Ellen, I was giving generalities about living/working conditions. For the record we are not in our 20s - we have children in their 20s!
One place we worked I did the lunch and dinner cooking. The kitchen was a disaster, filthy and unorganized (old bachelor), so I cleaned it and made it workable for me in the kitchen, added shelves and such. I did all the dishes and cleanup even from his breakfast - and he couldn't be bothered to put his egg shells in the compost bucket or his tea bag in the garbage, both of which were 2 feet away. I did it without complaining and kept making the space better for him. But he didn't like how I washed the dishes. Never a comment or complaint that the dishes were dirty (b/c they weren't), but b/c I chose to rinse the dishes differently than he would I was bad and wrong. (Although I'm pretty sure he never did any dishes, but waited until his hired girl came in once a week and had her do it.)
This is just an example of one of the stupid issues that you would never expect to happen, and yet does creep up when you share a space. Yes, everyone gives up privacy in a shared house. Is that a good thing? It can be, but if you share your home you have to be willing to do more than give up a single room.
Again I will speak in generalities, things we've encountered, NOT directed at you personally: Will you have space in your kitchen cupboards/refrigerator set aside for their personal things? If you have animals in the house is there furniture free of hair where they can be comfortable sitting? Is their room completely devoid of your stuff - things stuffed in the closet, books on the shelf, etc. so they can feel like it's their own space? If they wake or sleep at an earlier or later time than you personally is that fine (as long as the work is getting done, I mean)? Do you attend to your laundry quickly so the machines are available, or do you leave it in the machines and on the floor so they wonder if they need to do your wash first so they can then do their own? Are you comfortable with them cleaning up their own space in their own time, or will you demand that they dust and vacuum weekly?
I would encourage anyone with a large piece of land to consider selling or trading a piece of it to someone just starting out...we need more people on the land. There are many ways to make this a comfortable arrangement for everyone involved and a positive experience.
Judith, I agree. I think a work/trade for a piece of land that someone can call their own is a great idea. That sort of thing should be in writing, of course. Not asking for myself, but what if someone wanted to work for the land faster than 5 years, say put in 20 hours a week and get it "paid off" in a year (or whatever - I'm not doing the math right now
), is that an option for you? One place we worked at mentioned they were willing to do a work trade for a couple of their acres, but honestly it was the worst section of their property. I know permaculture design would have fixed a lot of the problems, but they wouldn't have solved personality issues.
Anyway - I do think it's wonderful that there are so many people wanting to give others an opportunity to get started. But if you can't find the right person to live with then perhaps you