How to Handle Messy Roommates


Growing up, my mom always drove me nuts with her (what I considered) obsessive cleaning. She’s a very thorough woman and I assumed she was simply Type A and I wasn’t because it didn’t matter so much to me. However, that all changed when I became the ruler of my own domain. Now, one of my biggest pet peeves is coming home to a mess…whether it’s clutter or dirt, they’re both equal offenses in my book. So Mom, you finally rubbed off on me, and now comes the challenge: how to deal with others who might be less tidy than myself.

After a bit of research, I’ve come to the conclusion that these are the best methods for handling the offending parties-

Compromise With Your Roommates If you feel it’s necessary to have a clean kitchen, but nobody else is cleaning it, offer to tackle the responsibility of that area for a chore or task in return. This way you clean to your own standards without feeling completely slighted on the responsibility end. Also understand that their bedrooms are not necessarily a topic of discussion (you wouldn’t want someone else telling you how to manage your personal space) unless there’s a health hazard.

Be Diplomatic Like with all confrontation situations, it’s best to be diplomatic and try not to ruffle feathers. Make sure when you bring up the offense, you aren’t using language that sounds like you’re accusing your roommate. That will cause hurt feelings or make the situation more volatile and harder to smooth over. Try explaining ways you’d like to keep the apartment cleaner. Avoid using the word “you” when pointing out offenses and be as mature and conscientious as possible. Another thing to keep in mind is that it’s better to have these conversations face-to-face and not over text message. It will come across less passive-aggressive and more genuine. You do live with these people and it’s probably best to keep the peace and be considerate while you get your point across.

Don’t Let it Make You Bitter When you’re habitually frustrated by someone’s habits, it can easily cause a rift in your friendship. Try to understand that your roommate’s habits are not necessarily something they realize they’re doing and it has little to do with your initial chemistry. You also don’t want to add extra stress to your plate by being upset every time you come home to your apartment, which should be your personal safe haven. So take a deep breath, and try to remain calm!