Tips for Shared Living: How to Make the Most of Your Co-Living Experience

Living with roommates can be an exciting but sometimes challenging experience, particularly if you are new to co-living. You will need to navigate sharing communal spaces, splitting bills, and juggling different schedules and lifestyles.

However, sharing a house or apartment with others also comes with many benefits, including companionship, lower costs, and valuable life lessons. In this article, we will provide you with essential tips to ensure that your shared living experience is successful and harmonious.

When looking for shared student accommodation in your future home city, keep in mind that here at we list thousands of shared rooms all over the world, so remember to check out our accommodation options!

A group of students hanging out together
Shared living can be a great experience, in addition to helping you save money.

Get to know each other

Getting along with your new roommates is much easier if you know them. If you’re moving in with people you haven’t met before, there are many ways to get to know them.

If they go to the same university as you, and you’re all first year students, you’ll surely meet at the many orientation events that universities organise for new students. Many PBSAs (purpose-built student accommodations) also have social mixers of their own, which will help people get to know everyone else who lives in the same building.

Remember to keep an open mind and take the time to get to know your roommates, and with effective communication, setting expectations and boundaries, and respecting each other’s space and privacy, you can create a positive and enjoyable co-living experience at university.

Two female students having a good time together
Getting to know your roommates will make it easier to hang out and have fun with them.

Set expectations and boundaries

Setting clear expectations and boundaries is crucial for a happy co-living experience. You should discuss and agree on guidelines for using communal spaces, sharing responsibilities, and respecting each other’s privacy. For instance, you can agree on a cleaning schedule for shared spaces, establish a policy for overnight guests, or set quiet hours. It can even be helpful to use a roommate agreement or contract to formalise the expectations and boundaries you have agreed upon.

Communicate effectively

Effective communication is key to maintaining a healthy living situation with your roommates. Establish an open and honest line of communication early on, and encourage each other to express their concerns and needs. You can use group chats, shared calendars, or whiteboards to stay connected and informed. It’s also crucial to practise active listening, empathy, and respect when communicating with your roommates. Remember that there can be many ways of doing things, and people from different cultures and backgrounds can see things differently than you. If conflicts arise, try to resolve them through respectful dialogue and compromise.

A group of students making plans together
Although it may sound boring, effective communication and planning on things like cleaning schedules can help make co-living much easier.

Respect each others’ space and privacy

Respecting each others’ space and privacy is essential for maintaining a comfortable living situation. Agree on guidelines for using shared spaces, such as the kitchen, living room, or bathroom, to avoid conflicts. For example, establish a system for sharing kitchen appliances, respect each other’s food preferences, or agree on a bathroom cleaning schedule. Also, respect each other’s privacy by knocking before entering a closed room, using headphones when watching TV or listening to music, and avoiding sensitive topics or conversations in public spaces.

Share responsibilities

Sharing responsibilities is critical to maintaining a harmonious living situation with your roommates. Divide household tasks fairly based on everyone’s strengths and preferences. For instance, one roommate can be responsible for cooking meals, while another can handle grocery shopping or cleaning the bathroom. You can use a chore chart or schedule to keep track of responsibilities and ensure that everyone contributes equally. It’s also important to acknowledge and appreciate each other’s contributions regularly.

Two students cleaning together
Sharing responsibilities like cooking and cleaning will make co-living more harmonious.

Creating a shared room

Sharing a room with another person can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Establish clear boundaries and expectations early on to avoid potential conflicts. For instance, agree on a sleeping schedule, divide closet space, or use noise-cancelling headphones to maintain privacy. You can also personalise your side of the room with decorations, photos, or posters that reflect your personality and interests. It’s essential to communicate openly and respectfully with your roommate and make compromises when necessary to create a comfortable and enjoyable living situation.

Last thoughts

By incorporating these tips, you can have a successful co-living experience and enjoy all the benefits that come with living with others. However, it’s important to remember that not all co-living situations are the same, and it’s okay to re-evaluate your living situation if it’s not working out. Sometimes, conflicts or differences can arise that can’t be resolved, and it’s okay to move on and find a better living situation.

Ultimately, co-living can be an excellent way to make new friends, save money, and learn important life skills. By being open-minded, communicative, and respectful, you can create a harmonious living situation with your roommates and have a positive co-living experience.

On we list thousands of shared rooms all around the world. Wherever in the world you’ll be studying in, there’s a good chance you’ll find some great accommodation options from our listings. Be sure to check them out!