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The flatsharer's guide to housewarmings

Note: due to the effects of COVID-19, some of the information on this page might not currently apply.

We've all lived in flatshares and houseshares, from being students, well into our professional careers. Sharing a house shouldn't stop you from having a social life and celebrating moving into a new home should be part of that. But, from experience, we've found that there are certain ways to behave when your living space is shared, if you want to live in harmony with your housemates. So here's our handy little guide to throwing a housewarming in a shared property.

Ask your flatmates first!

Make sure they're happy with the idea of a party, give them an idea of what you have in mind, and check the date is suitable. Someone might have a job interview the next day and not appreciate being kept awake till the early hours.

Be flexible.

Don't present them with a done deal. Nobody will appreciate being told it's happening no matter what - that could set you off on the wrong foot for the whole of your flatsharing relationship. You may need to scale back on numbers or change the date you had in mind (or change the venue to the nearest pub if they're really against it).

Ask your neighbours.

A housewarming is a great opportunity to get to know them and introduce yourself, whilst at the same time being considerate. They'll have less opportunity to complain about the noise if they're helping themselves to your bubbly!

Make sure it's clear who's invited.

If you issue a general invitation on Facebook, your new home could end up heaving with random people you've never met before (to say the nothing about opening yourself and your flatmates to the risk of theft). Better to invite close friends and let them know the rules about bringing guests in advance.

Check which areas are out of bounds.

If your flatmates don't want strangers wandering into their bedrooms, make sure this is clear to your guests (put a sign on the doors or keep them locked). The last thing they'll want is to open their door and find a couple snogging (or worse) on their bed.

Clear up promptly.

If you're still tripping over paper plates and empty bottles (or party guests) days after the event you're not sending the best signals to your new housemates about your attitude to cleanliness. Show a little consideration and clear up your mess the next day and your flatmates may even let you throw another party in the future!

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