Dear Crabby: Ready to Change Roomies

Dear Crabby,

We haven’t been in school for a whole month yet and my roommate is driving me crazy already. She does not realize how messy she is even though I tell her every day to clean up her half of the house. She always says that she will do it later but never does. She won’t wash her dishes, she won’t wash her clothes, and she won’t clean the bathroom. She waits until I’m washing my dishes to bring hers out and ask if I’ll wash them for her. Same with her clothes. I thought that I was being a good roommate by doing that for her, but now I feel like she’s using me. I have already stopped doing her chores, but that’s made things worse. I’m stuck looking at piles of clothes and dishes. I hate seeing a messy house, and I also don’t want to get bugs. I’m surprised we haven’t already got them. I don’t know why she won’t clean. We never had this problem before. We were roommates all last year and she seemed like a really clean person. I don’t know if she feels more comfortable around me that she just thinks she doesn’t need to clean anymore. I don’t even want to imagine what her room looks like. I’m scared to go in there since she leaves the rest of the house dirty. To top it off, she has people coming in and out of the house all day long. I don’t mind that she has visitors. I just mind that they don’t know how to clean up after themselves either. They also think that they own the house and just barge in. Sometimes I just want to take a nap on the couch, but I can’t because I know someone will walk in. I try to lock the door, but my roomie unlocks it. I’ve asked her to go to her friend’s houses, but she says that their roommates don’t like houseguests. I wish I were more like those roommates. Please tell me how to not blow up on her one day. Seriously, I’m losing my mind in this house. Help!


Ready to Change Roomies

Dear Ready,

I’ll go ahead and congratulate you for not blowing up already! It’s time for a heart-to-heart with your roomie. If she was ok last year, maybe something happened and she’s acting out. Maybe she’s depressed and isn’t functioning as well as she was last year. See if there’s an underlying reason for the recent decline in cleanliness. If there’s a valid reason that she’s not helping, refer her to a counselor or other professional who can help her. HOWEVER---if she’s just being lazy, and is taking advantage of you, that’s unacceptable. No one likes living in in a pit of filth (especially a pit of someone else’s making) and not being able to feel comfortable in their own home. You could tell her that either she cleans up her mess, or you’ll help her clean it by putting all of her dirty dishes (stuck on food included) in her bed, face down, covered by the dirty clothes. I kid, I kid…kind of.

If talking to your roommate doesn’t work, find another place. Contact some of her friends’ roommates (the ones who don’t like houseguests) and see if they’re available to get a place.

Bottom line, you’re going to have to stand up for yourself. Tell her exactly how you feel and hold your ground. If a solution can’t be reached, contact your landlord and explain the situation. Your home should be a haven. Good luck!

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