Living with strangers

After finishing school, many people in their 20s look forward to starting their very own life in an unfamiliar town with new people. In order to find a room, you try to present yourself in the best possible way via, for example, the WG-Gesucht website and try to explain why, of all those millions of roommate candidates, you’re the one they’ve been looking for forever. And after surviving a marathon of housemate interviews, you just want to lie on the floor of what could be the one and wake up one morning only to realize that you’ve moved in with new potential friends… or not?!


Moving in

It’s happened. You’ve found a room which is perfect and you’re going to move in with complete strangers, because it’s always better to have somebody around you, even if it’s just anybody. To be honest, being huddled up with strangers, for example, three other girls you don’t know from Adam, can be tough – as the case when I was looking for a flat. So, what do you need to own to make living together manageable?

Tips from an old hand

After living in a shared flat for a few years now, being an old hand when it comes to living together with strangers, I’ve realized that you need six basic things to make cohabiting in the new environment more “enjoyable”, while at the very same time making sure that you send out positive vibes.


The six necessities

  1. A mug: first of all, you need a mug to represent who you are. You like watching Tatort? Why not buy a Tatort mug, so everybody knows what you’ll be doing on Sunday evening?
  2. A perfumed candle: to make the new room more comfortable, and, like a dog, to mark your territory.
  3. Headphones: even if you love your roommates, you don’t want to hear everything they do. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!
  4. Tupperware: nothing makes you look more like an adult than owning various kinds of Tupperware.
  5. A dressing gown: Be proud of your nakedness. But please don’t overdo it. When leaving your room in the morning, don’t rub your nakedness in your roommates’ faces.
  6. Special underwear and socks: do yourself a favour and buy unusual underwear. Otherwise, you’ll be standing in front of a hundred black socks and panties after doing the laundry.

Your way to heaven

Seems simple, and it is! I can’t promise that by only purchasing these simple items you’ll be on your direct way to heaven – and by heaven, I mean the joys of respecting one another’s dirty habits and the inability to clean up the crumbs in the kitchen. But trust me – those tips will make it easier for all of you and you’ll be learning to love each other anyways, and maybe – if you’re really into it – even share the broccoli you bought at the market.

Author & Pictures: Chiara Leick