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Flatmate not doing share of cleaning

(14 Posts)
Littlepleasures Tue 31-Jan-17 18:02:15

Dd, early 20s, shares a flat with best friend. Dd quiet home bird, best friend social butterfly. Have a shared friendship group but bf has much wider, additional social circle so is out most nights while dd content with once or twice a week. Dd really values friendship but flatmate does very little cleaning or cooking, using the excuse she cant find the time as she is out so much. So dd's got the choice of living in a pigsty or doing it all herself. She's trying a standoff at the moment, but two weeks in, the flatmate still hasn't lifted a finger and doesn't seem to notice the filth.
At her age, in the 80s, I could afford to buy my own home, but she can't even afford to rent alone and says anyway she values the friendship and wants to go on sharing. But how to get the flatmate to do her share?
Not having had this experience myself, I'm not sure what advice to give her. I did suggest agreeing a two hour time each week where they worked together to give it a good clean and if the friend doesn't pitch in, bill her £15 as a cleaner but this seems a bit dramatic even to me.
Has anyone been in this position and how did you deal with it?

Ladyformation Tue 31-Jan-17 18:22:09

If flat mate isn't home that much, is she really creating that much mess/dirt? And how filthy can 2 adults make a flat in 2 weeks?! Is it cleaning/tidying, or is it also things like doing the washing up and emptying bins?

I'm coming to the end of my on-again-off-again living with flatmates period (barring disaster) and have always found that the best solution if it's remotely affordable is to get a cleaner. Even if it's a couple of hours once a fortnight it makes a difference.

WhoKn0wsWhereTheTimeG0es Tue 31-Jan-17 18:26:47

I think it does depend on the level of filth. I used to share with a girl whose boyfriend would come to stay for the weekend, she would cook all weekend but leave all the washing up till Sunday night when he'd gone, so the entire kitchen was stacked with dirty dishes including grill pan etc. I felt that was unreasonable.

OTOH I then shared with another girl who used to get upset because I didn't want to take my turn at washing and ironing the curtains every six weeks, I also felt that was unreasonable.

So, I think first of all they need to find their middle ground. Hoover once a week each? Clean bathroom once a week each? Do dishes/wipe counters after each meal. That sort of thing.

Chloe84 Tue 31-Jan-17 19:10:05

If flat mate isn't home that much, is she really creating that much mess/dirt? And how filthy can 2 adults make a flat in 2 weeks?!

Presumably the friend is using the bathroom, and bringing in outside dirt every time she comes in through the door, shedding hair and skin etc.

All that adds up. Other people's dirt is grim.

OP, could the friend be taking advantage of your DD's placid nature?

Dailymaildailyfail Tue 31-Jan-17 19:15:03

I've lived with girls who have not pulled weight before, and for someone who is very house proud, it's miserable.

I think your DD firstly needs to chat with the BF- suggest a flat mate night in with some food and wine and she can discuss it then. No whatsapps or emails- this is now so many of my shared house rows happened!

Your DD just needs to explain that the housework is getting on top of her and maybe they should share thenhousework or get a cleaner? Put it to her first so she has a chance to respond or do something about it. So many times I assumed my housemates knew i was annoyed when they had no problem. We used to put Sunday's aside for general cleaning and sorting for the week and used it as a chance to sit down and have a dinner as a house- maybe that a good route to go down?

BeachyKeen Tue 31-Jan-17 19:17:39

I'd suggest that your dd does the cleaning as she is there, and the flatmate isn't likely to, but in return the flatmate needs to pay a larger share of the rent on cover housekeeping services

purplecollar Tue 31-Jan-17 19:22:04

My sharing days largely involved very little cleaning. I would say your dd should chill out about it. Clean her room, give the bath a wipe if it looks grim. Give the lounge a vacuum once in a while. I had many flatmates. None of them lived up to my expectations. It goes with the territory.

At one point I lived with dp and his two mates. None of them did any cleaning.

VladmirsPoutine Tue 31-Jan-17 19:24:02

How clean does it need to be? I've shared tons before and as long as there wasn't shit on the walls I didn't mind the odd dirty plate or whatever.

Crazycatladyloz82 Tue 31-Jan-17 19:26:33

I had a "delightful" flatmate once and I shit you not she never cleaned once in the whole 12 months of our contract. She was hardly ever home was always out getting high on cocaine and God knows what else but was the biggest creator of mess I have ever met. I would try stand offs of not cleaning and she never changed. I would then clean and by the next morning there would be sauces and food from her dinner all over the stove, counters and floors, coffee and milk on the counters and toothpaste in the sink, hairs everywhere I could go on. Some people are just filthy and always will be. Best advice to you daughter is move out. If she values the friendship it won't last if they stay living together. I haven't seen the girl I lived with since I moved out and we were friends before.

IonaNE Tue 31-Jan-17 19:33:10

Since they are both paying rent, neither of them has a bigger say than the other. The bf is not likely to change. Your DD needs to decide whether the mess is worth the friendship. If not, she needs to move elsewhere.

CripsSandwiches Tue 31-Jan-17 20:03:32

I agree with PP, if she's only in the flat briefly each week surely she isn't generating enough mess to require much cleaning time? I think the problem with sharing is that different people have different standards, your DD's bf clearly doesn't mind the mess so probably isn't going to change. If I was your DD I'd probably just pile bf's dishes out of the way adjust wash up my own stuff, pick up bf's stuff on the floor into a pile and do the hoovering and wiping surfaces myself.

chasingrainbows27 Tue 31-Jan-17 20:18:59

I've lived in plenty of shares and unfortunately you can't make people clean up. It comes with the territory of sharing...

Would suggest that your dd takes over the cleaning if it bothers her that much. If it's just a flat surely it only takes an hour to do the bathroom and kitchen? Alternatively can't she wait until they are both in before she cleans and ask friend to help? If they are really great friends I can't see this being an issue.

Most housemates don't share cooking especially if their schedules and social lives differ so that's not really relevant.

Sorry but as her mum I would try not to get too involved. If it annoys her that much she needs to move out but I have to say I would value the friendship and the novelty of only having one housemate and not 4 or 5 over a cleaner house!

WhatKatyDidnt Tue 31-Jan-17 20:24:09

If they hire a cleaner - £10 a week each will pay for two hours - they can both spend their leisure time as they please. Money well spent.

Littlepleasures Tue 31-Jan-17 21:26:36

Thanks for all your advice. You're right, chasinggrain, I should stay out of it and I usually do. I learned my lesson when I tried to clean the kitchen the first time I visited my ds's student house. He threw me out and I took the hint. I never visit without checking it's ok first and never comment on the state of the place.
When I see it's annoying her though I do offer advice. I did suggest a cleaner but dd said bf leaves mountains of stuff piled up everywhere so a cleaner wouldn't be able to get near anything to clean properly.
Chloe - I do feel she is being taken advantage of as she is not a dominant personality but she has brought it up several times although any improvements have been short lived. I think the bf just has different standards and my dd will have to find a solution that accepts that. Paying a higher share of the rent is a good suggestion. That might make bf take her seriously.

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