The problem with living with a slob is that they usually don’t know – or care – that they’re a slob! And, short of finding an ideal roommate based on your zodiac signs, it can be difficult to know what your new roommate’s idea of “clean” truly entails. So what should you do when you find out your new roommate is a slob, who doesn’t care for that layer of dust piling up on their shelf? What’s the best way of conveying your concern? Should you even have that conversation or secretly ask for a roommate swap? Here’s what we think.

If you’re feeling grossed out by your living conditions, it’s time to go all super-mom on your roommate. And no, we don’t mean nagging or cleaning up after them. That approach will undoubtedly turn you into their doormat. We mean taking up the following advice and restoring your apartment’s habitable status.

Let operation de-slobbing commence!

“My roommate is a slob who doesn’t care for cleaning!”

Dirty dishes, a laundry-covered floor, and a growing layer of dust on every counter is an all-too-familiar scenario for some renters. But what do you do if the dirt-culprit is your roommate? And you’re getting tired of the mess and especially the questionable smell?

Assuming you’ve already verbally expressed your desire for them to clean up after themselves. If swapping your roommate isn’t an option right now, here are some no-nonsense guidelines to follow when your roommate is a slob:

Do not clean up after them.

You don’t need to become anyone’s maid. And as difficult as it can be to resist scrubbing the bolognese sauce that’s been hardening on the frying pan for the past three days – don’t do it. You don’t want them getting used to you cleaning up after them. And we definitely do not want them growing indifferent to your concerns.

Move their mess into their space.

If their growing mass of crap is creeping into your space, it’s usually fair to move it back into their designated area. Place their clothes, toiletries, and anything else into their area.

Your roommate is a slob, sure, but that’s no reason for their mess to get in the way of your day-to-day living. Eventually, they should tackle the growing mound themselves. 

If conveying your concerns doesn’t work, tell them you might consider swapping your roommate.

But not in those exact words.

Address the mess a couple of hours after it occurs. Otherwise, your own inner tensions can build up and you might just blow up angrily. We don’t want to resort to passive-aggressiveness. That’s unhealthy.

Try not to pick on every detail or your slob of a roommate might grow neglectful. Swapping your roommate is a little extreme, but it shouldn’t be completely dismissed. Sometimes, two people just aren’t meant to live together.

Create a chores rotation.

Split duties fairly and tackle the big jobs together. You all use the apartment in the same way and it’s not fair for the cleaning to fall on you every time. If that’s not viable, consider hiring a cleaning person every week or two.

Nothing’s working? You should consider swapping your roommate now.

If you feel like you’ve tried everything and communication attempts are falling flat, let your RA know you want to swap roommates. Taking some photos of the state of the apartment should help your case. Not living in a dorm? It might be time to have a frank conversation with your housemate about going your separate ways.

“My roommate is that slob that never leaves their bed!”

Here’s a look at slobs of the other category: roommates that never leave their bed!

“I have a ton of schoolwork and she skips 60% of her classes for any reason she can find and sleeps in until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Consequently, when I get back from class and want to work on things, I can’t because the lights are off and I can’t make too much noise.”

Reddit poster laurie_ann

Whether or not your roommate has bed bugs or they’re turning into a bit of a lazy bed bug themselves, you’d be surprised at how much this can affect your own quality of life. If your roommate is that slob who nocturnal or likes to hang out in the dark with Netflix glaring back at them, it’s not fair that you have to navigate your room with the lights off, in silence.

In this case, it’s time to take a stand. Remember that it’s your room, too, and you have things to do during the day. Apologize for turning on the light and making some noise, but explain that it is the middle of the day and you have work to do. If your relationship allows, try to find out why your roommate sleeps a lot during the day. There could be underlying health issues, so don’t approach the issue too harshly.

And once again, if nothing works and your situation permits, talk to your RA about swapping your roommate. Or your landlord about the situation. Or move out.

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers discern if it’s time for a roommate swap? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!

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