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How To … Be a Perfect Housemate

Posted September 11, 2012 by Catherine in Ramp Lists

Everyone has stories about nightmare housemates. Some people will talk about friendships that were ruined by signing a lease and others will horrify you with tales of strangers who moved into a spare bedroom. You never know how successful living with a person will be until you actually do it. Quirks can be endearing until they’re sharing a bathroom with you. Being well-groomed doesn’t guarantee the person won’t enjoy living in their own filth. Some will say it’s potluck, but we here at Ramp.ie don’t believe it. We want our readers to be the happiest they can be and we refuse to acknowledge the word ‘impossible’ (unless it’s being used in the negative). We’ve done our research, carried out surveys, delved into minds and have come up with ways you can ensure you have guaranteed domestic bliss.

♥ Get To Know Them

One of the best ways you can build a good foundation for your relationship with your new housemate is to make sure you know them inside and out. Find out what makes them tick, their likes and dislikes, personalities traits – the things that make them ‘them’. Every bit of information you can gather will help you form a lasting relationship with them. Break into their room when they’re not there and find their diary, old letters, whatever you can get your hands on. Break into their computer and look through personal files. This will also give you access to their emails accounts, Facebook page, etc as people tend to save passwords for these things. People may tell you this is an invasion of privacy, but they just don’t care as much as you do. As well as providing you with plenty of subjects to talk about, knowing everything they’re feeling and thinking allows you to pretend you feel and think the same things, giving you common ground. It also means you can manipulate the conversation in a way that will get them to open up about their personal business, strengthening your relationship. Feel free to burst into the bathroom while they’re showering so you can check for any scars or birthmarks they might have. This could prove a useful bonding/conversational tool at some point.

♥ Make Yourself At Home

Nobody wants to feel like a stranger in their own home, so you must strive to make you housemate feel as comfortable as possible. An environment that’s too neat or clean can be clinical so leave your belongings lying around to give your new abode that ‘lived in’ feel. Strew magazines, socks, tampons, used cotton buds, books, apple cores, etc around the place to make your house feel like a home.

♥ Be Creative

Everyone loves to be friends with creative people so think how ecstatic your housemate will be to realise they are living with a talented person such as yourself. Randomly paint the walls, add your own special framed sketches and scatter the sculptures you made from grass and used chewing gum around the apartment. Your housemate will be living in an ever-changing and stimulating setting, which will make their life more exciting.

♥ No Boundaries

You and your new housemate are now societal siblings – you share a living space and  that means seeing the best and worst of each other. Feel free to burst into their bedrooms without knocking. Knocking is very formal and says ‘I’m not comfortable with you’. Walk around the apartment/house in your underwear or completely naked and scratch yourself because nothing says ‘I feel at ease with you’ better than naked scratching. Other ways to show your housemate how close you feel to then include peeing with the bathroom door open and cutting your toenails on the kitchen table.

♥ Cleaning

Chores are something our parents made us do to teach us responsibility and thus, build character. Be as thoughtful to your housemate as your parents were to you and leave the cleaning to them. Every bit of housework you do is taking away from their chance to grow and develop into better human beings. Cleaning will also help them feel more at home.

♥ Sharing is Caring

Siblings share clothes all the time. Help yourself to your housemate’s wardrobe. Sharing underwear says you guys are super-close. Also feel free to add your dirty clothes to their hamper – they’re washing clothes anyway and I’m sure they’d have no problem taking care of yours. Food is something else that can be shared. Your housemate will be glad you’re raiding their cupboards, as they’ll know they’re saving you time and money by going to the supermarket for the both of you. People also enjoy feeding other people as a way of showing they care.

♥ Making a Family

Once you’ve been there for a while, it’s time to start your own little family with your housemate. This will cement your relationship. Bring stray animals in from the street and let them roam around your apartment. Homeless people can be used if animals can’t be obtained.

Readers who have been positively affected by Catherine’s How To are reminded to send gift baskets and handsome escorts. Readers who have been adversely affected are reminded that this How To is for entertainment purposes only and any formal charges incurred after reading is purely coincidental.

About the Author


Catherine often dreams about living in a tiny Parisian apartment and penning the next great novel of her generation until she remembers how impossible it is to get a decent cup of tea in France.

  • http://twitter.com/seanear1ey Seán Earley

    Cringe as you may, not all of this is pure ‘comedy’!

  • Sinéad

    This gave me horrid flashbacks to my first year in college. 9 people. 5 bedrooms. 1 kitchen. Absolute filthbox. If I’m ever sent down for one of my crime sprees, I’ve already acquired the mental agility to cope with close quarters and mentalists.

    • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

      My second year in college – 9 people, seven bedrooms, two kitchens and two showers. IT WAS A PALACE.

      We all got along too, apart from the time two of the group got together romantically, had a fight, and one of the couple kicked the other’s door down and attacked him with a poker.

      • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

        “We all got along too, apart from the time two of the group got together
        romantically, had a fight, and one of the couple kicked the other’s door
        down and attacked him with a poker.” I just don’t know where to start with that statement… :o

        • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

          Yeah. It was all youthful high jinks at the time, I’m sure.

          • http://twitter.com/anspideog Eilish Burke

            I beat you all. 3rd year in college – 15 (!) people in a house on the north circular road. predominantly 1st years and me, the designated ‘mammy’ who had to make sure they paid their bills and did their chores on the house rota. misery. i had a shower in the corner of my bedroom, which was…. nice.

          • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

            A shower in the corner of a bedroom sounds completely made up, but I saw one for myself when I was room hunting last year. It was horrific.
            I’ve had the odd nightmare housemate, but thankfully I’ve been lucky when it comes to the apartment/house itself.

  • http://twitter.com/nuckpang Stephen R.

    I find one thing that’s always said “I feel comfortable around you folks” is including everyone in the house in whatever romance you might have in your life. Nothing makes us all feel closer than watching you and your girlfriend have a huge row in the front room while we’re trying to watch the telly and then following it up with noisy make-up sex that everyone can hear through the paper-thin walls of your bedroom.

  • Sophia

    If you stay with friends, look down on them because their flat is smaller than your parents’ luxury bungalow. Never help with anything or show any gratitude; those subhuman lazy slobs can clean up their own mess, even if you made the mess. Never miss an opportunity to tell one resident how fat she is. It only shows how selfless you are, being concerned about her weight! So if you help yourself to her clothing, which is your right, feel free to complain loudly about it not being your size, you concerned socially conscious humanist, you. If you invite friends over, make yourselves comfortable. Take over the living room and stay up all night shouting; doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the week. Any flatmates who have to get up early the next morning to go to school or work or do other important things will sure appreciate your thoughtful decision to not invite them to join you, as they have to get their sleep after all. If they can’t sleep through your primitive baying, screw’em, as they don’t know what fun is. Extra points for laughing at someone’s allergy-induced coughing fit.

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