Luckily, here in Bismarck, I don’t have to have a roommate, but with the growth we’ve seen in North Dakota in recent years, many of you may have to deal with roommates.  And, we all know, they aren’t perfect.  Here’s some advice for dealing with a “dirty roommate” while keeping your sanity:


*Be clear and honest about your expectations.  Almost everyone says they are “clean and tidy,” and if this were true, I wouldn’t have even read this article!  Different people have different standards of cleanliness.  Be honest with your roommate, preferably while you are selecting him/her, about your level of cleanliness.  Whether you vacuum your curtains every three days, or if you leave your dishes in the sink until they grow their own food, hopefully, you will be able to find someone who matches your standards.  This upfront honesty can save you a lot of roommate drama later down the road.

*Keep a cleaning schedule.  Discuss with your roommate who is going to handle which chores.  Chore charts may seem dorky, but they can help determine who is responsible for what and keep each of you accountable.  If you are particular about a certain chore (mowing the lawn in straight lines, for example) assign yourself that chore, so you know it will always get done the way you want it.  Take turns and share the responsibilities of the ugly chores, that way no one gets stuck with the same thing, week after week.

*Think of your roommate as a business partner.  Unless you are dating them, or they are your best friend, they are basically a business partner.  If something is bothering you, talk about it openly and tactfully, but be honest.  If you bottle things up, tension and resentment will build up, and the explosion of anger will probably do more damage than that wet towel that someone left on the floor this morning.

* When all else fails, outsource the dirty work.  Sometimes, the best idea is to hire a cleaning company or person to do the dirty work. Even if you think it may be expensive, a cleaning service that comes in twice a month to deep clean can make the interim cleaning faster and easier.  The cost of the service can be divided up, so it may not be as expensive as you think.  After all, if everything else about your living arrangement is working well, why ruin it over spilled milk that you can pay someone else to mop up?

Source: “Works”