Carving Out Solo Space in a Shared House

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Carving Out Solo Space in a Shared House

Flatshares and home communities can be a lot of fun. Massive communal feasts, an extra person to walk the dog, and always someone there to listen to your midnight drunken wine woes. Yet, there are certainly times when a house share can be super trying, especially after weeks when leaving the house has become a little more difficult. So when your roomies are testing your cool and you can’t flee to the nearest coffee shop, here are some top tips for carving out a solo escape in a shared space…

Designate Space

Most people who share houses have their rooms as a sanctuary for escape and while we can’t always spend 24 hours cooped up in there, it helps to know there is definitely a private refuge for when you are tired of seeing other faces. This is the time to make your room as inviting as possible to yourself. Clean it up, clear out the junk, and try and create different areas within that room to do the things you love. Have an area for reading, another for work, and another for sleeping if physical dimensions permit.

Make Agreements

If you struggle to combine work, play and rest in a room of your own, it may be time to divvy up different areas of the house for when people need to be committed to certain tasks. For example, after breakfast, you may strike up an agreement to use the kitchen table as a workspace for a couple of hours or ask if you can claim a space in the shared lounge for a quiet couple of hours and take it in turns if needed. The important part is that everyone feels they have equal use of the space in a way that meets their needs to avoid conflict.

Get Up Early or Stay up Late

Shift yourself a little bit outside of your roomie’s schedule and suddenly you may find an added dose of solo space. You may need to get up extra early to have the privilege or to stay up a little later than the others but the rewards are surely worth it. A leisurely peaceful breakfast, a little light yoga practice, quiet space for meditation and intention setting, and not having to jostle someone for the coffee maker. This is a new routine that is certainly worth embracing if you are missing solo time.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you are getting irked by the constant soundscape of having others around, noise-cancelling headphones may just be your smartest investment yet. Even if your roommates are cranking up the music, you can slip your headphones on and relish the peace and serenity.

Pick Your Battles

One of the best tidbits of advice when it comes to shared space and tough times is to pick your battles wisely. Of course, blow-ups and tense words are all part of the territory, but open communication is always your best friend. Iron out irks and annoyances early before they build into something bigger than needed and don’t make mountains out of molehills if you can help it.

Are you struggling in a house share right now? Let’s combine tips and best practices to reduce stress levels and to carve out the space we need to thrive.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.