to ask how to deal with my messy flatmate?(29 Posts)
I really like her but she constantly leaves her things spread around the kitchen; she's not terribly messy but quite messy. She always leaves her food (packaged but still) out on the counter rather than putting it back in her cupboard; unwashed plates on the side, and takeaways out on the side festering. I always chuck them when they get too old/put her dishes in the dishwasher/empty dishwasher and draining board/empty bins. These jobs take about 5 mins and at first I didnt mind doing them, but she hasnt seemed to clock that I keep doing it - I thought shed have the good grace to be embarrassed?
I like having a really tidy, clutter-free kitchen but accept that everyone's different, which is why I haven't nagged. I'm also v confrontation-averse. But I feel like it's only polite to clean up after yourself (our agreement when we moved in); I'm more annoyed as well because she has her aunt staying over this weekend, so they have both been eating takeaways, filling the bin up to beyond full, leaving things on the side and clearly neither can be arsed to walk five steps and take it outside! The surfaces are covered in crumbs and general waste and yet again it was me who put all their stuff in the dishwasher... :/ My mum/aunt would be the opposite and have spent the weekend cleaning!
I have broached the idea of a cleaning rota but we have all agreed just to do our bit - this isnt working though... Our other flatmates are clean and tidy... She just leaves her stuff everywhere. Coffee cups everywhere/plates everywhere. It is always me who cleans it up as I just dont like the sight and it takes 5 mins. But I would feel really anal saying anything as it sounds naggy/she would probably do it in the end - it's just I crack first...
You have 3 choices put on your big girl pants and have a
series of conversation, continue to tidy after her or move out.
There is no magic cure.
Yeah fine, Ive lived in houseshares before and am used to differing levels of cleanliness... I dont know how to approach it with her though. I want to be really nice but I find it pretty thoughtless.
Speak to your other flatmates about it and ask them if they've noticed the same and if it's an issue for them. If it is, then all of you sit her down and have a talk. Do it nicely, but say that you've noticed that she leaves things and you end up tidying. Ask her to be more aware sand deal with it quickly rather than leaving things around.
Hopefully that will improve things. If it doesn't, then just starting taking the plates, or bags of her rubbish, and putting them in her room. That way she has to deal with them herself.
I dont want to do either of those things though... As I say, I always tidy within 24 hours so I dont think theyve even noticed as it always gets done - kitchen always looks fine as I am the one chucking stuff away. Plus dont want to look like I'm bitching about her...
Only option I can think of is to arrange a flat clean once a week. But then again that puts it all on me. I would quite like to have a bin rota or odd jobs rota, where one night each week someone makes sure dishwasher is loaded/emptied/draining board cleared/bins out - does that sound fair?
A cleaning rota is unfair on your other flat mates who are tidy. You will simply have to bite the bullet and stop pandering. As you say, she may not even realise she does it.
I do have experience of this, lived with 2 (different sets of house mates) incredibly messy people.
When she leaves food pacers our simply place tidily to one side. Keep doing every time she does it - a pile of her food will build. Same with her dishes and take always. DO NOT crack! It will be awful for a few days and you'll hate the mess but if you crack she'll know that if she leaves it long enough you'll always do it for her.
During exam time we had s rota in one house. If messy house mate didn't do her day we simply separated off her days dishes and left those to one side. They sat there until she did them. She grumbled that it was ridiculous that we were doing dishes anyway but wouldn't do hers and yes it was ridiculous. This is how messy people get away with it - "it only takes 5 minutes"
You don't have to confrontational. You just completely calmly refuse to tidy up after her.
Years of living in shared houses taught me to ignore other people's mess. You are enabling her behaviour by clearing up after her. Shove her stuff into one pile out of your way and ignore it.
I think you have to sit her down for an adult conversation along the lines of, "You must have noticed me picking up after you and it isn't on. I'm not prepared to wash dishes for you or empty bins you have filled up to overflowing. You need to do your bit. From now on I am going to leave your dirty plates in X place. If I absolutely have to clean after you I will be bin bagging the stuff and you can fish it out to wash it when you run out of plates."
1. Conversation. If it fails:
2. Big plastic box where you dump all her stuff, clean/dirty/food, for her to sort out at her convenience.
Definitely stop cleaning and tidying up after her. she has no need to change her ways now because you are doing the work.
Either leave it neatly piled or chat with her about pulling her weight.
I am messy. I honestly don't see it.
Once someone left all my stuff in a pile in the middle of my room. I got the message then but tbh I soon went back to my old ways. It isn't deliberately done to annoy you - she probably doesn't even think about it - like me.
But luckily for me I only share with DH and DC now and most of them are messy too!
Personally I can't stand passive aggressive, I'm-hoping-she-notices-what-I-do-and-feels-bad, or people that leave notes.... Just man up and say it strait - oi flattie, put your food away, I'm about to cook... do your dishes, mate, I'm not going to. Some people respond better to just being told to do the stuff. I get super super busy esp. this time of year and just get in a zone with uni and all, it's likely not deliberate on her part. And if it really pisses you off, you guys are just going to have to part ways, people rarely change because they have a flatmate who is not impressed....
DD had this in her flat share. Conversations didn't do anything. One person continually expected the others to clear up after her.
The others took to putting anything (food, dirty crockery etc) left out into the messy persons room.
Some people just don't see mess. You may have to actually point it out to her. I'd make sure all other flat mates stuff is tidied up and then talk to her about pointing out that all the kitchen mess, stray cups etc are hers. If you tidy up for her she probably has no idea she is messy. Of course there is a very high chance that the talk will not change her behaviour, which leaves you with two choices stay and put up with it or move out.
I would ignore it. Why should she clear up if you are doing it for her? If it continues and you really can't stand seeing it then put it all on a big tray and put it on her bed or outside her door each time.
Get one of those plastic washing up tabs and pop all her dishes in there and place it in her bedroom - she'll soon get the message if your chat hasn't worked.
Agree with PP - don't put it in the dishwasher, put it on her bed.
You need to be assertive OP. Fannying about avoiding the issue is not going to work.
The problem is, people like her probably aren't bothered by mess so she won't see the point in doing anything about it. My DP is like this, I used to tidy up after him but have now given up. I draw the line at the "floordrobe" though - if clothes remain on the chair or floor in our bedroom for more than 24 hours I bundle them up and stick them in his wardrobe!
You need to be more accepting in a flat share. She probably see's you as fanatical.
I've been in your position & I just had to let it go. I don't think it's your job to enforce rotas as it sounds like you're the only one that gives a shit.
Dealt with an issue like that by grabbing all the takeaway leftovers, dirty stuff etc and just put it all just inside former flatmate's room - didn't enter her room but just piled it all up by her doorstep. Was my place though. She got the hint fairly quickly. I'm not super tidy but she was really messy. Things were ok for a while but I got back to an utter bombsite after being away 2 weeks, so charged her for a total deep clean by a professional company. She paid with a sour face and then I gave her a few weeks notice, as she didn't change. Ironically, you just gotta love Karma, she ended up sharing with some people who were even worse than her (shudder to think how bad they must have been) and she complained bitterly to other friends. They laughed in her face, as they had all kicked her out for being so messy over the years
Enforcing a cleaning rota is the best way to go.
I am very messy, probably was as bad as your housemate. I grew up in an untidy home (parent with depression and difficulties coping) and these things just don't come naturally to me. I see mess and it just doesn't bother me and it's not a priority.
With a rota and chore organised splitting I know what's expected of me and when I get in I do what's needed of me out the way so it's done. It's taking time but it is becoming gradually more and more of a habit.
Please do not dump washing up in her bedroom, it's horrible and upsetting when people react in this way as well as a total invasion of privacy. Just get what needs doing on paper and try to understand that for some people this does not come naturally but this doesn't mean they can't learn with a little nudge.
I can't see how a cleaning rots would help with this. There's a big difference between cleaning and tidying up after yourself on a day to day basis.
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