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House sharing Rules?



Our family just got back from a great long weekend at the beach.  We shared a house with two other families and it went pretty well for the most part.  I was thinking that there should be rules about being good house sharing partners.  Not that I would pass these out to people sharing a house with me, but to keep in my mind --

1) Decide who will be sleeping in what room in advance (if possible).  We had a bunch of kids and six adults.  We loosely decided on sleeping arrangements prior to getting to the house and made some modifications once we got there.  Avoids potential conflict over who gets the master bedroom, etc. 

2) Divvy up meals in advance.  Each family cooked a breakfast, lunch and dinner (not all on the same day).  We shared the menu in advance to make sure it was varied and to take advantage of any matching ingredients. 

3) Make a master schedule of activities.  We planned one activity a day (in addition to beach time).  Each family decided among themselves who was going.  The only rule was that if one of your children was going, one parent had to go, too.  All activities were optional. 

My husband and I thought this worked really well for us.  We've shared houses before where someone always gets their feelings hurt over not getting the room they want or not getting to do an activity they wanted to do. 

Anyone else have any suggestions for getting along on a house-sharing trip? 


Good tips.

Those tips are very fair to everybody, and I'm going to keep them in mind.

Ooh, good tips!  I have a few to add:

4) Clean up after yourselves!  If everybody puts away whatever they take out, then there won’t be a huge mess at the end of the stay.  Plus, nobody wants to trip over a pile of somebody else’s dirty clothes on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

5) Speaking of bathrooms, it’s a good idea to make a loose shower schedule in advance, especially if a large number of people are going to be sharing one bathroom.  Two of my friends actually used an alternating shower system when they were staying together.  ‘Laverne’ would get to use the shower first one day and ‘Shirley’ would get it first the next.  They got on really well that way.  I think the same principle can be applied to larger groups.

6) Try not to hog the bathroom.  No hour long showers, using up all the hot water, spending two hours doing makeup etc.  If you’ve got limited bathroom facilities, it helps a lot to use an outlet outside of the bathroom to blow-dry hair so that other people can get in the shower. 

7) Get different colored toothbrushes, if possible.  You do not want to play ‘is this toothbrush yours or mine’ roulette, trust me. (I speak from experience… ::))

8 ) Be courteous and understanding.  Most problems, (not only among housemates, but also in everyday life) can be avoided this way.

This one probably only works with people who really know each other and are comfortable. Several times my family (about 6 - 8 households) has rented houses that had a kind of dorm rooms with bunk beds or a group of cottages. We divided up the bedrooms between the Early birds and the night owls. Rather than grouping households. Also separating snorers and light sleepers. Now we are talking twin beds, so no-one had to share a bed. (Oh and no sleepwalkers on top bunks especially after I scared everyone to death leaping off the top bunk in the middle of the night - yelling about Spidron or something)

We didn't make a schedule of activities - but lists were made of things people wanted to do. It was mostly majority rules (with no-one being forced to go unless that was a parental decision), but when someone too young to drive wanted to go see something the others didn't, an effort was made to get him/her/me to that event/site. Since I was usually the odd one out, and put up with shopping trips, I really appreciated getting to go to things I was interested in seeing.   


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