Confronting a Messy Roommate


What do you do? How do you bring it up? Do you already have rules in place? Is this a reoccurring problem? Let’s help you walk through and it and find a solution.

3 important things to remember:

  1. People aren’t mind readers. Your roommate won’t know what you expect or need if you don’t tell them. So even if you think you’ve made it clear what you expect your roommate to do around the house, chances are you haven’t. Talk about it!
  2. Everyone has different standards. While you might have a higher standard for cleanliness, others can tolerate a lot of mess. So the best way to deal with that is again, to talk about it.
  3. Be open to compromise. Living with another person takes a bit of give and take. While your roommate should respect communal space, you need to take into account their perspective as well as their views. Openly communicating is the best way to come to an agreement that satisfies everyone involved.

Steps for communicating

It’s all about the approach when you are communicating with your roommate!

If you have already talked to your roommate before, think about how the conversation went. While some of us might take a passive aggressive approach, and leave the mess in a pile with a note or clean up the mess and drop hints about it later, these aren’t the best methods.

The best way to talk to a messy roommate is to be direct. Sit down and have a conversation. If you don’t already have roommate rules in place, this would be a good time to establish some.

Steps for having the conversation:

  1. Let your roommate know how you feel. What are the issues? Leaving dirty dishes? Not cleaning up the bathroom? You don’t want to come off aggressive or accusatory so let your roommate know what is bothering you without giving them commands.
  2. Ask what you can do better. Heh? What? They’re the messy roommate, you don’t need to fix anything, right? Wrong! If your roommate does something that bothers you, chances are that you do something that bothers them. Talk about it and find out how you both can improve.
  3. Find solutions. After airing your grievances come up with ways to solve your problems. How you do that may vary with roommates but there are some good suggestions like:
    • Divide up cleaning duties. This could go a variety of ways. Maybe you alternate weekends for cleaning the bathroom, taking out the trash or emptying and loading the dishwasher. Evenly dividing chores is the best way to get things done.
    • Create a chore chart. This is a more advanced method for dealing with a messy roommate. Chore charts are also a good idea if you have multiple roommates and need to keep track of things.
    • Create a list of roommate rules. As soon as you move into a new place, you should really establish a list of rules with your roommate. This will help you lay out the guidelines for what you expect in one another to respect both shared and private living spaces.

There you have it! This has been our blog on confronting a messy roommate. When dealing with any roommate problems, remember that communication is key. Talk about your problems is the best way to find a solution. Try some of these strategies the next time you need to be bring up rules for living with your roommate.

Images via: 1 /  2 / 3 / 4

No matter how old you are, living with somebody else can be a hassle. Whether you disagree on who cleans, who cooks, or who is responsible for which bills, there are many different things can cause conflicts with a roommate. A very common problem is dealing with a messy roommate.

You might also enjoy

Related Posts

Top 10 Kitchen Must Haves

Staring out on your own? Here is our list of must-have kitchen items for your new apartment home. When it comes to Houston living or

Skip to content