House Generated Rules & Quarterly House Meeting

We believe that it’s crucial for people of different backgrounds and value systems to get together once a quarter (preferably over pizza and beer!) to discuss how space in the house is being treated and what tweaks should be made to make the community more enjoyable for everybody.

The one thing that we do know is that it takes consistent effort by all parties to be accountable, modify their behavior if necessary, and give and receive honest and respectful feedback.

We ask that all newly filled houses pick a time to get together and review and discuss the standard HomeRoom rules to make sure that everybody is on the same page. That will likely be sufficient for the first few months. In the second quarter, we ask that each house meet to discuss the topics listed below and create their own set of guidelines that supplement the standard HomeRoom rules.

Why Does HomeRoom Require These?

Most houses enjoy the honeymoon phase for the first few months after they get together, then inevitably, issues arise from members’ differences in living styles. Most of these are just simple pet peeves that don’t need to be discussed. However, some are more egregious annoyances that affect other members of the house. To address these types of issues, we require all members to be meet once per quarter — in person — to discuss the following HomeRoom roommate rules, as well as the house’s own set of rules. These rules can basically be about anything, but we suggest that the following categories be addressed by every house.

General HomeRoom House Topics

A. Refrigerator and cupboard space. Does each house member want to have his or her own section of the refrigerator and cupboards? Are you open to sharing milk, eggs and condiments or would you like to keep your own food completely separate? How often are you going to clean the fridge and cupboards and throw out old and expired items?

Also, what are the ground rules for community food? Is there a shelf / space in the kitchen where you keep the food that is free for all?

B.  General house upkeep. How clean do you and your roommates want to keep the house? This is something that should be discussed collectively. HomeRoom general guidelines ask that all members clean up after cooking and leave no dishes in the sink at any time. Additionally, no personal items should be left in the common area. These rules are across the board and not  subject to individual house interpretation.

Some of our houses prefer to keep the house very clean — which we encourage. The only way to ensure that this is feasible is to create some sort of chore schedule for the house. HomeRoom has a Chore Wheel that we encourage members to use so that house upkeep is shared. You can find the Chore Wheel here to print out and discuss during one of your house meetings.  While we understand each of us has different standards of cleanliness; we ask that the house come to consensus on a middle ground that is acceptable to everybody.

C. Issues, complaints, and communication. We put these three together in a miscellaneous discussion pile. It’s just a check-in for the entire house to ensure that everyone is communicating respectfully and responsibly regarding house business. If it’s a personal issue between you and another house members, it’s preferred that the two of you attempt to work it out amongst yourselves. It does nobody any good to let minor issues fester until they erupt into a meltdown. 

Like in any good relationship, we recommend folks choose their battles, be self-aware of issues that really are not that big of a deal and that can be worked through internally. However, if an issue is consistently bothering you as a member and you tried to move on, we recommend that it be aired in one of these meetings directly to the group or member who is causing the problem for you.

D. Use of common space, laundry, and parking. It’s important that these common issues are discussed during these meetings as well, to ensure that everyone is being respectful of the shared spaces and not being inconsiderate in a way that bothers other members of the house.

E. Visitors, quiet hours, and noise in general. Are there specific issues that are important to your being able to get a good night’s sleep or use the house normally? These are also important items to discuss so that the house can work together to have an awesome living arrangement for all members.

Also - does your house want to have specific quiet hours? If so, define them during your quarterly meetings. Not all houses need these - but if folks are losing sleep we recommend them.

1) what are the hours

2) what are the rules of the quiet hours?

F. Laundry machine - is everyeone ok with allowing others to move their clothes?