How to deal with the problem of a messy and dirty roommate? What to do when your housemate does not clean the apartment
A dirty, messy, loud and inconsiderate roommate can be a pain to deal with. In fact, a nasty housemate can virtually ruin someone's time in college or ruin someone's stay in an otherwise luxurious apartment. Unclean, unkempt and messy housemates can even take your living space for granted and start leaving their stuff around yours. Let's learn how you can deal with a dirty roommate and get him or her to clean their own mess, without driving yourself mad.
1) Make a roster with your roommate
A roster is one of the most effective ways to deal with a dirty roommate. Make a list of all the cleaning tasks right from cleaning the shower to mopping your floorboards. Allocate tasks equally and share responsibility for the cleanliness of your room and house with your roomie. Assign particular days of the week for particular tasks and put down either yours or your roommate's name against each task. It may seem like a complicated thing to do in the beginning, but in the long run a roster is god sent. The advantage of having a roster in place is that it will put an end to the never ending bickering of 'who was supposed to do what'.
2) Plan a weekly cleanup of your apartment or house
If you are a freak when it comes to cleanliness and neatness in general, don't expect your dirty roommate to adhere to your high standards. However, you can stop the problem from going out of hand by planning a weekly cleanup exercise when you both can clean your apartment from head to toe on a weekend or any other day that you both are free on.
For example, if you both are generally free on Saturday morning, you and your roomie can don your cleaning gloves and arm yourself with mops and brushes to give your apartment a thorough cleaning. It may take an hour or two but it will leave your house spanking clean, smelling fresh and all set to withstand yet another grueling week.
3) Split common tasks with your housemate
"Why haven't the dishes been done?" Do you find yourself howling something like this at the top of your voice every morning when you step into the kitchen to make a nice hot homemade cappuccino? If you do, an easy way to deal with the situation is to immediately split a common task. For example if you and your roommate have common eating preferences, you both should cook together. While you are cooking, your roomie can start cleaning up. Cooking and doing the dishes were just an example. Look for every activity around the house that can be done together with your housemate and attack it as a team. Not only will it create less problems between the both of you, it is also a friendly team bonding exercise.
4) Take your roommate to one of your friend's 'cleaner' apartment
Do you have a friend whose apartment is always sparking clean and it feels like a treat to hang out at his/her place? If you do, you may want to take your dirty roommate along with you and show him/her how great it feels to live in a clean and tidy apartment. For all you know, your roomie may get a sudden pang of realization and become a person you never thought he/she would ever be – clean, neat and tidy.
5) Tell your roommate that you are looking for a new place and will be moving soon
Your roommate may very well be so accustomed to having you around, he/she may fret upon the thought of having to adjust with a new person all over again. A great way to cause panic in the mind of your roomie is to leave your laptop in their full view and have a real estate website open. When your roomie quizzes you about why you were going through rentals just say "I'm planning to move out. I want to live in a cleaner place"
The trick is not to directly blame them by saying "I'm moving because I don't want to stay with you" or something like that because that may lead to an angry outburst. Just make sure that it is not a knee jerk reaction, rather a planned and a subtle reminder and emphasize on the words "I want to live in a cleaner place" If your roommate is intelligent enough, he/she will get the message and will get their act together.
6) Are you a cleanliness freak? Tone down your own concept of cleanliness and hygiene
Under normal circumstances it would not be advisable to bring a chance in your very own concept of cleanliness. But the question is, are you taking it too far? Are you taking cleanliness a bit too seriously? Are you behaving like Monica from the TV show Friends? Are you fretting over cleanliness issues that normal people shouldn't be worried about? If you've been nodding all along, it may be advisable for you to step back and introspect upon your own concepts and definitions of the concept of what makes a clean apartment. And if you find that your definitions of hygiene and cleanliness are a bit too far fetched, maybe living without a roommate or housemate is the best way you can enjoy living, just the way you want.
7) Hit your roommate where it hurts most, not literally
If you have pulled all stops and tried all possible tactics to get your roommate to help you out in keeping your apartment clean but failed, it's time you played dirty too. Suppose your housemate is a music freak and the most important thing in the world is his collection of music CDs. When your roomie steps out of the house, hide a few of his favorite CDs. When he comes back and starts looking for them, simply say "Must have gotten lost under the piles of rubbish that's in the room. I've always been telling you to keep the room clean and clutter free" That should teach him a good lesson. And once he improves, you can slyly put the CDs below his bed or a place where he can find them later.
Hiding the CDs was just an example. Every person has a tender spot when it comes to behavior, hobbies and things that are special to them in one way or another. Find out your messy roommate's tender spot and hit it so that he/she comes back on track in keeping your apartment nice and clean.
8) Contact your real estate agent and ask them to intervene
The word from the mouth of a person of authority always less more stress than that of a layman. This is a simple rule of thumb practiced by managers all around the world. You too can use this principle and get your real estate agent to come and speak to your housemate personally to address the issue of cleanliness and the apparent mess that your housemate leaves all over the place.
This gentle warning from a person of authority can very well jolt your roommate into his/her sense as the fear of eviction will put an end to bad habits. Remember, you should do this only in dire circumstances when everything else you have done has failed because chances are that you and your roomie will have a cold war after he/she realizes that you've told on him/her. But hey, at least your apartment is clean!