Shared Values

Every Collective House has a different personality!

The character of a house is determined in part by people, and in part by the systems in place to help the house function smoothly.

House personality:

  • how clean you keep it
  • whether you eat together daily
  • how many parties you like to have
  • how many kids live in the house

Values

It is important that our houses are aligned with our personal values. Values determine what we think is right and wrong, what we perceive to be the best course of action. Sometimes our values are invisible to us, and just seem like “common sense.” But what is common for you may seem strange to me, so being clear about your personal values is a good starting point for agreements that you will enter into with housemates about shared house values.

If you agree about some basics as a house, there is a way better chance that you will all be able to live together in harmony See the page on Forming a Collective House for an overview of some basic questions.

This is not to say that everyone in a house needs to be the same, or share exactly the same value set, but houses are suited to different passions and interests. A house that values diversity and difference would be very different from a house where everyone is living there while studying organic farming for example. A house that values daily expressions of creativity might not have a TV in common space 24/7.

Agreements

Agreeing on values can be a starting point for making agreements that residents agree to live by. For example:

  • We value local food, so in practice we agree to always purchase vegetables that are grown as close to home as possible, even if they may be more expensive.
  • We value frugality and currently live on a tight budget, so in practice we agree to be available to process vegetables if we discover them for sale or salvage but they need to be used immediately.

[more on Norms and Agreements around Common Spaces… coming soon]

Check out these inspiring and varied examples of Shared Values in collective houses:

SHARED VALUES at the BEEHIVE COLLECTIVE HOUSE

SHARED VALUES at CHERRY TREE FORT

SHARED VALUES at FLETCHER COLLECTIVE

SHARED VALUES at TECHNICOLOR TREE TRIBE

(if you would like to see your houses’ Shared Values listed here please CONTACT US)

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Published on January 30, 2011 at 7:25 pm  Comments Off on Shared Values