Setting House Rules
Silver Sharers sprang out of my experience and that of my partner. Both of us share with others of a similar age, although our relationships with our housemates are very different.
In my case, my ‘lodger’ and I work across from each other at the kitchen table most days, sometimes eat lunch together and we’re friends. My partner lives at the top of a large house with a couple with whom he has minimal contact and for whom renting out a room was related more to security than social connection.
Sharing a home with another person is the same as any other relationship; the clearer you are as to your own wants and needs, boundaries and understanding of yourself, the easier it is to live with someone else.
There’s always going to be some degree of negotiating, whether it’s about the wall colour or if it’s OK to have a few friends over from time to time. The clearer you can be at the start about the house rules, the better. The one non-negotiable, from the many conversations I’ve had with those sharing with others, is around bathroom cleanliness. Nobody I spoke to enjoys cleaning up someone else’s hair!
Here are my top three non-negotiables. Consider what yours might be?
1. Tidiness – I’m a stickler for cleanliness in our shared living space and the bathroom. I’ve learned to accept that what someone does in their own room is up to them, provided the door is kept closed!
2. Loud noise. That’s what headphones were created for.
3. Leaving personal objects in communal spaces. I have enough knick-knacks around and don’t have room for any more!
Silver Sharers is an evolving business and I’m very keen to hear from others either currently living in a shared space with older homeowners or those seeking this type of arrangement. Do get in touch or write your own house-sharing story to be featured on our blog.