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Capt_Bloth's avatar

Has anybody shared one bathroom between four people?

Asked by Capt_Bloth (2703points) September 19th, 2010 from iPhone

My girlfriend and I are trying to rent out our second room. The only person interested wants to move in with her boyfriend. they have offered to pay more, and the space is large enough, my only concern is that we only have one bathroom. Has anyone done this before? How did it go? Would you recommend that we try it?

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21 Answers

squirbel's avatar

Um, yeah – tons of families do this all the time! :D

What’s most important is to set up rules. Very. Important.

- Set up cleaning rotations, have the bathroom cleaned every other day. Use a written calendar.

- Have everyone keep their toiletries out of the bathroom. Use individual baskets. Take the baskets to your room. This keeps clutter and goop out of the bathroom.

- Have rules about who purchases soap/toilet paper/cleaning supplies, or just rotate.

- Have a rule that when you wash your body, you wash the tub. This prevents caked on dirt. Anyone who doesn’t follow this rule has to pay a fee of 5 dollars [or whatever is appropriate].

People tend to respond well to rules, especially renters. Include these rules as a clause in the rental agreement.

Oh, and I hope you are writing up a rental agreement. You could enter a crapstorm if something bad happens. Have it notarized. :)

lilikoi's avatar

Yes, I’ve lived in a college dorm before. No, I don’t recommend it.

GracieT's avatar

I did, in college. It was with three other girls, and it was a TINY bathroom in a dorm. Our room was a small bathroom, a tiny living-room, and a small bedroom with two bunk-beds. It really wasn’t that bad, because we had different schedules. But I moved off campus the second year! :o)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Yes, but only with family members or in a college dorm. The secret to success might be in comparing work schedules. If everyone needs to get ready for work at the same time, then a schedule may need to be worked out. Include some rules like anything that can be accomplished in the bedroom gets done there, e.g. hair, make-up.

Have an open discussion on etiquette rules: lid/seat up or down, flushing in the middle of the night, cleaning the bath/shower after use, etc. Agree as a group on what the general rules should be.

krose1223's avatar

5 girls and 1 boy in my family growing up, all assigned to the same bathroom. AHHHH! Shower schedules were really the only thing that ever conflicted. All the girls could usually put makeup on and fix hair in our bedrooms. Believe it or not, my brother was the mirror hog! Definitely make sure everyone pitches in on the cleaning. You can buy that spray stuff that you squirt on after every shower… For some reason that just makes the bathroom feel more clean to me. like @Pied_Pfeffer said you might want some ground rules. I don’t see it being a huge problem… As long as you all get along and have open communication.

john65pennington's avatar

Making a bathroom schedule is imperative. everyone must abide by that schedule. just make sure your hot water heater is big enough to accomodate everyone with hot water, if baths are needed to be taken close together.

Capt_Bloth's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer finding out their schedules is a good idea, it’s our next step, if we decide that we want to rent to them.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Uh yeah. Alot of people do that. Not everyone is rich and can afford 4 bathrooms in a house. People are spoiled and think that they need things that they don’t. People use to use outhouses for crying out loud.

Capt_Bloth's avatar

@Mikewlf337 yes, I am aware that not everyone has four bathrooms, I don’t think most families do. I’ve never had experience sharing a bathroom with more than two other people. I’m looking for helpful advice on a question and answer site, not pointless bitching, but thank you for your input.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Yes. It was hell.

Frenchfry's avatar

I have. One secret it to buy one of the storage drawer things for your toileteries for your room.. Shampoo and conditioner, soaps, deoderant. razors and such. Each take a turn to clean the bathroom. It worked fine for us. Our schedules worked out fine. No conflicts though.

Pandora's avatar

LOL, I came from a family of 7. We only had one bathroom growing up. It can totally work. We all managed to survive without anyone crapping on themselves. Only problem is there will be times when a person has to go in a hurry and someone is in the shower. Best suggestion about that is have people go in and use the toilet before you go in. We would always announce who was going to shower next so people had time to go.
Also, everyone should take turns cleaning the bathroom every other day. (this deletes the argument about who left what dirty) If everyone is made to clean to the same standard they will be less likely to leave a mess. And should clean up after themselves. That will probably be the biggest arguement. It should be made clear what is considered a clean bathroom.
Make sure you have a plunger ready and one should never flush and simply walk out without checking to make sure the toilet isn’t clog. (nothing worse than finding someone elses floater)
Leave a check list in the bathroom for people to inspect on their way out of using the bathroom.
(Soaps put away, shower curtain closed, toilet flushed, toothpaste caps on, toothbrushes put away, hair items and makeup and blowdryers all put away, towels hanging up, dirty laundry put away, counters clear of unnecessary stuff, toilet roll replaced if the prior toilet paper is empty. Put it near the mirror. Most people stop at the mirror before leaving to at least wash their hands or check their make up or hair.
Actually, I also suggest hair and make up be done in the bedrooms. That will clear up a lot of time. We also had a shower limit of 15 minutes. And we tried to never wait till the last minute to use the bathroom.
(have air freshener available at all times)

Capt_Bloth's avatar

Thanks for the advice everyone. We’ve decided to offer them the room on a month to month basis, that way we can see how it goes.

Disc2021's avatar

It’s not bad unless the people are slobs, then that’s a problem.

It goes the other way around too, you can’t leave your mess around and expect everyone else to clean up theirs.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes. I’ve lived in a San Francisco victorian with 3 other roomies and only 1 very teensy bathroom. It had no tub and the water pressure in the shower was such that a plastic bucket stayed in there to be filled for the real washing.

We all made it work for about a year like this:
Each person had a basket, bucket or caddy of their toiletries they’d walk in with and then carry out, towels too. An agreement was made to hang shower curtains around to give visual privacy so any of the others could walk in and use the toilet or sink. There was a specific fund for toilet paper, babywipes, scrubbing sponges and cleansers. Shaving legs was done in a large plastic tub on the back patio and we allowed face shaving and tooth brushing at the kitchen sink so long as all was kept cleaned up and not done while someone else was cooking or had clean dishes out.

BarnacleBill's avatar

At one point, we had 5 people over the age of 18 sharing one bathroom. People like taking a long time in the bathroom; few really need a long time in the bathroom.

It needs discussion about timing but it works okay if everyone agrees. If everyone needs to leave at the same time, The first one up gets the shower. Morning showers are “business” showers, short and to the point. Brushing teeth, shaving… people can and do get in and out of the bathroom in 10 -15 minutes or less. Make-up and hair fixing needs to take place in the bedroom. Lengthy showers can happen in the evening. Each person wipes down the sink and shower after themselves.

bea2345's avatar

Depends upon the quality of the accommodations: if the bathroom is properly equipped and well maintained – then sharing should not be a problem once some rules are laid down – like in the UK, where 6 of us shared a shower stall and a bathtub, the rule was, leave the place clean after each use, that sort of thing. It is when the plumbing is not working well, or the supply of water and heating unreliable, that things can become a little fraught.

casheroo's avatar

I grew up with one bathroom. It worked fine for my family, and we even had a roommate (friend of my brother) move in so that was five of us (three teens, two adults) Never an issue.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have lived in various arrangements where the bathroom is shared with anywhere from 3 to 5 people. It works well with people who are mature and responsible, it does not work with people who are inconsiderate.

My son brought home a woman who is now his wife, and she is a complete slob. It turned out to be impossible to have her living in my house.

jerv's avatar

I’ve lived with 350+ guys sharing a four-stall, six-shower head, but the most I’ve ever had to live with that had a normal bathroom (one toilet, one shower) is five people.

Trust me, you can have a lot of people sharing a bathroom, but it takes a bit of teamwork and common courtesy. For instance, if you need to drop a deuce, do not take 20 minutes to do it. And if you need to take a shower, make sure nobody else needs to file any paperwork in the Oval Office before monopolizing the bathroom for a prolonged period.

NaturallyMe's avatar

Yes, and it doesn’t work for me AT ALL. Not even if there are only 2 people living in the house. Sometimes you just need the loo seriously while someone else is busy on it…it’s just not fun.
My friend in the UK shared a rented place with 1 or 2 other people, and it was a huge issue about cleaning the bathroom – she always had to do it, and always got a dirty/wet loo seat or floor when she wanted to use it. So as suggested, rules will be very important.

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