Dealing With Messy Roommates
Around 80 million adults live in a shared household with a friend, family member, or even a person they never met before moving in together. Having roommates has pluses and minuses. Paying less in rent and utilities is a bonus for many people.
However, a downside to sharing an apartment with another person is that your roommate might not have the same cleaning standards. If you're a clean freak and live with someone who isn't, it can be hard to figure out how to deal with messy roommates.
This guide will discuss the best ways to navigate a messy roommate carefully. We'll also go over how to organize chores with roommates.
Talk About What's Making You Uncomfortable
Before diving into setting rules and making a household chore list, you should first sit down and talk to your roommate about what's distressing you. Clear communication that isn't accusatory is critical during this part. Your roommate might be going through a difficult time, which resulted in them slacking on household chores.
Arrange a confrontational conversation where you talk about the cleanliness of your apartment. A discussion might be all it takes to remedy the situation. However, if your roommate continues to be messy, you might need to explore putting some rules into place.
Your Room Should Be Your Own Space
A common mistake people make is by going too far when attempting to alter the cleaning habits of another person. You can't tell someone how to clean their bedroom. How you and your roommates each clean your private areas is at your discretion.
However, if your roommate's cleaning habits result in other problems like a pest or rodent infestation, then you can have some control over their room. Until that time, it's a good idea to keep your boundaries intact.
Create Ground Rules for Common Spaces
It's reasonable to expect a certain amount of cleanliness in common areas in your apartment. These areas can include:
- Living room
- Shared bathrooms
- Laundry rooms (if applicable)
One way to ensure they stay clean is to clean up after yourself. You can enact an eight-hour time limit on dirty dishes. For example, if you cook yourself breakfast, you should wash your dishes by dinnertime.
Keep in mind that not every person was raised the same way. They might not know how to keep an apartment cleaned. You can organize specific days where you clean up your apartment together.
Cleaning with your roommate will teach them invaluable skills that they might not know already. It also will show you that they're cleaning and not leaving everything for you to do. It'll also decrease the amount of time you both spend cleaning.
Implement a Household Chore List
Sit down with your roommate and develop a list of chores that need to happen weekly and daily. Your chore list could include some of the following tasks:
- Wipe down all the countertops
- Clean the bathroom
- Take out the trash
- Sweep and mop the floors
You and your roommate can determine which chores need to happen more frequently based on the cleanliness of your apartment. Assign the chores to one another and make sure you rotate the chores. You don't want the same person to get stuck cleaning the bathroom every week.
A rotating chore schedule is a great way to ensure no one feels resentful toward the other person. Each roommate knows what they're responsible for each day and week. Having a schedule that everyone sticks to will help your apartment stay clutter-free and clean.
Minimize Clutter With Storage Areas
While some apartments might come with ample storage, there are always tons of ways to cut down on your clutter and store your belongings. Install a shoe shelf and bench if seeing shoes piled up next to your front door frustrates you. That'll encourage people to sit down and put their shoes away as soon as they walk in the door.
Some apartments don't include an entryway closet. You can put a coat rack or hooks on the wall. You and your roommate can hang up your jacket as soon as you get home.
Dual-purpose pieces of furniture are another great way to add storage to an apartment. Look for coffee tables and ottomans that you can put in your living room. You can also organize bath products in the shower with a shower caddie.
Decreasing the amount of clutter you see in your apartment will result in a cleaner and minimalist feeling space. It can also encourage your messy roommate to become neater.
What to Do in Cases of Extreme Uncleanliness
You might have done everything you can to work with your messy roommate to no avail. Your roommate might also suffer from extreme uncleanliness, like letting mold grow in their room or refusing to shower. In these types of situations, it's challenging to attempt to change your roommate's behavior.
If you're in an unfortunate situation like that, you could explore moving out. You could also discuss with your roommate about them leaving the apartment as well. It's not healthy for you to live in a place where you don't feel relaxed.
As we talked about before, having an open conversation with your roommate is essential. Expressing your concerns in a non-hostile way will hopefully remedy the situation. No matter your final decision, give your roommate enough time to adapt to the change in circumstances.
Learn How to Deal With Messy Roommates
It can be challenging learning how to deal with messy roommates, but it's a situation many adults find themselves in at some point. Knowing the best tactics to employ and the tone to take when dealing with the cleanliness of another person is essential to ensuring a happy outcome for you both. Try to always talk to potential roommates about these kinds of issues.