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7 not at all passive aggressive ways to protect your stuff in a shared house


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As university approaches you might be starting to wonder what living in shared accommodation is like. Simply put, it’ll be the best of times, and it’ll be the worst of times. 

Whether it’s halls or private accommodation, living with other people will be an adjustment. Even if your flatmates end up being your best friends, there will undoubtedly be fights over the year. These will range from topics such as kitchen space and stolen food to borrowed plates left dirty and missing cutlery. 

While these issues may not sound that important right now, just wait until you want a cup of tea and can’t find your mug. You will never know such rage until that moment!

In order to prepare you, we have come up with a list of ways to keep your stuff safe and put those annoying flatmates in their place.

1. Padlock your cupboard

Kitchen space is essential for a happy university experience, and will likely be one of the first things you fight about. Bearing that in mind it’s always a good idea to padlock your cupboard so that no-one can take or move your things while you're out of the flat. This will also stop them from trying to move their things in subtly. Trust us, a bag of sugar may not seem like much now, but three weeks in when all their condiments suddenly appear in your cupboard you’ll be ready for WWIII. 

2. Keep all items in your cupboard

This is especially important for anyone by a sink. The location doesn't seem like one that will invite trouble and yet it somehow signifies to all other flatmates that your stuff is communal. Spoons will soon go missing, then plates and mugs, finally ketchup and those oh so precious tea bags. The best way to avoid such behaviour is to keep all items in the cupboard, which as we’ve already mentioned, should be locked. 

3. Label everything

We all know that the communal fridge is a hotbed of theft and betrayal, so the best way to ensure that your food remains safe is to label it. Big, bright labels with your name in capitals are the best way to catch people’s attention and warn them away from your food. This way there will be no excuses when your milk starts disappearing, as everyone knew it was yours.

4. Write angry sticky notes

An excellent way to communicate with flatmates is through notes. Texts and messages in the WhatsApp group might be ignored, but a brightly coloured sticky note always gets people’s attention. Make sure to write in big letters and clearly spell out what’s annoying you, though never be directly rude! That simply is not the English way. Far better to be passive aggressive, like never specifically mentioning the person irritating you. Far better to allude to it. Make sure to put these notes around the flat and never be put off by angry exchanges with other flatmates. After all, communication is key!

5. Put a sign on your bedroom door

Another fantastic way to communicate with flatmates is by putting signs on your bedroom door, demanding no-one enter. This is an excellent way to gain the respect of your flatmates, who will undoubtedly follow your explicit instructions and respect your privacy.

6. Confront people whenever things go missing

The minute you think something is missing you should immediately confront any or all of your flatmates. You can never be too careful and it's always best to follow your instincts instead of having a proper look around. This will show your flatmates who the boss is and will gain their respect, encouraging them to never take things from your room in the future.

7. Keep your door locked at all times

Lastly, the absolute best way to keep your items safe at all times is to ensure your door is always locked, whether you are in the room or not. You never know who you can trust and so it is better to be safe than sorry. After all, who wants to keep their door open and make friends when you can close it and ensure that all your possessions remain safe? Not me!

If you want to know more, arguably more serious, ways to keep your room safe follow this link:

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