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Helpful etiquette guidelines for people living in shared environments

Helpful etiquette guidelines for people living in shared environments

CSU students in dorm
CSU students in dorm. image via:

Picture this: a person is trying to get a good night’s rest in their dormitory room because they have a massive exam the next day. Suddenly, they are awoken by the sound of blaring speakers coming from a few rooms down.

This is always an annoying situation when it happens, but thankfully it’s occurrence can be minimised.

It’s hard being the perfect dorm-mate but there are a few quick tips that can help make life easier for everyone in the dormitory and boost a persons’ reputation amongst potential dormmates.

Noise Control

The ten-to-ten rule (No noise between 10pm and 10am) applies across university dorm rooms either officially or unofficially. Feel free to make as much noise as desired during the day but adhere to the ten-to-ten rule to help fellow neighbours. A good note is to also calm things down during examination periods, even during the day.


Some people in a dormitory like to keep their shower products in the bathroom as it’s convenient and easy. There is an unspoken rule of trust in dormitory bathrooms, do not touch other people’s stuff.

There is nothing more annoying than going to have a shower and discovering that you have barely any shampoo or conditioner left or the feeling of fear that occurs when a person sees their toothbrush in a different spot to where they left it.


Kitchens have more leniency when it comes to property. If people store their cooking utensils within a dormitory kitchen then it must be understood their utensils may be used by other people.

Usually, most people are alright with their cooking utensils being used as long as they are cleaned up and put away afterwards. There is nothing worse than going in hoping to cook some pasta to find your pot filled with mince that you did not cook, sitting in the sink. As an extra; if a person accidentally breaks someone else’s cooking utensil the best and most trouble-free option is to fess up and buy a replacement.

Note: Although cooking utensils are usually free to use within reason, never touch another person’s food without asking.


Laundry rooms are busy places and so the etiquette surrounding laundry rooms accommodates for this. Always bring a basket or a bag to put your laundry in, and leave it with your items in the washing machine or dryer; this is to help people identify that a machine is in use as well as a safe, clean storage space in case your clothing needs to be moved.

There are limited machines in laundry rooms and it is very common that all washing machines and dryers may be in use at a single time. Because of this people using the laundry rooms need to be understanding that they cannot leave their items in a machine for hours on end.

In addition to this, it is better to be accepting and understanding that if a laundry room is crowded, and a machine has finished with clothes inside, people will move the clothing into the owners respective basket or bag so that they can begin washing their clothes; and there is nothing wrong with this as long as it is done with care.

Avoid putting someone else’s clothes in the dryer if they need to be moved, people may potentially wish to hang their clothing out on the lines to dry. There is nothing worse to find a special piece of clothing destroyed because someone put it into a dryer when it wasn’t supposed to.

Face-to-face interaction

Keeping up the polite etiquette regarding shared bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms will not mean much if someone avoids interacting nicely with their dorm-mates.

Always say hello when passing each other in the halls as it’s a great habit to get into! Plus, you might be saying hello to one of your next best friends.

This is an SSAF funded initiative
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