Hi Friends – Welcome back to Coffee with Clare! I am delighted that you are here today!
I am a 31-year old single gal who cannot afford to pay for my own apartment. My last roommate moved out of the area. I have recently “gained” a new roommate in a small 2-bedroom apartment. I met this new roommate, Cheryl, through a friend of a friend. Now, 2 & ½ months in, I have to tell you – I am not sure I will make it through to our lease renewal (which isn’t for another 9 – 10 months from now). The problem – Cheryl is an absolute mess – garbage strewn everywhere, the bathroom (we only have one) is disgusting. She leaves leftover food on plates and dirty dishes all over the kitchen and in the living room. Her clothes are spread out all throughout the apartment – even in the bathroom and on the living room floor. I have hinted that we need to keep the place tidier, and I like a bit more “organization” as we are living in such a small space, so we need to pick up after ourselves. It is not doing any good! What else can I do? I can’t stand it anymore, and this is making my life miserable.
Messy Mary’s Roommate
I truly feel your pain. One time, years ago when I was a realtor, I shared an office with “Janice”, and she was a complete MESS! Truly – she was a ‘hoarder”. I did know this going in, however, and I actually put a taped line in the middle of floor where she couldn’t cross over with her piles of disgusting messes and debris; when the office started to smell too bad – we would burn candles. Well, one night, we were working late and lit a candle on her desk. Low and behold, because of her mess, we accidently caught her paperwork and goodness knows what else on fire – we put out the fire quickly – but true story. We howled for days after that.
Anyway, on a more serious note. Talk to her and let her know in a non-blaming way that you really wished the apartment was cleaner. Let her know you are concerned about bad odors and bugs appearing in your apartment. You might say, “If we tidy up several times a week, picking up after ourselves and doing dishes daily, everything won’t pile up.” Be sure to also have Clorox wipes and other simple clean up products in the kitchen and bathroom.
I mean, you could pile all her trash and strewn clothes in front of her bedroom with a little note saying “Is this yours?” But, I think that would make matters worse.
See if she will pitch in and start making improvements … otherwise, don’t let this wreck your life. If it doesn’t work out, see if she will break the lease and allow you to find a roommate more in tune to your lifestyle. If not, tell her close to the time of the end of your lease “you will be looking for a roommate more suitable to your lifestyle.”
Thank you for stopping in today! I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear from you!
Until next time~