So, you’re moving away from home for the first time? We’ve got you covered!
Whether you’re moving in with friends or strangers, everyone wants to get along with their housemates. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to make (and maintain!) a good impression.
Get your university experience off to a great start with our easy ways to be the best housemate!
Wash your dishes
There’s nothing worse than walking into the kitchen to make dinner and finding the sink and counter strewn with dirty dishes and old food. Especially when they’ve been there for a considerable amount of time.
I mean, the smell alone is enough to put you off your meal!
No one likes living in a tip, so make sure you do the dishes after cooking. If they’re particularly filthy, leave them in the sink to soak and them give them a good scrub.
It’s an easy way to stay on your housemates’ good sides and look like a responsible human being (even if it’s all just an act!)
Test your smoke alarms
Between early-morning classes, stressful exams and crazy nights out, we wouldn’t blame you if the condition of your smoke alarms gets pushed to the back of your mind.
But if a fire starts in your student accommodation (and with one in eight students saying they’ve had one, it’s a very real risk) a working smoke alarm will give you valuable time to get yourself and your housemates out.
It’s so simple to do - just press the button on your alarm once a month and listen for the beep! Your mum would be so proud…
Stick to the cleaning rota
Watch any ‘Worst Housemate Ever’ storytime on YouTube and you’ll see that they all have one thing in common - their housemate was a complete slob.
Don’t be that person! If you don’t have one already, sit your housemates down and draw up a cleaning rota. This is the easy part. Then, you have to actually stick to it!
It won’t take long before it becomes a habit, and you’ll automatically know that on Wednesdays you need to take out the rubbish, or that Sundays are for scrubbing the bathrooms. Plus, a clean home is a safer home - dirt and grime, particularly in the kitchen, can easily spark a fire.
Your housemates will appreciate your dedication to a clean home, and you’ll avoid becoming the unwitting star of a trending YouTube video!
Don’t drink and fry
Now, usually we would encourage home cooking as opposed to a greasy takeaway. But there is one situation where you’re off the hook.
Over half of students admit to having cooked when they’ve had a few drinks. But with 80% of fires in student accommodation starting in the kitchen, this clearly isn’t a great idea.
The solution is simple. If you’ve had a few too many one night, don’t start messing around in the kitchen - order a takeaway instead! Deliveroo was made for these situations.
Plus, you can eat it and pass out - no dish-washing required!
Keep it down
There’s nothing wrong with partying as often as you like during your student years. In fact, it’s encouraged!
But when your housemate is trying to study, it might be a smart move to relocate the party to a bar. It sucks when you have an important exam the next day, only to be kept awake all night by loud music and all the other sounds that come with a party.
Be considerate and check with your housemates before you throw a party - it might save them a headache!
If the toaster starts making a funny noise or there are sparks coming out of a plug socket, you shouldn’t just ignore it. Unfortunately, it’s probably not just going to go away!
Be the responsible one and let your landlord know when an electrical item stops working properly. It’s their responsibility to ensure that all items provided throughout the tenancy are in safe working order, but you need to keep them up to date if there’s a problem.
It’s also a good idea to do regular checks of the plugs and sockets around your home, and make sure none of them are damaged or frayed. You’d be surprised at how easily a fire can spark - there goes your deposit!
Sometimes you can get away with paying less. Anyone who has tried store-brand cornflakes can agree that they’re pretty much the same as the premium brands!
But there are some situations where cutting corners can be deadly.
Take phone chargers, for example. Genuine branded chargers contain around 60 components, while cheap unbranded versions have less than half that amount. This makes them more dangerous and prone to sparking a fire.
Your housemates won’t appreciate a dodgy phone charger lying around – play it safe and pick one up from the manufacturer!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever put in the microwave? We had a few odd responses from students when we asked.
As well as ice (why would you bother, I mean, really?), wet clothes and plenty of mistakes with metal plates, one spurned lover confessed to cooking his ex-girlfriend’s photograph and another drunkenly “tortured a toy minion”.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t put tinfoil or metal in the microwave. But it’s also handy to remember that almost anything can spark a fire if you leave it in long enough.
Do your housemates a favour and avoid putting anything in the microwave that could spark, burn or cause a nasty smell - that includes your running shoes!
If you want more advice on surviving your student years, click here or join the conversation with the hashtag #dontdrinkandfry on Twitter and Instagram!
More posts by Jenna Haldane