Apps and tools for a harmonious share house
Living with housemates? Make life easier with the help of connected technology.
Share houses are almost a right of passage for many Australians as they move out of home and into the workforce.
Whether you’re living with friends or strangers, housemates tend to fight about the same things.
Maybe nobody ever seems to do their fair share of cleaning, or only one person ever seems to care that the bills get paid on time (usually the person with their name on the lease).
Technology is here to help! These apps, gadgets and resources could potentially make your share house experience a little more harmonious.
Image credit: Splitwise on the Google Play store
Free for web, iPhone and Android, this application lets you track and manage household spending and bills. You can add your fellow residents in by name and then see at a glance who owes who how much.
The app even sends reminders when bills are overdue so that nobody has to be the bad guy!
Splitwise also has some fun calculators to help you figure out expenses if you’re travelling with a group and establish the amount a couch-surfer should be paying in return for your hospitality.
If a cleaner is not within the house’s collective budget, a chore managing app might be. Create tasks and allocate them to the various members of your household (so long as they all have iOS devices).
You can schedule chores to be done regularly and add reminders so that nobody ‘forgets’ to take out the garbage.
If there’s one job that everybody hates, set it to rotate so that you can all take turns.
Chorma offers rewards, based on the achievements of individuals as well as your house as a whole. You earn points as you go and then the app suggests a group dinner out or similar treats for everyone’s hard work.
Frustrated by the flatmate who always forgets their keys? Ask your agent if you can install a smart lock with a digital code. Even better, get hold of one that communicates via Bluetooth with your phone and do away with front door keys forever.
These locks have the added advantage of being able to track who is coming and going.
If need be, it’s possible to revoke access or change a code so that unwelcome ex-housemates can’t hang on to their digital key.
You can also issue a virtual key for that cleaner you all agreed was a much better idea than arguing over whose turn it is to scrub the shower.
Wi-fi vacuum cleaner
Take at least one chore off everybody’s list with a robot helper.
Several vacuum brands including Roomba and Dyson now offer ‘smart’ models that can be remotely controlled from your Android or iOS device. You can program your vacuum to come on at certain times and even choose which areas it covers.
These little guys are so loveable and they never complain about all the work they have to do!
They will very quickly become the most beloved member of your share house. Just make sure you keep the floor clear enough of obstacles so that your smart vacuum can get its busy little self to work.
Perfect for a full house, streaming providers such as Netflix allow for up to six devices per account can accommodate the streaming of two movies or more TV shows or movies at once, depending on your subscription and internet plan.
Each user can have their own profile, which will make personalised recommendations based on their viewing preferences.
With video streaming services, even if you only have one television, one laptop and one computer in the house, you’ll be more likely to catch what you want to watch, when you want to watch it.
Smart energy trackers
Often, the population of a share house would rather save money than spend it.
To do this, consider collectively investing in an electricity monitor that wirelessly transmits information to you from your electricity meter.
You can keep an eye on usage right down to the hour and figure out where you can cut back in order to save.
Devices and apps like the ones from efergy can help you to discover the amount of power you are using throughout the day.
Want more connected household tips? Check out The Connected Grown Household for a look at some services and gadgets that could make living with other adults a bit easier.