Responsibilities of Living in a Communal Household
Happens right before the weekly house hang-out time
While we have professional cleaners, they can not help us with clutter. Housemates meet once a week for exactly an hour so we can get rid of clutter and make sure we're not getting rid of anything important. Roommates coordinate in their individual rooms, and we also work on common rooms and the refrigerators.
This is your home too
While the houses stock supplies like toilet paper and Drano, housemates are the ones who help make sure the toilet paper is in the bathroom and alert us when these supplies run out. (Use the #supplies channel on Slack to request more supplies). Most housemates learn how the house operates from other housemates during the weekly De-Cluttering, and your Residential Advisor can help you figure out any task you're not used to doing.
We're a hackerspace-style Do-ocracy
We encourage housemates to figure out ways they'd like to make the community awesome. Some do art pieces together, others come up with systems to improve our quality of life, some just figure out things it would be nice to have, and others get very excited about making our house awesome for Trick-or-Treaters.
Each house has a budget set aside for such improvements. Normally these projects are figured out on the house Slack (internal communication platform).
Benefits of Living in a Communal Household
Weekly House Night
Happens right after De-Cluttering is done
After de-cluttering, we have snacks and hang out together. This is generally when housemates really get to know each other, and generally spins off into many smaller conversations, board games, or a movie.
A fundamental skill
The houses have a proud tradition of the more experienced housemates teaching the less experienced housemates how to cook. Housemates also frequently learn recipes from other parts of the world, and try a lot of new food.
Often, small groups of housemates with similar tastes will form into a cooking pod of two or more people. They take turns cooking for all of the members of the group. Since it is far less work to cook one meal for two people than it is to cook two different dishes on two different nights, a lot of housemates really like this system.
On holidays, large numbers of housemates cook meals together. For Thanksgiving and Festivus, we have a policy of feeding all who come to our door, and so we have to cook a lot of food.
Moving out is not "Goodbye." We say "Come home soon."
Alumni play an active role in our community. While some housemates live with us for years, others move in nearby and continue to spend a great deal of social time with us.
We have been operating houses for 10 years, which means the broader alumni network is a strong resource for hiring, getting a job, finding a mentor, and many other things.
The strongest bonds though are often between housemates who lived in a particular house at the same time. We refer to these groups as "classes." They frequently run their own reunions.
We're also happy to see that when people relocating here eventually do find their own places, that they often form little households of their own with other alumni.
Does this sound right for you?