Swedish Shared Accommodation Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts for a Harmonious Living Environment

Discover the dos and don'ts of living with roommates in Sweden. Learn the cultural norms and etiquette for creating a harmonious shared living environment.

Swedish Shared Accommodation Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts for a Harmonious Living Environment
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Living with roommates in Sweden can be an exciting and cost-effective way to experience the Scandinavian lifestyle. Shared accommodation is particularly popular in cities like Stockholm, where the housing market can be both competitive and expensive. However, to ensure a harmonious living environment, it's important to understand and respect the cultural norms and etiquette specific to Swedish shared accommodation. In this blog post, we'll explore the dos and don'ts of living with roommates in Sweden and provide tips for creating a peaceful and enjoyable living experience.

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Respect personal space and boundaries

Swedes are known for their appreciation of personal space, both in public and private settings. When living in shared accommodation, it's crucial to respect your roommates' privacy and boundaries.

Do: Knock before entering a roommate's room and ask for permission to use their belongings. Be mindful of each other's personal space, even in common areas. Open communication from the start can help set clear boundaries.

Don't: Invade their personal space or take their possessions without permission. Respecting each other's privacy is essential for maintaining a positive living experience.

Maintain cleanliness and organization

Keeping common areas clean and organized is essential for maintaining a positive shared living environment in Sweden.

Do: Establish a cleaning schedule for all roommates to follow and do your part in maintaining the shared space. Regularly clean and organize your personal belongings.

Don't: Leave dirty dishes in the sink or clutter common areas with personal belongings. A clean living space promotes harmony and reduces conflicts among roommates.

Be mindful of noise levels

In Sweden, being considerate of noise levels is especially important in shared accommodation. Noise tolerance can vary from each individual to the next, so it's important to be aware of how much of a ruckus you're making and at what times during the day.

Do: Keep your music or TV volume at a reasonable level and try to avoid making excessive noise during early mornings and late evenings. Discuss noise preferences with your roommates upfront and keep your communication about it open and honest.

Don't: Host loud parties without informing your roommates or neighbors in advance. Avoid engaging in noisy activities during quiet hours or when others are trying to rest. Being considerate of others' needs is crucial for a harmonious living experience.

Communicate openly and respectfully

Good communication is the key to a harmonious living environment. Swedes appreciate honesty and directness, but always in a respectful manner.

Do: Discuss any issues or concerns openly with your roommates, and be willing to compromise. Address problems early and engage in active listening.

Don't: Ignore issues or engage in passive-aggressive behavior, as this can lead to tension and misunderstandings. Avoid making assumptions or jumping to conclusions without discussing the matter with your roommate first.

Share household responsibilities

In shared accommodation, it's important to divide household chores fairly among roommates. This ensures that everyone is contributing equally to their shared living environment, and that all roommates are held to the same standard of cleanliness and responsibility.

Do: Create a list of tasks and rotate responsibilities on a weekly or monthly basis. Be proactive in completing your share of the chores and offer help when needed.

Don't: Assume that someone else will take care of your share of the chores. Each roommate should contribute equally to maintain a fair living arrangement. Avoid taking on too much and becoming resentful, as this can create tension among roommates. Each roommate should contribute equally to maintain a fair living arrangement.

Be considerate of each other's schedules

Roommates in Sweden may have different work or study schedules, so it's important to be mindful of their routines.

Do: Coordinate schedules for using shared spaces, like the bathroom or kitchen, during peak hours. Keep track of important events or deadlines for each roommate and be respectful of their need for quiet or focused time.

Don't: Be inconsiderate by occupying shared spaces for extended periods when others need access. Avoid making loud noises or disrupting others during their work or study hours.

Build a sense of community

Fostering a sense of community within your shared accommodation can enhance your overall living experience in Sweden.

Do: Organize group activities, like cooking dinners, movie nights, or exploring local attractions together. Create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere within your shared living space.

Don't: Isolate yourself from your roommates or exclude others from group activities. Avoid creating cliques or fostering an unwelcoming environment, especially if you're living in shared accommodation with multiple roommates.

Respect cultural differences

Sweden is a diverse country with residents from various cultural backgrounds. Embrace this diversity and learn from one another. It is an opportunity for all the roommates to learn about new cultures and broaden their horizons, but it can also cause tension if not handled correctly.

Do: Be open to learning about your roommates' customs and traditions, and share your own cultural experiences. Celebrate each other's holidays and special occasions to create a multicultural living environment.

Don't: Disrespect or dismiss cultural differences, as this can lead to an uncomfortable living environment. Avoid imposing your own beliefs or traditions on others without considering their perspectives.

Manage financials responsibly

In shared accommodation, it's essential to manage shared expenses, such as rent and utilities, in a responsible and transparent manner. As a roommate, it is your responsibility to contribute to your shared accommodation financially in a manner that is fair and equal to all your roommates.

Do: Keep track of all shared expenses and make sure everyone contributes their fair share. Be proactive in addressing any discrepancies or issues with shared expenses.

Don't: Be late with your payments or expect your roommates to cover your share of the costs. Avoid keeping financial matters hidden or unclear, as this can lead to mistrust and resentment among roommates.

Be a good neighbor

Being a good neighbor is just as important as being a good roommate in Sweden. Respect the community you live in and contribute to a pleasant living environment.

Do: Be polite and friendly to your neighbors, and follow any rules or guidelines set by your building or neighborhood. Engage in community events and activities to foster a sense of belonging.

Don't: Engage in disruptive behavior that may negatively impact your neighbors or the community as a whole. Avoid neglecting your responsibilities as a neighbor, such as adhering to noise restrictions or maintaining a clean exterior.


By following these dos and don'ts, you can create a harmonious living environment in your shared accommodation in Sweden. Whether you're in Stockholm or any other city, respecting the cultural norms and etiquette of living with roommates in Sweden will ensure a positive and enjoyable experience for all. Remember, the key to successful co-living is communication, respect, and consideration for one another. Embrace these principles, and your shared accommodation experience in Sweden is sure to be a success.