Living in a sharehouse is practically a rite of passage for Melburnians.
Going through your 20s in Melbourne means you’ve definitely lived through your fair share of sharehouses, or at least basked in the joyous and horrifying stories of your friends who have.
Some are started with a group of friends from uni; others are institutions you get accepted into via Fairy Floss. Some are mansions on the west side of Sydney Road; others are barely one bedroom in the heart of Carlton.
And whether you’ve moved on to better and brighter things or are slumming it in a subpar rental with five others, you can never forget your days of sharehouse living.
No two sharehouse experiences are the same, but there are a few universal ones we can all relate to – to help spark your memory, we’ve compiled a list of the most iconic sharehouses all renting Melburnians have lived in.
The peeling paint and Mt Franklin water bottle-cum-showerhead permeate your nightmares, but you always look back on it fondly (remember when you found that snake in the kettle?). No one in the house knew how to clean a toilet properly and your pantry consisted solely of goon, two minute noodles and dry crackers you bought nine months ago.
You definitely lied your way into this house, either to your prospective housemates or to yourself thinking you could realistically live without waste for a year. They were environmental heroes but you couldn’t keep up. Your signature move was disposing of your single-use coffee cups in the neighbour’s bin to avoid scrutiny.
Any room that could conceivably be a room in this house was rented out as one: three people on the lease, but seven under the roof. If you were lucky, all you had to worry about was being able to get in the bathroom once a day. Otherwise, your bedroom was the door-less living area. Or the study. Or the weird shed out the back.
The lease for this house started years before you got there and has been ongoing ever since, and while the tenants changed bi-monthly, the names on the lease remained the same. This place felt about as safe as a hostel but you loved meeting heaps of new people in a short amount of time.
You really thought you’d found your dream rental – your other housemates were great, the house had enough character without falling apart, it was close to everything you needed, except the toilet, which was out at the very back of the property. You didn’t think ten feet was far until you needed the bathroom at midnight in the middle of winter.
Whether you had a balcony above a shopfront, a flat roof on which to sit and ponder life below, or a front porch equipped with a comfy couch, you have the fondest memories of this house. You could sit there watching the world go past for hours. Sometimes you’d be out there alone, with a good book, but more often you’d be there with your housemates and a few too many bevvies.
The Party House
Even if you’ve never lived in this sharehouse, you’ve definitely been to it once or twice. Undoubtedly the best nights of your 20s were spent in this house. You spent these glorious nights talking to new friends in random pockets of the overgrown backyard, having a boogie on the makeshift living room dancefloor, or doing something cheeky in one of the bedrooms.
Keen on another fun read? Check out our piece on 36 things every Melburnian has said.
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