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What to Know When Living at Nottingham!

How to Use and Take Care of Cast Iron

In the Nottingham kitchen, you will find several cast iron pans. Cast iron pans require different care than regular metal pans. It is important that you know how to use cast iron before you use it. 

Video 1: How to clean a CAST IRON PAN after cooking

Video 2: How to Cook with Cast Iron 

Aaah! I saw a mouse in my room! What do I do?

We occasionally find mice in the house and once in a while they do wander into people's rooms. Mousetraps are available on the third floor in the supplies closet.


How to use a mousetrap:


1. Put a bit of peanut butter in the circular enclave.

2. Find a good location for the mousetrap. Mice like to run along walls and in other cramped areas. Your closet may be a good option. Do not put the mousetrap somewhere where you may step on it.

3. Place the trap on the ground and carefully set the mousetrap by pulling back the lever. Be very careful to keep your fingers away from the blue pressure plate.

Mice may be especially attracted to your room if you have things in there that they can eat. If you regularly have open containers of food or snacks in your room, they are more likely to visit you. 

If you like the smell of peppermint, you can dab Peppermint Essential Oil around your room (and particularly around the bottom of your door) once a week to help prevent mice because they do not like the smell. 

Aaah! I saw a bat in my room! What do I do?

Bats are generally harmless, but they can carry rabies, so it is important that bats do not linger in rooms where people sleep.

How to get a bat out of your room:

  • If you don't know where the bat is, go around the room making noise. Bats will make a very very high-pitched noise. If that does not work, try playing "anti-bat" sounds by going to YouTube. The bat will likely start to fly around or start making noise, so you can find the bat.

  • Try to get the bat to fly onto a horizontal surface and use a plastic or cardboard container to trap them. Bats CANNOT take flight from a horizontal surface like the ground.

  • Consider avoiding the need to use a net to catch the bat because the net can damage the bat's fragile wings. We love bats because they eat mosquitos. We don't want to hurt them.

  • Ask other house members for help if you need assistance. Text the group chat if you can't find anyone.

How to Drain the Heater in my room?

If the space heater in your room is not working, it is likely because you will need to drain it. On the right side, you will find a metal piece with an enclave for a screw. Unscrew it and water will come out through a small hole facing you. Be ready for the water. It might help to ask another member to catch the water with a pot. once water has drained for 2 minutes or until the water runs clear (whichever comes second), turn the screw the other way to stop the water. If this does not fix your heater, please let one of the maintenance coordinators know.

What's up with the purple and white hand towels?

The white towels are for regular cleaning and the purple are for hands only. Do not ever wash them together.


I have a bike and want to bike around town!

Many residents of Nottingham enjoy biking. Make sure you put in a 48-hour notice for your bike space! Here is a map of bikeable areas based on how stressful it is to bike there. 

I want to swim in Lake Mendota (or Lake Monona)!

Before you go swimming, check to make sure the beach is open and free of dangerous bacteria.

Safety & Precautionary Resources

Fire Safety

Be mindful of any open flames, items that heat up, adding too many electronics to an extension cord, and fabric or flamable items on or near your room heater. All of these things could potentially lead to a fire. Smoke and CO2 detectors should be checked monthly. It wasn't too long ago that a different local cooperative (Lothlorian) had a fire that cost $800,000 in repair. In addition, please make note of the location of fire extinguishers upon moving in.

Electrical Safety


DO NOT perform any electrical wiring work on the house (in your room or otherwise) if you are not an electrician.

NEVER plug a portable heater, portable air conditioner, minifridge, microwave, or other large appliance into an extension cord, surge protector, or power strip. 

Please be mindful of the electric devices you use. For example, some large appliances (such as minifridges) require a dedicated outlet to work safely.

In addition, extension cords are often not a good option because they overheat - if you do use an extension cord, it is best to unplug it when you have your door locked or will be away for more than 30 minutes. Surge protectors are the best option for prevention fires, power strips are the second-best option. It is ideal to use a power strip or surge protector that will turn off when it has been overloaded. It should also be noted that surge protectors will protect your electronics from damage if there is a spike in electrical output (this can be caused by lightning, power outages, tripped circuit breakers, etc.)

To learn to use extension cords safely by looking at Amps watch this video: "Is it safe to plug power bars into power bars?"

*TRIGGER WARNING: The person in this video uses the "R-Word" BEFORE the time stamp I started the video at, so if you do not rewind, you will not hear the word. Unfortunately, I could not find another video that explains the subject half as well as this video does. 



There are no known mold problems at Nottingham. Mold infestations can usually be seen or smelled. Often, mold problems are found when individuals experience symptoms, and no one living at Nottingham has experienced any symptoms that would lead us to believe there is a mold problem. We want to keep it this way, so please do your part to keep the house safe from mold.


How you can do your part:

  • A common cause of mold creation is too much indoor humidity in the winter. If you use a humidifier in the winter, please make sure your room is at or less than 60% humidity (ideal humidity to prevent mold is between 30% and 50%). Do not run your humidifier overnight unless it is on a timer.

  • If you do use a humidifier often, REGULARLY check your room for condensation on the walls and keep an eye out for paint bubbles. Paint bubbles will form when there is too much humidity and water gets into the wall and creates a bubble in the paint. Paint bubbles are more likely to form in places where something (especially something soft like pillows or clothes) are touching the wall. Paint bubbles must be dealt with immediately.

  • Turn on the fan(s) in the bathroom after you shower or use the sauna.

  • Report any leaky pipes, windows, or ceilings to one of the maintenance coordinators.


5 Tips For Mold Prevention In The Winter

If you plan to run a humidifier in your room in the winter, you may benefit from a humidity gauge that keeps track of the current humidity as well as the "high" and "low" humidity in your room. This is especially true if you want your humidifier to run overnight or while you are not present. In addition, there are humidifiers you can buy that allow you to program them to turn off at a certain humidity level - such humidifiers can sometimes also be found used on resale websites like LetGo and the Facebook Marketplace. Another option is to have your humidifier on a timer or plugged into a timer outlet.

Renter's Insurance


Low Income Resources

Is there a way to file my taxes for free? Like, actually FREE?

There is a way to actually file your taxes for free online - not pretend "Free" like Turbo Tax. Click this link to the IRS Website to find which Free File option suits you best. The option through TaxAct is suitable for most individuals. 


I am disabled and I need help applying for SSI, State Foodshare, or Medicaid.

We recommend contacting the Aging and Disability Resource Center. The people there are great advocates for the people they serve. Visit their website here.


I need assistance acquiring food.

Here is a list of resources that benefit low-income people in Dane County.

Get Involved with the Madison Community

This part is in progress!

  • Social Justice Center

  • Urban Triage

  • Freedom Inc.

  • Tenant Resource Center

  • The Chazen

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