How To Test Your Flatmate Compatibility Before Moving In - Freshered
a person sitting on a couch with a laptop
Photo by Surface on Unsplash

How To Test Your Flatmate Compatibility Before Moving In

Zoe Kramer May 12, 2023

Choosing flatmates to move in with can be difficult. After all, if you haven’t lived with someone before, it’s hard to know what their habits are like — and just because you get along doesn’t mean you should live together. After all, you don’t want to end up in conflict with someone down the line over different approaches to household management. That’s why it can be helpful to establish preferences and habits up front, which can help lead to ground rules. So, here is how to test your flatmate compatibility before moving in.

Waking Hours

You don’t have to keep to the same sleep schedule as your flatmates, but if you get up early, you won’t want to have to tell your flatmates to turn the music down so you can sleep. Equally, if you like to stay up late chatting, you won’t want to be disrupting anyone else. Discuss your usual waking hours, what you expect from others, and where you can compromise.

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

See also: How To Prepare For Life After Graduation


Establishing rules for chores can be one of the most difficult parts of moving in together. Everyone has different habits that they’ve formed, as well as different standards for how much mess they can tolerate. If you like things to be neat and clean, and your flatmates aren’t as stringent, you may end up doing more nagging or cleaning than you like. Having an honest discussion up front can help prevent miscommunication and get everyone on the same page.

Bills And Purchases

Another thing you’ll want to bring up is paying for bills as well as buying household items. Establish what each person thinks is a fair way of splitting the bills. If this involves paying other flatmates back, establish what a reasonable time frame is for that payment to happen. Also consider how you will pay for things that everyone uses, such as soap and toilet paper.


Another method for how to test your flatmate compatibility is to compare sharing and borrowing preferences. Do you prefer that no one uses your household items? Are you okay with sharing as long as they ask first? Are there some items you want to share that anyone can use without asking? These expectations are among the easiest to set, and are important to clarify.

Guest Policy

How often are you comfortable with flatmates throwing parties? Are you okay with guests staying the night? Do you want a heads up before anyone is invited over, or is it okay any time? Establish a guest policy so that no one will be guessing when figuring out if it’s ok to bring their friends around.

See also: Why Students Should Take More Naps

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Zoe Kramer has been writing for GRV Media’s student-centric website Freshered since October 2022 and is now also contributing to HITC. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2022 with a BA in Journalism, Media and English Literature. During her time in university, she worked for her student newspaper as well as completing an internship with a book publisher. She has also written and continues to write book and theatre reviews. She is excited to now be pursuing a career as a journalist and learning something new every day. In particular, she loves writing about student life, books, the Internet, and travel. Originally from the United States, she is enjoying living abroad in the UK.