What is a roommate from hell? It’s the roommate who damages your stuff or sucks at cleaning. In this article we’ll discuss some lessons that will teach you exactly how to put that roommate in their place.
It’s time to get back on track with you living in a happy space between you and your roommates.
Let’s begin with a little roommate from hell story!
In 2009, I had met a really nice roommate, and we completely hit it off. Then they moved in, and everything seemed normal for the first month. Then with a serious look on their face, they asked me if I could show them how to use the vacuum and the mop.
I was in total disbelief that they would ask me this, but I found it a bit humorous at the same time. A bunch of other cleaning problems came up after that too, and I was not going to be their maid. They moved out a couple of months later.
The lesson here was I could have saved a lot of time if I knew about the cleaning problem before they moved in. So I always bring that story up and see how they respond to it.
The last answer I’d want to hear from any new potential roommate is:
“I don’t know how to use a mop either, can you teach me?”
The best way to find out about your potential roommate’s bad habits is by having a great conversation with them. Asking questions and telling each other stories will reveal any red flags you might have about them. If you don’t hear anything bad then you might have a winner.
During the first month, when you live with someone new, make sure you alert them to any of their bad habits. You need to catch it early on–the more time that passes, the harder it will be to correct.
Bad behaviors or habits become much harder to manage when you have more than one roommate. The below is all true and something I’ve personally experienced.
Lesson #1: A Clean Kitchen Please
Sometimes sharing a kitchen will be going well for one person, but the other person is thinking. “This sucks, what is this person thinking?”
Imagine this for a moment. You go to your favorite home store; Bed Bath And Beyond and buy a new premium dish brush (one that will really scrub those dishes clean).
You use it once, and then you leave it by the sink, then
your new roommate decides they want to use this brush.
They see it and say, “Wow! What a lovely new brush, how nice of my roommate to buy this. It will make a great brush to clean my muddy shoes with.”
You later walk into the kitchen to witness them doing this. Of course, you say: “Hey! What are you doing?” They get upset because you are yelling and in their mind, they are doing no harm.
What if you did not walk in on them? I guess you’d be using a dirty dish brush for washing your dishes.
Another interesting problem that comes up in the kitchen is when everybody stares at the overflowing trash in the garbage can; sometimes it will even get packed down. Then you can’t pack it down anymore, and it smells dreadful.
It should only get packed down once and never get to the point where it smells. Set the example and take it out yourself, then hint to your roommate to chip in if they are slacking.
The last big problem I have noticed in the kitchen is the floor. They’ll be a time when you’ll be finished sweeping and mopping it. You’ll look down when you are done and say “Wow does that floor sparkle!”.
You’ll leave for a few hours, and when you get back, you feel something under your feet. Then you realize what has happened. Your roommate cleaned the counter-tops and wiped all the coffee grinds and sugar straight onto the floor.
So you make a request to have them clean that up, and they say “Okay.” You come back a few hours later, and your feet are sticking to the floor like glue. They used a cold wet towel to spread it all over the floor. Then you find out that they don’t even know how to use a mop!
Believe it or not, this happened to me once with an old roommate, I was shocked, to say the least.
Lesson #2: Sharing a Bathroom
If you are not getting along in the kitchen, the bathroom will be hell. If you are getting along, it will be no big deal.
One of my favorite problems is when my roommate likes to use my clean towel as a floor mat! It’s nice for their wet feet to dry off after getting out of the shower. Then they’ll mop up the water on the floor and hang your towel back up.
That was a problem I had once and why I don’t share a bathroom anymore.
Lesson #3 The Laundry Area
Having a laundry schedule might sound like a good idea, but no one will ever follow it 100% of the time.
Be a good roommate and move your clothes from the washer to the dryer, when the cycle finishes. Then out of the dryer when your clothes are cleaned and dry.
If you accidentally leave laundry sitting in one of the machines and your roomy needs to do laundry. Agree with them that they’ll gently put your clothes to the side and not on the floor.
Also, please make sure to remove the lint from the dryer. Nothing is worse than burning up your dryer because it cannot vent properly.
Don’t ever expect a roommate to fold your clothes. Ever!
Lesson #4: Sharing a Living Room
Sharing the living room with your roommate will be fun and where most of your social interaction will happen. When you start inviting friends and other guests over, some memorable events will occur in this space. You’ll want to make an inviting and comfy place for all the people using it.
Respect the furniture, whether it is new or old. Furniture pieces such as couches, tables, pictures, candles, lighting, and a TV with DVR will benefit everyone.
The DVR helps everyone! You can watch your favorite show anytime, and scheduling conflicts will not matter.
I once had a roommate that was exactly 2 hours ahead of me every day. So I got the TV in the morning after they left for work and then late at night after they went to bed early. It was perfect!
I think the living room is the easiest space to share with someone overall. Just keep food and drink stains off the couches, chairs, and floor!
Lesson #5: The Garage and Outdoor Areas
What kinds of problems could you possibly run into, while sharing the garage and outdoor areas?
If you have too much patio furniture, you’ll need to pick out who has the best pieces and leave the rest at the junkyard. No one wants big, heavy, rusty old furniture.
Barbecue time! Make sure you show all your roomies how to use the grill if you’re the one that owns it. I once saw someone take a Charbroil grill and preheat it to high.
Then they forgot about it and it burned up the metal paint on the lid and ruined the burners inside.
Storing too much junk in the garage could take up valuable indoor parking. Or worse, your roommate moves out and leaves that junk behind.
Be careful of the roommate who likes working on old cars. It is the worst person to share a garage or parking area with, that broken car will never get out of there!
Not to mention, all the scattered old tires, rims, tools, and engine parts throughout the garage. Maybe even a little oil and grease, landlords just love that! NOT.
It’s very possible to not have a roommate from hell. But, then again only in a perfect world. LOL – When you mix two friends or strangers living in the same space complete bliss rarely seems to happen.
Please share this article with your roommates for a good laugh or to help address a serious problem you might have with them. Also, don’t forget to check out my other Roommate Advice articles.