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How to Make Communal Living Work

How to Make Communal Living Work

Due to the constant increase in home rent and other financial expenditures, the number of private home owners is dwindling day by day. Living together i.e. communal living is the best option available in this situation. But living in a close knit community has its own ups and downs. On one hand you share your bills with others and hence the expenditure decreases and, on the other hand, you need to compromise on a lot of things to maintain peace in the community. But it is not too difficult to live in a community if you are willing to give and take a little. Keep reading this oneHOWTO article to know how to make communal living work.

You may also be interested in: Benefits of Communal Living

Joining/Creating a household

Economic hardships often forces people to change their living condition and sometimes even the place they live in. People faced with such situation suddenly decide to opt for communal living. But this decision should not be taken suddenly. To live together in communal living needs a lot of planning beforehand. Along with planning you need to communicate with the people living in the community. So, first of all, tell your family, friends and acquaintances that you need to find a communal home. Also, you can look online for more options on communal living.

If you want to create communal living in your home then you need to find people who are interested in joining. To do this, you need good communication skills so that it is clear that all of you have a similar goal with shared interests. So, at first you need to spread the word among family, friends or even among your colleagues. Keep a fixed rate and if possible a bit lower than the usual rate.

Sometimes, it's even a whole group of people or students that want to have communal living. For this you all can pull money and buy/rent a house. This is the most favored approach by college students. Choose a place with enough bedrooms and bathrooms and other necessary facilities. Also, make sure that the place is not too far from your workplace or college.

Set the space

If you are joining an already established communal living then there would be a definite area for every activity such as a definite common room or recreation room etc.

But if you are creating the communal living then you need to define the spaces. Set a definite room as common room where everyone can hang out or hold formal meetings. Make sure everyone has their privacy.

Set rules and timetables for each room. Remember they should be decided as a group. If you are sharing your household with the same aim (creative work, ecology, social reasons...), you should not differ very much from each other though, if you do, try to understand everybody's point of view and meet halfway.

Divide the chores

In the meetings, divide the chores between everyone. Common chores such as keeping the common room clean, cooking or bathroom cleaning and others should be divided among all the housemates.

If you are joining a communal living then make sure to perform the chores assigned to you. Abandoning a chore will make you an unsuitable house mate. So, compromise a bit and if you don’t know how to do a particular thing then ask for help. People in communal living are very helpful.


Sharing a living space means you need to compromise with the need and preferences of others. So, to understand things better in communal living, you need to communicate with other housemates. You also need to communicate so as to understand the character of your potential housemates. A formal meeting date and time should be set in the house when everyone should meet to discuss problems or improvements in the house.

Also, make guidelines as to what someone should or should not speak about. Set the points which when spoken or done would be deemed as offensive. This way the housemates would know beforehand about the rules and would try to adhere by it. Also, outline the physical acts which would be deemed offensive such as physical violence or theft. Set a rule that if anyone is caught doing an offensive act then he/she would have to either pay a fine or leave the house.

Ask for help

Communal living includes the concept of helping others. Those who live in a community know that they must help others in need. So, never shy away from any help you need, especially if it's in a field or area you are an expert in.

If you'd like to read similar articles to How to Make Communal Living Work, we recommend you browse around our Family Relationships category.

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