5 Ways to Deal With a Messy Roommate

If dishes are piling up in the sink and you’re having to step over piles of clothes that aren’t yours, it might be time to have an intervention with your messy roommate. We know these situations can sometimes get uncomfortable, which is why we’ve rounded up the best tips for dealing with your roommate so you can remain on good terms and cut through the clutter at the same time.

Five tips for dealing with a messy roommate

When it comes to how to deal with messy roommates, solid communication is critical. Even if they’ve managed to get on your last nerve, you need to treat your roommate with respect and have a clear ask for how to move forward and keep your relationship intact. The following are five ways to help you deal with this predicament without adding extra tension to the apartment.

1. Choose your battles wisely

Choosing your battles is all about being careful with the conversations or confrontations you initiate. Bringing up your roommate’s messy habits might be a delicate subject, so you’re wise to consider the time and place you address these issues (and how often, as well). There’s no need for either of you to live in a pigpen, but a single crumb on your couch probably isn’t too much cause for concern. Instead, save your time and energy for the messes that matter and then try to let go of minor inconveniences.

2. Communicate with clarity and kindness

Communication is essential to a healthy relationship, and the one you have with your roommate is no exception. With that said, communicating clearly and leading with kindness is always the way to go. In the same way, don’t ever assume why they’ve become so messy; it could be they’re going through something that’s got them down, and they’re not even aware of how it’s affecting your living space. That’s why it’s essential to approach your roommate respectfully and keep from pointing fingers or making accusations as you ask for what you need.

3. Discuss separate vs. shared spaces

Another great piece of advice is to talk about what’s appropriate in your apartment’s shared versus separate spaces. For example, you may not like it when your roommate leaves their stuff all over the dining table, but you can’t control how they keep their bedroom. As you’re discussing the ‘rules’ in each area of your home, try to avoid telling them everything they’ve done wrong (which can quickly put them on the defensive). Instead, frame the conversation in a way that makes them feel invited to help out and improve their routine.

4. Create a household chore chart

For anyone who did chores as a kid, you might be familiar with a household chore chart. Well, as far as chore chart ideas for adults go, this is perhaps the best way to make sure your space stays clean (and you don’t harbor resentment toward your roommate). Post your chart to the fridge or the backdoor — somewhere it’ll be easy to reference — and include all the daily or weekly chores that need to get done and by whom. To keep things as fair as possible, trade off who’s responsible for what, so the same person isn’t continually cleaning the sinks, toilet, etc.

What’s more, if it fits in your budget, you could even spring for an apartment deep cleaning service once a month, so there’s a little less for each of you to take care of on the regular.

5. Make time to do the cleaning together

If you decide to save a little money and forego the apartment maid service, why not coordinate your schedules so you can do the cleaning together? This activity (though not the most exciting) is likely to boost morale among you and your roommate since many people typically hate having to clean by themselves. So put on some upbeat music, grab the necessary cleaning supplies, and enjoy a bit of roommate bonding as you make your place shine.

Get a fresh start with ApartmentSearch

In the event you follow this whole list for how to deal with messy roommates and nothing seems to be working, it could be that it’s time for you to get a fresh start. The good news is, ApartmentSearch is here to help you find a new spot you can afford all on your own.

With ApartmentSearch, you can easily filter apartments by location, price, and amenities to tailor listings to your exact needs. There’s no reason for you to live in a never-ending mess; check out ApartmentSearch today, and get going on the next exciting chapter!