The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Home-mates

We all share space. And whether it is family, partners, friends or acquaintances, sharing space is always a challenge.
Here are 7 tips that might help you make that house feel like ‘home’.
1. Keeping a world-beating attitude: Let’s face it – things are often shitty. Running a house is never easy. There are always bills to pay, maintenance that is pending, cleaning and laundry to be done. And sometimes, you even land up in a house that is significantly worse than your previous one.
Now, we can never wear a smile on our face every single moment. But, having a positive attitude is a great step to maintaining a great environment. There is absolutely no replacement to being a positive, happy person.
2. Saying ‘Please, sorry and thank you’: Pleasantries are named thus for a reason. They help keep things pleasant. And we need lots of pleasant.
3. Doing dirty work, and doing it in teams: There is always a lot of dirty work to be done in a house. Whether it is taking the dirt out of the vacuum cleaner, or cleaning the bathroom, being the first one to volunteer always helps.
And if possible, doing it in teams always creates a great bond!
4. Keep your own work space: We all have different styles of working. Some like keeping cluttered work spaces while some like it spotless and clean. It is VITAL to keep your own workspace – an area that only you touch, clean and manage.
This greatly helps keep sanity. If you have your own room, then that’s perfect. But, if not..
5. Lower your expectations: Not everyone has the same filters as you. You are going to be disappointed by people’s cleanliness, their inability to do many things that come naturally to you, and vice versa. Also, it is amazing how people have their own unique approaches to cleanliness. Some, for example, can tolerate messy cupboards but cannot tolerate an unkempt workspace.. and vice versa.
Let it go. It’s easier to ‘be a light, not a judge’. If you are a stickler for cleanliness, try this. Try leaving your room or space dirty for once. Hard, isn’t it?
That’s how hard it is for an untidy person to be clean. While being unhygienic is never an excuse, it works best if you develop blind spots for areas of the house that you don’t use.
6. Keep candor but never embarrass someone: Candor is often overlooked. And this is what results in fractured relationships between roommates from time to time. When sharing space, it is obvious that it helps overlooking many small annoyances, it doesn’t help skating over big issues.
Talk about it. Express it. But never embarrass someone – that generally leaves a scar.
7. When you are brooding, stay out of everyone’s way: We are all going to have periods when we experience the ‘blues’. I call this ‘brooding’ time. This is great for us as we always feel better after a period of brooding but not so much for those we come in contact with.
If you are brooding, there’s many ways you can keep people informed – warn them/stay out of their way/put a sign on your desk that says ‘Brooding Time’.
And this works the other way around. If you sense that your home-mate is brooding, let them be. They will snap out of it in few hours. Just act as if nothing happened. This happens every once in a while with all of us and it is very normal!