyone and acknowledge your neighbours whenever you run into them. Don’t be afraid to start conversations and offer your help whenever you think they need it. A simple hello can go a long way.
3. Be neat
You’ll be sharing a house with other people, so it’s crucial to be considerate. Be mindful of the messes you make and always make an effort to clean up after yourself. Whilst most coliving accommodations come with regular cleaning services, you’ll still want to make sure you do your part as a resident.
It can be as simple as putting away supplies after you’re done with them or clearing away food crumbs off the table. Whatever the case, you’ll want to ensure that you leave the area just as how it was prior.
4. Communicate when problems arise
Let’s face it; conflicts and disagreements are part and parcel of communal living. You might come across someone with lifestyle habits that may irk you or shares differing views. In such situations, you’ll want to communicate your grievances in a composed and tactful manner rather than sweeping it under the rug. Not addressing the issue properly won’t get you to the root of the problem to resolve issues, so don’t be afraid to speak up and let your neighbours know how you feel.
5. Know what’s shared and what isn’t
Don’t assume that someone is fine with sharing certain items, or you may just be inciting a misunderstanding. Each individual has their own boundaries; some are fine with sharing whilst others aren’t. The safest approach is simply respecting your neighbours’ belongings the way you want them to respect yours, and make sure to always ask before you take what are theirs. You can also pay attention to labels in the fridge or pantry to know which products are for communal use and otherwise.
6. Be part of the community
There are numerous ways to be an active participant of the community, and you can do so by attending events like movie nights or barbeque weekends as this allows you to connect with your neighbours, leading to an enriching coliving experience. The small talks you have with your neighbours can blossom into extraordinary friendships that will stay with you even when you no longer live with them.
If you’re on the hunt for a coliving residence which has all your needs, you can always count on Coliwoo. We understand how intimidating and scary coliving might be, especially if you’re entirely new to the idea. As such, our passionate staff are here to ease you through your journey, ensuring that your stay offers an experience so memorable, you’d want to always hold it close to your heart. Give us a call and we’ll help you get started!