6 Simple Ways To Deal With A Disgusting Roommate Once And For All

So, your roommate is gross. Unhygienic. Filthy.

A glob of mobile flesh surrounded by a thin (or thick) layer of dirt. It’s horrifying, slightly nauseating, and the main reason you don’t let friends, family, or potential dates visit your room. It’s even messing with your mind.

But what can you do? Your thoughtful, well-meaning suggestions that they “tidy up a bit” are waved off by a Cheeto-covered hand, or shrugged off by shoulders encased in a shirt that hasn’t seen the light of detergent since his/her mom last washed it. In September.

Time to take action.

Option 1: The Mom Approach

Dexter's Mom

Also called the Germaphobe, this approach is simple. You clean their mess up. Repeatedly.

The Mom Approach is good for those zen, suffering-is-the-only-road-to-salvation types out there. It assumes that your concern for a clean environment is more important than sticking by the principle of the offending party should clean up their own mess. Clean is good. Clean is absolutely necessary.

But the Mom Approach puts you in a perpetual position of weakness. You’re taking care of them. You’re cleaning up after them, and thereby enabling them to stay true to their habits of filth and personal negligence. It’s horrifying, and frankly, not recommended if you value your dignity – but a germaphobe’s gotta do what a germaphobe’s gotta do.

A modified version of the Mom Approach is the Mom Doesn’t Live Here Anymore Approach: keep your room not just clean, but pristine for a week. I’m talking hospital-pristine here. National park pristine. Autoclave-pristine.

Keep that up for a week or two, and then stop cold-turkey. Let everything get rapidly messy.

Your roommate, used to the high standards of cleanliness, will be caught off guard and will (hopefully) start making some kind of effort to regain the previously enjoyed levels of clean. You may not hit the Yosemite clean benchmark, but at least there won’t be dirty underwear everywhere.

Option 2: The Bombing of Dresden Approach

Take the offensive.

Pile all of their dirt and their crap onto a place where they can’t help but be hampered by it. Stuff all their dirty gym socks under their pillow. Throw everything they leave on the floor up on their bed.

They’ll come home, note the lack of dirty gym socks and grin broadly (like a toad or Madame Umbridge in the 5th Harry Potter book/movie), smug in knowing that their filth has finally broken your spirit to the point where you have caved and taken the Mom Approach after weeks of keeping a stiff upper lip.

They drop their bag on the ground, crushing your shoes/homework/copy of John Green’s new book that you paid extra to be signed and shipped as fast as humanly possible, and then they get into bed…only to be naplamed by the smell of a dozen pairs of sweat-and-dirt covered socks. Attack, success.

Enraged, your roommate sits up and begins a Counter-Strike full of expletives and aggressive hand gestures. Stay calm. Do not make excessive, if any, hand gestures. Simply and tranquilly explain that you are sick of living in your roommate’s personal landfill, and a pillow-full of dirty, fetid socks is how you feel about your room everyday.

The Dresden Approach is risky. Depending on how tenacious, or simply scheming and malicious, your roommate is, using the Dresden approach can either lead to your roommate ultimately learning their lesson and shaping up a bit (grumbling optional) or the start of World War III. Wear a helmet.

Option 3: The Blaming Buddha Approach

Buddha (image courtesy of Flickr user alicepopkorn)

It’s fairly straightforward. You become the Buddha. You stop caring.

You are at peace with the dirt, the slight odour, the flies surrounding the garbage can. You are one with the universe and nothing matters – not your upcoming exam, not the six ignored phone calls from your mom, and especially not a little dirt.

You must be okay with some dirt in your life. You must not be a germaphobe. If you pick the Blaming Buddha Approach, you are playing the long game and you better be okay with that.

But there is a key component to the BBA: the dirt is not your fault. If someone asks why your room is so dirty, you immediately point the finger at your roommate. It’s not you. Even if you make a tiny bit of mess, the whole room and its deterioration is the problem of your roommate.

While it’s not very nice to play the blame-game, the rising peer pressure will ultimately crack them like a chocolate Easter egg (how good are chocolate Easter Eggs? Why can’t they sell them all year round?).

Option 4: The Snitch (no, not the Harry Potter kind)

If you’re living with a really dirty roommate, chances are you’re in a dorm. And you roomed blind because you should know whether or not your friend from high school is a dirty slob before you agree to live with them. But go back to the part about living in a dorm: if you’re in a dorm, you have an RA or an RA equivalent. And the RA has power.

Editor’s note: The RA’s power is limited.

So when shit hits the fan (hopefully not literally) and you just can’t handle it, call the RA.

Yes, it means you’re a snitch, but it can be an effective problem solving technique. Handling roommate disputes is part of your RA’s job. Don’t worry about the label ‘snitch’: the soul-healing power of cleanliness will make you forget all about it.

Option 5: The Rafiki Approach


Watch The Lion King. Now watch it again.

Rafiki was the best character in the whole movie and he knew his stuff. He would run around singing nonsense and laughing because an ant climbed a blade of grass, and then somehow he’s taught you a valuable life lesson without you even realizing it.

The Rafiki cannot be taught, only known. You must teach your roommate that the mess is unacceptable and they must take part in cleaning with you. The Rafiki ends with a Hans Zimmer-scored musical scene of you two cleaning together, side by side, despite the fact that you’re a lion and he/she’s a warthog.

Side note: as much as possible, avoid walloping your roommate on the head with a wooden staff.

Option 6: The Clorox/Sign Approach (largely for ladies)

You share a room/bathroom with someone who sheds like a dog. A large, furry dog. There is hair everywhere. It’s alarming. You could knit a hair-sweater out of all the hair left in the sink/shower/counters.

For unruly hair, there’s only one thing to do.

Arm yourself with Clorox wipes. Arm yourself to the hilt and go to town on that bathroom. Leave boxes of the wipes strategically placed around the bathroom so that no one has an excuse for not cleaning up their hair.

If that doesn’t work, make strategically placed, passive-aggressive signs in a false cheery voices with too many exclamation points helpfully reminding the offender that this is a communal space and could they please, please not get toothpaste all over the mirror? That would be sooooo nice. Thanks!!!

What strategies do you use to cope with a messy roommate?

Christina is a sophomore at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor studying International Security and Cooperation.

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  1. Well said – perfect blend of humor good will reality and experienced based and effective suggestions!! Keep writing – you have much much more to impart in ant genre you choose !!

  2. TL;DR: My roommate is a health hazard who does not care and I am stuck in a lease with her, putting me in the hospital at least once as a result of her filth. I need advice.

    These tactics are useful for most college students, who will be living in a single room with a roommate who presumably cares about their mess. I have attempted all of them (except the RA) over the past several months, but they do not seem to fit my scenario. I live in an apartment with the disgusting roommate in question. We have different rooms, though we share the bathroom, living room, dining room, and kitchenette. Cleaning up after them (the mom approach) resulted in throwing out more than half of her food in the fridge because it was over a year expired (she brought moldy food with her when moving in). The Dresden approach does not work because she sleeps under garbage bags filled with smelly trash (I really wish I was exaggerating). Her room has trash bags and loose trash piled past my waist, and you cannot see the floor or the bed. Blaming Buddha does not work because no one will come over because of the smell, and she does not care. We do not have mutual friends; there is no peer pressure. Somehow the restaurant where she works has not fired her for failing to meet basic hygiene requirements, despite the fact that she “showers” (gets her body wet but does not use soap or shampoo) once every three weeks, if I am lucky. I make a terrible Rafiki, in part because I cannot stand to be in the same room with her for more than a minute before I start gagging. And we have Clorox Cleanups EVERYWHERE. I have to keep them on the back of the toilet because it is a health hazard to not clean up after she uses the restroom.
    If anybody has advice, please help. I feel like a terrible person every time I talk about her because it seems like I am just a neat freak or germaphobe exaggerating, but I promise I am not. I hate having to use cleaning products so much because it aggravates my asthma. I have to keep an air purifier/allergen eliminator running on high at all times because I ended up in the hospital due to not being able to breathe (presumably because of the mold). She moved in before me and my parents thought there was a dead animal when they helped me move in, but over the course of the day we determined that it was just her. I cannot move out without breaking the lease. I do not want to cross legal boundaries by going into her room and just throwing all of the trash out and scrubbing everything. I have tried to subtly gift her soap and perfume to let her know she stinks. When I first moved in, I loudly talked about how the dead animal smell was stronger every time she opened her bedroom door, and suggested she clean up in there to look for whatever died. I know I am not getting my security deposit back, because the carpet in her room will have to be completely replaced at the very least. I am concerned that if I get the landlord involved and request that he inspect the apartment, he’ll either punish us both for failing to uphold the lease or evict her and I will suddenly be responsible for $400 more a month, which I cannot afford.
    I cannot eat or shower sometimes because the smell makes me nauseous. I have to walk around my own apartment with a scarf spritzed with perfume so that I don’t puke. The constant bleaching of surfaces is making me ill. The amount of money I have spent on cleaning supplies is ridiculous, considering I have only been here for half a year. My social life and mental health have both dropped precipitously. She plans on staying another year and replacing me (this seems to be a trend for her, as I replaced another roommate who only managed to stay a year with her) with some other unsuspecting individual.
    Honestly, I am concerned for her as well. This cannot be healthy. Additionally, she wants to work in the medical industry as a social services worker and I know she will not be hired due to the hygiene requirements (I am the only member of my family that does not work in the medical industry). Her family is just as bad. When they come to visit, I have to open the windows and air out the place for several hours before I can be in my own apartment. My family will not visit. My parents tell me to just keep cleaning and stop making a fuss because I cannot afford the apartment on my own, but they also tell me that this is a health hazard (see the aforementioned hospital visit) and ended up pulling all my family members together to pitch in for a heavy-duty vacuum and the air purifier.
    If I do not manage to find a job and move to a new city (and pay two rents: one for this place and one for where I will actually live), I am stuck here until September. Please, please, please, if you have suggestions, send them to me. I need help.

  3. My roomie, is just a filthy filthy filthy person. Pulling my hair out like I’m living with a three year old. Talk to him continuously about cleaning up after himself. Nothing is working he is just dirty

    • Mine too. I’m constantly cleaning his piss off the floor and the rim of the toilet. So grim!

  4. These are not effective conflict resolution tactics…. Advising someone not to care, to clean up after them, or to be passive aggressive is not constructive advice.

  5. I live with my bro who is a total slob and refuses to clean his messes even on his days off he dont do anything to clean, I have told him he is a slob and he says I am king slob, we have it in our lease the landlord can inspect our unit and my idiot bro just laughs, im not employed but i am not his maid either and refuse to clean his messes and he is 47. He even piles his groceries and leave them on the kitchen counter, keep his frozen stuff in the fridge uses the microwave and oven leaves them splattered. Of couse he is a mommy boy and mommy still control him.. i think he needs to see s shrink he has no balls and no common sense

  6. I’ve tried literally anything but they won’t stop and the mess stresses me out so much to the point I cry till I end up cleaning and literally nothing will stop the mess.
    P.S Does anyone know why I am so frustrated with mess and why I can’t deal with it?

    • Some people are taught to clean , some dont care . Of course youll get upset. It’s hard cleaning after people who dont care. They see you clean and dont help. And who cares if they help. Cleaning isnt hard, maintaining is. Its not much to ask.

    • I can understand I have 3 housemates who are slobs, I end up cleaning it as I don’t believe I should have to suffer living in a messy house because of their laziness.
      If all else fails threaten to move out, hopefully that will scare them into pulling their finger out

  7. Hey! I have a roommate story! Really just trying to rant at the moment. I’m currently in the hall of my dorm, which has become a daily ritual while having to live with my roommate. At first it wasn’t bad. I tried to be friends but she brushed me off, which is fine. I even took her to get her first piercing but she decided I wasn’t her type of friend or something, I don’t know. Anyway, I came into this situation as the messiest person to ever exist, seriously. Until I had to share a room with someone. Around mid-terms, I noticed a fishy, sour smell every time I entered our room. I still have no idea what it is and I have tried absolutely everything to mask it/get rid of it; NOTHING works. She constantly lays in bed, with the lights off, facetiming her friends that are still in highschool (so I can’t even tell you how much drama has been going on with Coach Howard, because it’s A LOT.) Oh yeah, and did I mention, she’s ALWAYS eating? For the past month I’ve noticed her eating roughly 5 bags of chips a night. Usually she begins this obnoxious scene around 11:00 pm, while I’m trying to sleep. She goes to the campus store everyday and comes back with more food than the day before. She lets most of it rot in the fridge, but everything else she eats really takes a toll on the dishes. I do them twice a week, even though all I use is a cup for coffee. Just last weekend, before I left to visit a friends, I made sure to clean s much as I could so when I got back I wouldn’t be bombarded with filth. Foolishly, I expected her to eventually get around to putting away the clean dishes I had left out to dry by the time I got back (two days later). When I did return, however, not only were the dishes still sitting on the counter, but the SINK WAS FULL TOO. Guess who ended up having to do them? ME. Because after two days of me not touching them, expecting her to clean up after herself, they were starting to stink! She uses my things (hairbrush, soaps, who knows what else) without permission, while I clean the entire dorm, top to bottom, scrubby and disinfectant in hand, EVERY WEEK. She makes a mess on the toilet and refuses to clean her own, excuse my language, SHIT. And I still have an entire semester left! Send help!

    • Sounds luke you need a treasure chest looking box with a lock. I think you can get them from home depot, lowes or walmart. Put all ypur restroom stuff in there. I used to work as a show girl and some girl had a trunk full of stuff. Also walmart sells plate sets for 88 cents for a four set. I have plates bowls and cups . Dont share dishes. Get your own soap. Lock everything up.

    • If you have an RA, bring it up to them. If you do not want to get labeled as a snitch, phrase it as a housing/janitorial request instead: “I would like to request someone to come check our room because I think something must have died in the walls due to the smell. It doesn’t seem to go away when I clean.” Maybe something did die, and they’ll find it and get rid of the fishy smell. Maybe not, and they RA will tell your roommate to get her act together.
      For the dishes and bathroom stuff, lock it up. It seems petty and like a huge hassle, but at least you’ll always have clean stuff. If the dishes are yours, she will have to get her own if she wants to be a slob, which might be the push she needs.
      If the dishes are hers, refuse to clean them. If the smell gets to you, get extra petty and put plastic wrap over the sink.
      The toilet thing is an issue I also have with my roommate. For me, that’s where I cannot tolerate it and have to clean it myself, but I do leave Clorox cleanups everywhere. Start billing her for them and say that if she is going to treat you like a maid, that she needs to start paying for it.
      If she has already made it clear you aren’t her friend, then be passive-aggressive. It can’t ruin your friendship.

  8. I have tried several approaches. Honestly my roommates, who are engaged, believe that leaving plates of food on the couch and letting the dishes pile high for weeks is being clean. When they do clean, they only do the dishes and pick stuff up. they never clean the counters. They never vacuum. The only time they actually sweep and have the table cleaned off is when they have company over, so I’ll walk in and I’ll see that stuff is clean and I automatically know that either someone is coming over or there is going to be an inspection… These dirty messy disgusting people decided that since they are so lazy and never clean that it would be great to have a dog. They just got a puppy, and typically when they do clean it stays clean for a couple days to maybe a week or so… Sooo, the place is still clean but we’ll see what day it starts going to shit. Not to mention, since they never like to clean, I’m just kind of waiting and dreading when the apartment will start to smell like piss because let’s face it, if they don’t clean what makes them believe cleaning up after a dog will be super easy. Hopefully I am wrong and they become cleaner, but I doubt it. I’m just glad I’m moving out in 6 months because they are so messy. Not to mention, only one of them cleans, the other either cleans half assed or he will take the trash out of the can and put it by the door. The only time he cleans is if his fiance asks him like 700 hundred times, or does it with him. Maybe they will be good dog owners, but honestly, I kinda doubt it. It’s all about time because that is their pattern. Clean for a week or two then it all goes to crap. Just had to vent since I still have 6 months with these people.

    • Yuck. Im a cat and betta fish person. Because Theyre clean animals most of the time. I dont like lazy people. And throwing trash out and wiping down counters n tables is the easiest thing to do. Usually the first thing i do. And if i have time after cleaning the floors ill wash dishes.

  9. My roommate has two bunnies, which I was excited about at first. I’d always wanted a rabbit. Little did I know what her particular ownership of these poor rabbits involves. I’m pretty sure since she moved in (in July), she has maybe cleaned the cage about twice. total. It’s putrid smelling throughout the house, coming from the direction of her bedroom where she has them. We also started having a serious infestation of flies about two months ago, which I’m pretty sure came about because these rabbits are sitting in their own filth on a regular basis. I’ve mentioned this a couple times. She hasn’t rectified the problem.

    She also has a pug who turned a year old a few months back. He barks every time I get up to use the bathroom, even if I creep through the hallway like a ninja. He barks every time my boyfriend comes over. He barks every time I get home from work. Last night he had a barking fit because I snapped a photo of my sleeping cat with my bedroom door completely closed and I guess my phone made the photo snap noise. He also barks for no reason sometimes and wakes me up in the middle of the night or morning when I’m sleeping. It’s very annoying.

    Also the dog is not potty trained yet! I’ve tried taking her out myself and she won’t pee or poop. She poops in random spots in the kitchen and living room and in my roommate’s bedroom. My roommate works and goes to school much of the day and lets her dog roam the house. The worst part (other than the flies and stench, which are honestly equally offensive), is that her dog pees on EVERY rug in the house, the bathroom rug and the kitchen mat in front of the sink, and the living room rug. I cannot get rid of the rugs because then water would damage the floors in the spots they are placed. But it feels so icky standing on them, even in socks or shoes. I refuse to pay for their replacement. I wish she would!

    I want to talk to her, tell her this house no longer feels like a home. She needs to respect her animals and take better care of them. I am a very responsible cat owner and I wish she could be a more responsible dog and rabbit owner. I’ve made sacrifices for her animals. I put my cat’s food and water dishes in my bedroom, as well as her litter box, in order to avoid the dog getting into them. (She also gets into stuff and chews up bathroom trash if not placed up high). I have bought a few different fly traps and tried different solutions to the fly problem.

    My cat is losing fur. The doctor says it is probably allergy related, but I can help but wonder if there is some correlation? I regularly give her a flea/parasite preventative. I’m not even entirely sure if she treats her animals regularly.

    The animals mostly get along and play together, but once in awhile I can tell my cat is annoyed by her because she’s taking it a bit too far sometimes.

    I love animals and it makes me sad the way hers are being treated. I think the pug needs obedience training since she obviously doesn’t know how to train her properly, and I really believe the rabbits would be better off with someone who can devote time/energy to cleaning their cages more often or possibly investing in larger cages or space for them.

    I haven’t known her long. It’s been 5 months, since we became roommates. We were just work acquaintances and I was desperately in need of a roommate for financial reasons as mine had just moved out of state. She needed a place to live. I guess her sister was tired of her living with her.

    Anyway, I don’t know her well enough to where I’m not afraid of treading on sensitive ground. I’m a peaceful person and don’t like confrontation unless necessary. Right now it seems necessary. I honestly like her as a person, other than her poor care of her animals. I’m just not sure I can live this way. My lease ends in seven months, so I think I am going to talk to her and tell her how I feel, and let her know that at the least me and my cat will be moving out when the lease ends or she should find someone to take over earlier if possible. Unless by some magic she cleans up after her pets better and helps us get rid of these damn flies. It stresses me out!

  10. You have to leave, plain and simple. I tried everything. Being Mom doesn’t work. I tried and felt like a maid, one that wasn’t even noticed. I Dresden’d, not even a reaction. The compiled mess just stayed that way. Not caring only makes it worse over time and the landfill grows. I had no one to snitch to. This person was beyond a Rafiki. They were too old and completely not self-conscious, they blamed me for taking them in as a roommate and yelled at me when I asked them to clean up just a little. I tried the Clorox wipe thing, going through a package once ever few weeks, yes this roommate was female, I tried to keep the shared bathroom clear of hair and wipes aren’t enough, you have to get those drain cleaners too. Expense and effort. There is nothing that works with some people. If you live with a human landfill, then you live in a landfill plain and simple and if you don’t want to live in a landfill the only thing you can do is leave.

  11. I have tried literally all of these. None of them worked, in fact, I got chewed out for the passive aggressive notes more than the Dresden bomb….

  12. My gf and i have to stay with this fat slob. Hair everywhere in the bathroom…especially next to her assorted vagisil collection… Dishes piled high on her side of the sink. Laughs like a special-ed kid during an adam sandler movie and brings random people into the house. She reminds me of bubble bass from spongebob! Ha! Still no pickles..she ate them all

    • Here we go again with the “Special ED” putdowns by such an ignorant generalizing idiot. Not every Special ED person has an annoying laugh. My sister doesn’t. Her friends don’t even have it. Maybe 1 of her classmates did, but whatever. So what?! Yea, they’re were in Special Ed. Fran Drescher has it & she wasn’t in special ED. My roommate now has it & he wasn’t in Special ED.. I’m assuming your roommate was not in Special ED, too. Next time THINK before your put down people with special needs. Be considerate & cram it with the generalizing crud. Anyway, goodbye to your nonsense. Adios.

    • This is my favorite comment. My bf and I’s roommates are being evicted in a couple days and it’s the same shit – except there’s 2 of them lmao.. I clean up after them whenever I’m here but I bitch while I do it – I also am out of the house most of the time.

  13. my roomate n her two kids are slobs they don’t clean just dirty. mom don’t care about me cleaning up after a wreck I can’t stand. don’t tell her kids about cleaning up after themselves. I’m trying this got a white dry erase board n imma hang it where they can see when they walk out the door. so everyone can see n do there part atleast to clean up behind themselves it’s just respect n common sense.

    • I did make the kitchen really dirty tho just to see what happens n how long it will be till every one chips in

  14. This looks like a great place to vent, but nothing will get accomplished.
    I live with my two adult brothers. One of my brothers just WILL NOT do his own dishes. He’ll cook up a big meal and then leave them set. We have a housekeeper come in once every two weeks to clean the place up. But the very next day this lazy ass brother will start filling the sink again, along with other things he won’t take care of but that’s for a different conversation. If my clean brother and I talk to him about it he throws a big fit like a baby and the problem gets worse and worse along with animosity and snide and snotty comments for at least a month. We have given up. I think we’re going to all have to go our separate ways, which is a bummer. I love my brothers, but one of them is just being a selfish prick and I don’t see any way to get him to do his God damned dishes. My clean brother suggested we throw all the dishes away, but I can’t afford or want to eat out all the time. I like to cook my own food. I know what I’m getting that way.
    Well, if anyone has a viable suggestion I would thoroughly appreciate it.

    • Sounds like you need a dishwasher – freestanding, or built in, with a heavy duty cycle.

      This has solved a thousand problems for me in the long run.

      Show your favorite Neanderthal how to rinse a plate and drop it on the rack. He probably won’t do the former, (hence the heavy duty function) and he won’t unload it either, but at least the ants, flies and maggots will stop feasting.

    • What you describe sounds like personality disordered behaviour. They do it for 1) control, 2) attention, 3) to cause conflict, 4) a chance to play victim. It’s deliberate and that’s why it’s never going to end. Study up on Cluster B.

    • I have a sister who is exactly the same. It’s hard, because you love them and parting ways is not easy, especially if it means leaving them to take on life by themselves when they’re not very capable as it is.

      Something I’m going to try with her is everytime she leaves dirty dishes out I will clean the dishes, and then lock them away in a box in my room. Each of these dishes will be locked away for a week from the day I find it not cleaned, which means if she leaves the pot and pan uncleaned then she has nothing to cook with for a week, which means no nice cooked food for a week, she’ll be forced to eat out (which she won’t want because it’s not something she can afford). If I want to cook myself food, I can use the pot and pan even if it’s locked away.

      More mess means less dishes to use, and less dishes to use means less mess. So if punishes her for not cleaning whilst reducing the amount of mess.

      • Way to go David. Never let your kids or any other “undesirable” chase you out. Help them choke on their own filth and inabilities.

    • put all there mess on there bed n show them that’s where things go till you are ready to clean up the mess u created

    • You’re lucky its your brother. Id call the dang cops or health department. Man id scream too. Make him pay a high school kid to come wash dishes everyday.

  15. This is a 46 year old man. He don’t clean anything. He don’t clean up after himself or his animals, he sleep with his dogs and cats, their is fur everywhere. His room reeks with urine and smells awful. He don’t care, if I say anything he lets it get worse. Or his famous words, I promise I will get on my day off. Three days off, and all he does is sleep. Or he pretends he is sick, or he hurts. I feel as he don’t care how I feel. I came into his home. And expects me to clean up, but he does not try to keep anything clean. I can clean, next day it looks like I didn’t do anything. I cry myself to sleep thinking, how can a man be so dirty and not care. On how hard I worked all day in cleaning his home, an all he says is, I’m sorry and goes to his room and goes to sleep. Not a care in the world on, my feelings, he can sleep with no quilt. Omg! Maybe I don’t belong here. I gave him two years, and I’m tired. All I get is It will get better, I haven’t seen any changes. It!s getting worse.

    • Sounds like he may have depression. Very difficult to live with (in case you haven’t noticed)

      Give him a first warning in writing along with a deadline. Agree to meet after 2 weeks and inspect his room. Then meet monthly,

      You can pretty well bet on a final warning AND an eviction. He will drag this out indefinitely because nobody will put up with this, so be sure that you have set firm dates.

    • Lazy son of a gun. My roomates will not clean. For the past year i have lived here they havent cleaned once. Theyre filthy. They threw pillow cases away that looked like a homeless person. Just clean as though God will pay you.

  16. Three months ago my uncle moved to our family house where I stayed alone for the past two years. He moved in because he just got divorced and it’s his parents’ house, so there he is. I was sorry for him for what happened until I realized how terrible man he is. He never washed the dishes. He smoked all the time inside the house with no windows open even after I told him that I got bronchiectasis and repiratory problems. He used my bath equipments and made it broken. He never threw the ash from his ashtray, he never did the trash. He left the used toilet tissues in the westafel. He didn’t pay for the electricity and gas while he used it the most, in that case I paid for all the bills even though he has a job and making money more than me. He always on fight with somebody’s over the phone early in the morning. The list still goes on… But those are the major ones.

    I couldn’t take it anymore. I played Mom’s role but he became filthier than ever, I played Buddha part but couldn’t bear to breathe smokes and let myself coughing for hours in the aftermath. I would love to move out but I’m still paying for college. What is the best thing I can do to solve this problem? I’m taking care of 50+ years old baby. FML.

    • Talk to your parents about him first.maybe they can talk to him. Then I recommend if possible wash every dish he leaves in the sink and then take it and hide it in your room. Eventually he won’t have any dishes. Or better yet put his dirty dishes on his bed. It’s a but passive aggressive but he will get the message

    • There is nothing to discuss here. If you cannot breathe, nothing else matters. Leave. NOW.

    • Complain to the owner. Tell them to tell him to take his smokin out the house or youll have to leave. Tell them what you do n what he does. Let them decide who they want there. Man . Id kick him to the curb if it was my house.

  17. I have a problem with renting a room and these days there are no manners. For the last 2 nights iv had to tell this man of 52 to put a shirt on — and not walk around my kitchen and house half naked.

    My dad was a bushy farmer and we kids never ONCE saw Dad walking around without a shirt–

    If Walked down the rd or into the shops like that id be arrested.

    I am, sick of men these days with no respect- no manners.

    • A man walking around your home with no shirt on is not only rude, but asserting his dominance in your home. I am sorry to say that in my experience this behaviour will escalate. I get freaked out if a male roomer came into my kitchen in pyjamas!

      If you have said no, and he keeps doing it, you have a PROBLEM. Put it in writing and give him a written warning. Try to have male relatives, friends, and other males drop by more often. Put a lock on your door. Be prepared to evict on short notice, and don’t even think about a refund.

  18. My roomate/ co worker is not only discussing but a two faced little bitch. Since I have moved in I have tried the mom approach countless times hoping once it was clean he would get the point and try and maintain it. Obviously not working I decided to move onto the Buddha approach and try and live with it, as I am in uni and also full time job I figured to focus my energy on that and just deal with the dirtyness. This has resulted in him talking shit to our co workers saying i’m the messy, dirty one Even though they all no that is not the case cuz I clean non stop at work while he does not. I’m honestly at a loss of what to do. I have asked if assigning chores would be better. However that did not even last a fucking week. I NEED HELLLPP . oh not to mention the penalty would not work because he is to cheep to even buy his own food and shit.

    • Tristen im in in the same boat- I hope someone answers you promptly so i can get the advice as well.

      • I bought a dry erase board and created a schedule when we alternated. After this, If it is not clean by the date and time, I tell her in person or via text that she passed the date and needs to clean as soon as possible because she is not respectful of the cleanliness of the apartment. It has worked for me cuz if she doesn’t clean and I text her, it’s her problem, not mine because that dry erase board is proof that she is dirty!!

    • Play dr Phil n ask him what he plans on doing with his life. What a jerk. My male lazy people roomate believes in the 48 laws of power. But can’t even afford to give me 48$ for utilities a month. His girlfriends mom pays their bills after three months when theyre all piled. Just thank the lord your arent like them

  19. I have a terrible roommate, not that he is a mean or rude person..Just completely absent minded of everyone and everything around him. He leaves messes along the way as if he was a tornado leaving devastation in his wake. He pulls condiments from the fridge and leaves them out in random locations through out my house. He is always leaving his clothes, trash and drug paraphernalia all over my home. I have tried literally every option there and have even sat him down for a huge heart to heart. I’ll admit I am a neat freak but not to the point of having to be able to eat off the floors. The common rooms (living room, bathroom and kitchen) need to be kept clean because it is important for safety when I have my 2 year old. We have dogs that could get hurt with all the mess to. SO daily I clean starting with the dishes that are piled up for me after I do them the following night. Then I deal with my dogs, and vacuum what ever ashes off the carpets and clean off the coffee table of his various weed pipes, food trash and half drank drinks. I then have to worry because he smokes week right in front of my big front room windows…the view which is a family neighborhood in a non pot legal state. I am always scared the feds are going to bust in because this jack ass was seen at the window smoking out and they auto assume its some trap house or some shit. I remodeled and while doing so this dude walked around smoking weed rubbing up against my fresh paint job, giving me about twenty more minuets of work doing touch-ups. He has had illegal drugs shipped to my house without my knowledge. He has given my dogs human sleep medications to stop them from barking at him. He paid up a year lease with me because I needed the cash to pay off some debt, we own our home so no way were leaving we bought the damn house. He helped us when we needed it most but now I feel like a slave to this guy. I can either let my home be ruined (he already blew out half the electric panel using industrial electronics on a 110W circuit). I’m feel so stuck in wanting to help this guy who helped us and not be mean and also keeping my sanity as I cry alone in the only room in the while 4 bedroom house that I own that I can go in to get away from it all. Moral of the story….don’t take in roommates, I’d have much rather been in financial dept than be in servitude feeling guilty and stuck.

    • I live with my partner and his friend (let’s call him Steve) who has slight asperger’s. Steve is nasty and his room is a pigsty. Steve was under the canadian disability program. My partner and i did our best to talk to him heart to heart about cleanliness and how strict the landlord is but still the same nasty habits . Whats annoying is that I and my partner have to set good examples by keeping the house spotless because we are living with a retard (im just really angry Please allow me to use that word). The fridge handle is wiggling, and it’s because of him, he broke the shower rod, he slams the door everytiMe he goes out, one day while snooping in steve’s room, i saw a letter from the government stating that they are stopping his monthly disability financial cheque because they found out that Steve has some financial savings set aside. So until he spends that money from his savings account and he provides them receipts of him spending it, he is not gonna be receiving disability money. Steve works under the table as a newspaper boy and he pays the bills but he is just too dirty for me . I wana be able to come out of the room and dance in the living room but me and my partner are minimizing the interaction with Steve because he gets too excited and knocks things over (yup he is that horrible plus he’s very accidental). He leaves instant meals sauce marks on the bathroom door. I wish my partner and i made more money, because we’d like his friend Steve to move out or better yet , i’d like for just me and my partner to move out to a better and safer and cleaner maybe cheaper but chic house to rent to own. It is stressful living with Steve for now but i do my best to do the Buddha approach (means peaceful but blame Steve when things go wrong like landlord seeing Steve’s room condition)lol. Oh life.

      • Wiggly fridge handles and shower rods are no big deal.

        Breaking into his room and reading highly personal and confidential material sure as hell is.

        Did you bother to consider that working part time is both therapeutic and perfectly legal (within limits) for a Disability recipient? He won’t get rich delivering papers, but it sure beats sitting around a place where he’s called “retard” behind his back.

    • Turning him in may be harsh. Toss his stuff in thr recycle bin. Trash it. When he asks tell him, what ? You left it out . Im ld you not even leave it out man would if the cops come you dummy. When his years up tell him to go

  20. I live with an unimaginable nightmare of a sister in law for a slob. She leaves a towel in the sink and then throws a hairdryer in the sink… On top of all that she and her live in *girl* friend leave around makeup, quetips, and makeup towellettes. Then they’ll use my brush if i leave it in there . She also leaves hairspray in the kitchen and sometimes her makeup its disgusting!!! She is the most disgusting roomate ive ever had. It doesnt stop at the bathroom either they leave socks in the living room and never clean dishes and wait for my mother in law to clean up after them. Its a nightmare and i wish i could slap sense into them

    • Cupcake, you have NO IDEA what a bad room mate is.

      Q Tips in the bathroom? a cesspool, I’m sure.

      Disgusting makeup? there goes the neighbourhood!

      Socks in the living room? the horror…..the horror,,,,,,

  21. Based on my last 2 years of living with others, I have concluded that at least 75% of my friends are utter slobs who think cleaning the litter box once a week is sufficient. Some of them feel the same about flushing the toilet. Being brought up to keep a clean house has only served to make me miserable in this season. H… or highwater I will live on my own again this time next year.

    That or lose it all together.

    • Living with someone who does not flush is not living at all. The cat box issue isn’t just disgusting, it’s cruel to the cat(s) too,

      This is what you own.

      Over the years, the decent people probably left and are forming their own colonies of paper toweled and broom flinging clusters.

      When you start yours, decent people who value clean ovens and disinfectant will be drawn like moths to a flame (truth!)

      List your cleaning expectations in writing in detail and have them sign it. Provide cleaning materials and monitor closely. If you think you got it all, think again – my room mates are 31, 41, and 55, and I just had to re-write how to keep a bathroom clean.

      Some things may prove unenforceable. I can’t always get people to was full loads. Other things may grow in importance. Be a boss – be prepared to listen, meet with them regularly, give feedback, and if necessary, take corrective action and even evict, occasionally on NO notice. And NO refunds!

  22. I know one for sure is kind of dirty,lazy,stingy,eats a lot and so on.wat do i do

    • I have two roommates and the one doesn’t do anything. He complains about that he works and we don’t, but we do everything cleaning cooking, repairing you name it. He eats 3 times of what he paying for. Leaves his dirty clothes sitting in the living room for weeks. The owner (other roommate) is the one who owns the place. He doesn’t tell him anything cause he so desperate for the rent he needs! At this point in my life I’m just going to suck it up and get my own place! I don’t care if I have to sleep in an empty bedroom with a TV!!! I’m done with it!!

  23. I avn’t started living wit mine buh wuld all these steps listed in d article mean am being bossy,arrogant and manipulative?

  24. I have two, and soon to be 3!! I live in a shared house and they are disgusting. I put up signs, and a cleaning rota, and nothing has happened!!!

    • Yep. I’ve basically learned that some people will not keep their space clean, so your only options are to deal with it or try to leave. Unfortunately, leaving is harder when you’re not in the dorms…

  25. Great article!  But what if your living with two disgusting roommates? Its a total nightmare.

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