Dealing With a Messy Roommate Problem

By MyNewPlace Guest Blogger, Ron Leshnower – About.com’s Apartment Living Expert

If you like keeping your apartment clean and presentable and at all times but your roommate doesn’t mind a mess, this can add unwanted friction to your relationship. The same holds true for the opposite situation, in which you don’t live up to your roommate’s higher housekeeping standards.

A roommate who disagrees with you when it comes to how neat and clean you want to keep your place can get on your nerves and even make you consider moving out. Not only can this be undesirable if you like where you live, but it can also be tricky, especially if your name is on a lease.

1. Try to prevent it in the first place. When it comes to finding the right roommate, compatibility is key. This includes your views on housekeeping, so ask roommate candidates about their habits and expectations before you commit. Also, if you’re considering sharing an apartment with a friend, don’t assume you know everything about that person. Just because you like someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be compatible roommates, so don’t be afraid to ask questions even if it’s your best friend.

2. Look to compromise. If you’re already in a situation where you’re locking horns with your roommate over housekeeping habits, you can still try to make things work. Have an honest conversation with your roommate about what you each want and what you’re willing to tolerate. If you’re the messier one, suggest that your roommate do more of the tidying up in return for your taking care of other apartment chores, such as cooking or grocery shopping.

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