A Conversation for Tips on How to Live in a Shared Household

The Socialist Way

Post 1

Trout Montague

"To each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities"

I share a house with four others. It is a very satisfactory arrangement which enables all five of us to meet the primary needs of shelter and sustenance without dispute that would otherwise jeopardise our relationship.

We eat together thereby demonstrating economy of both effort and resource. There is rarely any dissent.

All our washing and ironing goes into one figurative communal basket. In order to avoid disputes over household chores, we have someone in 'who does'.

We never argue over bills. We just pay them. All financial inputs derived from external sources are shared or are invested for the common good. Fiscal allowances for discretional expenditure are allocated on a case by case basis.

In this regard it is the epitome of egalitarian fraternalism, although throughout all areas of our existence there exists a natural hierarchy, in which there are leaders and obeyers.

Some household members have restrictions on access to certain areas, i.e., the balcony, the roof and the kitchen, but these prohibitions are for safety and no-one would argue with that.

I prefer the Library. Old Spice (the wife), seems to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. The kids spend all their time either in the garden, or in their playroom.

The Socialist Way

Post 2

Buzz Lightyear: Getting Ever Warmer

Great system you outline here Dr. Montague!! smiley - ok
Knew those socialists were very clever chaps!! smiley - cool
Is it similar to a "Collective Ownership of Property" system, involving the "Collective Resolve for the Common Good" method. I bet it minimizes friction in the household, though. smiley - magic

The Socialist Way

Post 3

Trout Montague

Ah, in essence it's friction between two members of the household that generated the other three.

And Mother makes five!


The Socialist Way

Post 4

Trout Montague

It occurs to me that the problems in most shared households is that some people are fundamentally lazy and don't pull their weight. First out the taxi, last to the bar and all that. That's why even communists need leaders. To get the deadwood to shape up or ship out. Shared householders, particularly students, all want to be the leader, so no-one is. It's their first taste of freedom beyond the family home.


The Socialist Way

Post 5


I agree it's a good system, but it will only work with certain types of people- it is all too true that "some will always be more equal than others". This is true all the way down to bill paying and grocery shopping.

TKsmiley - pirate

The Socialist Way

Post 6


The problem with this is it works very well for a family (or else the family splits up...) but it doesn't work very well in non-family situations. A family with "someone who does" is not a realistic model for a roommate situation, where everyone is an adult and planning to stay together indefinitly. How do you share expenses when some of the people are going to go there own ways after a year or two and will want their fair share of the funds to go with them? When you buy things communally, they belong to everyone - fine in a family, bad when people split up. Communism/socialism is a perfectly good idea when used in families but tends to break down in larger groups.

The Socialist Way

Post 7

Trout Montague

The point I'm making then is valid. House-sharers almost invariably don't enter into the arrangement on an equal footing, from both a resource or a commitment perspective.

The Socialist Way

Post 8

Researcher 220668

Its weird how different ways of doing stuff appear when you start mixing up all the ideas of the people you've begun to live with. With me i got in with a group of lads and the thing that came about was the more anyone whined about their food going missing, the more it would go, eg 'Look, who's been eating my cornflakes?' meant the next day all you had for breakfast was a cardboard box.
It was tricky for me to get used to this, but a bit of food sharing is probably better than having little neurotic locks on the cupboards, and you have to remember that an egg or two here n there really isn't worth worrying about. its all swings n roundabouts in the long run. Besides, when you're through with being a student, and its hopefully all worked out and you're flush, you can buy as many eggs as you can stuff your greedy egg loving face with. relax.

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