I've been living in share houses more or less since I left the nest, many moons ago. Since then I've lived in about six different share houses around the world. For reasons I can't explain and didn't plan, the majority of those have been with mostly, if not all, male housemates.
For the most part, I've been super lucky and remain good friends with many of these people who started off as strangers. Even so, now that I've moved into a household of all females for the first time ever, I can truly tell you it's the best decision I've ever made.
Let me start by saying that I truly hate to stereotype and I am fully aware this doesn't apply to all guys and can, in fact, apply to some females. Yet, from careful observation over the last 10-ish years I can tell you honestly that I have never lived in a house that was as effortlessly clean as my current all-female one.
Why is this? Because we all pitch in. We take turns with a weekly clean, but to be honest, all that's left to do at that point is a sweep and mop because we all tidy up after ourselves. If we cook, we wash up and wipe down tables. If we do laundry, we hang it up and put it away. If we have friends over we'll clean up after them the next morning. It's truly that easy.
Compare that to my predominantly male households where they were leaving dirty dishes in the sink for days (even in the houses that had a dishwasher). They'd leave pans full of food sitting on the stove overnight or longer. I can count on one hand the number of times I saw them sweep, vacuum or mop, and most of those times were because I got fed up and literally begged them to help me.
I still remember the fateful time in one particular Canadian house where I lived with four guys — all of whom are people I very much still consider my friends — when I went home to Australia for two weeks over Christmas. I had left the house spotless and asked that they do what they want but please tidy up before I get home. Let's just say that when I did get back home I could have fed a small nation of people with the amount of stuff I swept up off the kitchen and lounge room floors.
I genuinely tried everything to get everyone to pitch in, from just asking, to creating a chore wheel, to getting really passive aggressive and collecting their dirty dishes to leave right in front of their bedroom doors. Nothing worked.
To me, this tidy change is reason alone to live with all-ladies, but I've noticed a few more. Periods are an actual breeze now — you'll never be stuck with a surprise period and no sanitary items ever again. You're also about 80% more likely to have a housemate buy you sympathy chocolate.
There's also the fact that I'm now totally comfortable to walk around the house in my underwear or just cover up with a towel after the shower without feeling self-conscious. Don't get me wrong, if you're happy doing that anyway you should absolutely go for it — I just know I'm not alone in feeling too uncomfortable to cross that line with housemates of the opposite gender. Let's be honest here, being able to walk around the house as close to naked as possible is absolutely the dream.
This final reason might just be because my female housemates, in particular, are super organised, but let me just tell you that so far they have literally every random thing I've asked for. Sticky tape? Yup. Spare pens and markers? Yup. Screwdriver set? Yup. Spare bags for grocery shopping? In abundance. You name it, they've already thought of it and it makes my life so easy. This can't even be put down to them having lived in the house for longer either, because that's not true.
If I had known all this back in my uni days, I absolutely would have considered an all-female on-campus living option like the one at Grace College. That's even before I factored in that they provide you with three square meals a day, a gym and entertainment area and even wash your sheets for you.
Just saying, that sounds a million times nicer than the small messy hovel I rented a room in after high school.