being a lodger: working and sleeping in one room?

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======= Date Modified 08 05 2009 11:05:30 =======
Hello all you beautiful forum people.

It looks very much as if I will shortly be moving out of my one bedroomed flat, with seperate kitchen and roomy living room ,and into lodgings, ie a bedroom and the usual shared areas. Just wondering how people manage working and sleeping in the same room? My bedroom is sacred place and as a result I never have any trouble with sleep, will this go down the pan if I become a lodger?

I used to work in my bedroom during my undergraduate days, but that was so much less intense than a PhD. So I would really appreciate knowing how people manage it, do you find other places to work? Or just get with it in your room? I'm part-time so I don't have an office. I'll also still be an hour and a half away from my department, although only half an hour, or less, from the unis I work at.

I'm going to so do some work now, but, nevertheless, hope for your pearls of wisdom, and wait with baited breath.


hi there

i live in a hall of residence and hence, jump out of bed to hit the wall.

I have never lived in anything except one room ever since I left home at 19, so all I can say is, you'll get used to it. My responses wont be useful as your point really is about making the transtition from independent living in a flat to independent living in a room, and I have only done the latter :-)

i work at school and hardly ever work at home, also I get very depressed lol if I am alone and there's nobody around so i hardly spend any time inside the room except to crash and sleep!


Hi Eska

I live 3 hours away from my uni, but visit there regularly and have taken a room near the campus so that I have somewhere of my own to stay in. In normal life I live in a nice house. Like Bug, I only crash in my room - it is difficult working and living in the one room. And spending too much time in one room would send me spare, I'd go nuts. If your lodgings has other places you can sit and work - in the kitchen or a communal lounge room, you'd manage, but if you're going to be confined to a room, and are used to a bit of space, it could be difficult. Any chance you could get a permanant desk at uni? Do you really need to give up your flat?


Hi Eska

I've never gone from flat to single room, but I have done quite a bit of both. It's a tough one to decide on, as everyone is different. I find that after spending hours and hours working in my room, it's possible to switch off (as mush as usual anyway ;-)) by deciding when to finish work exactly and when you're done, put all your notes etc away in a box or something, easily accessible for the next day but still out of sight. Then open the windows, go for a walk or watch a movie, something that gets you out of the room for a while so you can wind down. Then when u go back to go to bed, its fresh and your work isn't the last thing you see at night and first thing in the morning. But I would definitely say use a desk if you can, don't work on the bed or you'll never get a good nights sleep again! Hope that helps!


I'm doing my MSc and still living with my parents, I don't have a separate study so work in my bedroom. I have quite a big room though so have space for a little workstation. I'm used to it really having just done my UG this way, but I don't think I'd be able to do a PhD whilst living at home, as 'quiet time' is limited. I find that I can work ok in my room as long as I'm not too tired (so no temptation to lie down for 10 mins!), and that I am working during the times when I'm most productive.

I also work quite a lot at university, I'm there 2 days a week so work in the silent areas in the library, would this be a possibility for you? Or is there a public library with a quiet area where you could go?

As others have said, keeping everything really tidy helps so you can put your work away when you finish for the day. I think whether or not you will have trouble sleeping depends on your sleeping patterns, I've never had trouble sleeping but then I don't get a lot of sleep so I'm normally exhausted by the time I go to bed!


Hi Eska,

My boyfriend and I moved out of our beautiful 2 bed semi last month (just as I was starting my PhD) and moved back in with my parents. We had to make the move due to my boyfriend being made redundant :-(

The 2 of us are sleeping and living in our bedroom which works out fine. It can be tough at times but we're coping.

I have an office at uni but I have a 2 hour bus trip to get there and feel that the 2 hours there and back are just a complete waste of my time - i therefore do most of my work at home. This will be changing soon though as I will be heading into the lab to start on that side of my project.

Good luck with everything Eska - I'm sure you'll get on fine :-)


Hi - I have a study at the moment but am expecting twins and my study will become their bedroom. I am hoping that I will be able to work in my bedroom as everywhere else in our flat is too full of kids' stuff. I haven't started yet though but you are not alone!


We have a one bed flat so I work in the bedroom and the rest of the flat is 'non-work' space. The important thing is making that distinction so I suppose that wil depend for you on how much you want to spend time in shared space. Do you know the people you'll be living with? I find it ok but it's a rather different situation living with a partner rather than housemates obviously! Only advice is to be careful about the paper that gets everywhere... I always feel a bit bad when my fiancé has to move piles of Latin poetry in order to go to bed! :-)


I currently live in a 6 bedroom house with my partner, and five highly irritating flatmates. It's how I manage to afford holidays. It is impossible for me to work there, but since I have an office at uni it's ok. When I was on fieldwork though I shared a house with three others and managed to do some work in the house, and at other times I went to the local library and worked in there. It wasn't too bad doing that. In fact I probably got more work done than I do now!

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Hello everyone, thank you for sharing your stories and offering support. I'm thinking that maybe I will be ok, I basically have to be because I can't afford the flat any more, and it's too far from work and my PhD department. There is a postgraduates' room which is always quiet at one of my teaching unis so maybe I could try and gatecrash that. Like Slowmo said, maybe it will work well for me to go somewhere especially for the purpose of studying. Anyhow, I really appreciate your responses, and would like to see if some more comments come in; it is always useful to see how other people deal with things.



I am a lodger, and like you, have to work in my sleeping space (which i am very against, but have no choice about at the moment). Some days, it's fine, and I love the fact that I can cook meals and not fully get dressed if I don't feel like it. But other days, I find the situation makes me very unproductive just because it's so casual. I try to make myself go out to work elsewhere, but I'm finding it very hard to be motivated to do so. However, I think that I really must do this and make a routine of it, like say go work at a cafe or library 2-3 days a week and work in my room the other days. I am still working this out. Sorry, this is such a helpful post....but that's been my experience so far.

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Thanks LKL! Do you sspend much time in the communal areas etc?