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Thread: Living with a slob.

  1. #1
    Silver Contributor 100+ Posts Array lime_lemur's Avatar
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    Jul 2007

    Default Living with a slob.

    So not long ago I posted a thread complaining about my roomate, asking for some advice on how to approach her. I've discovered since then that my roomate is dense as a brick and doesn't pick up on any of the passive suggestions I've tried to give her.

    I'm an extremely neat person, and I get stressed if my living space has any clutter or mess. I have a very nice looking little apartment, I do a reasonably thorough clean every week. However, my roomate has absolutely no respect for it. She leaves the bathroom trashed every morning, always leaves food out everywhere (I have a MAJOR fruit fly problem now that's driving me nuts) and because her room is to cluttered that she can't even live in it, she's been living in the living room and sleeping on the couch. I can't even go in that area anymore, she's just taken it over. All her food in the fridge ends up rotting and leaking, and she never cleans it.

    She's a nice person, but VERY hard to get through to - and not particularly smart. I left the other weekend, and when I came back it was roughly 40 degrees outside - she had the window AC unit on because she thought it produced heat. Needless to say it was cold. She always comes to me with problems like "that lightbulb is out" or "we need more toilet paper" as if I'm the one who has to take care of it. She doesn't even know how to take the trash out, she's just never done it.

    I feel like I'm constantly cleaning up after a 6 year old who has no concept of how hard their mother works to keep the house nice, except that we're talking about a 20-something here. People have told me that I shouldn't clean up after her and that she needs to learn, but she won't. It's not a matter of teaching a lesson, it's a matter of having a clean apartment or a trashed one.

    I've asked her to clean before, and it's always "Yeah, I have a lot of work to do." I don't want to get too aggressive with her, because I don't want to be living with an enemy. How do I establish that I want the place clean without sounding like I'm making rules? Also, am I just too much of a complainer? Is this kind of roomate stuff normal, I'm just OCD or something?

    Also, please vent about your terrible roomate stories so maybe I feel better. lol

  2. #2
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    You can't change someone's make-up beautiful.

    I'm lucky. After reading all of that. My housemate is "tidy" but not clean.. I can't recall the last time she picked up a hoover or mop. She did at the inset through "guilt" as I started cleaning but then stopped. I took over, just decided I want a clean house and that's it.

    She moves things of mine, doesn't put them back, pinches my food for her mates while I am away and doesn't replace, drinks my coffee, leaving hers because she knows she's going to run out of hers, thinks I don't know They are small things but annoying because I refuse to pay for her stuff, her "rent" is for utilities and her room, I threw in evening meals, after all I cook anyway..

    She just hides in her room when she's totally stuffed up.

    So for me, I at least have the house the way I want it, I "pretend" I'm on my own still that being, I would have been doing that if she wasn't there, just a tad more than usual".. And, same, doesn't seem to like taking the garbage out, water the plants haha.

    With your flatmate, she's dirty/lazy and dis-organised full stop.

    Firstly, you should have a roster, and you should be telling her, listen no offense but we are sharing this place, so the loungeroom needs to be turned back into a loungeroom or else we aren't going to get along which will cause a situation of having to go back to the way I had things, on my own... No offense but I can help if you like, perhaps you need a few cheap storage boxes and shelving, to give you more room, in your bedroom... And, we both work so let's work out a small roster, nothing major, I'm not Hitler (laugh) but something that gives us a little equal time out for ourselves huh...

    I think if she realises that it may mean that you two separate from this situation she may look at things a little differently.


  3. #3
    Veteran Member (800+ posts & member 1 year+) Array
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    Oh man, I could go on and on and OOONNN about the last roommate I had. But I already have in a different post pretty recently, so I won't put everyone through it again.

    Basically, she wasn't very clean either but told everyone she was anal about a clean house. Her cat would leave huge turds all over the bathtub and she would get mad if I didn't clean it (in reality, I was waiting for her to clean up after HER cat when I started getting sick of doing it myself, or having my boyfriend do it). She left drinks out for days, left out her dirty ashtrays without ever cleaning them. It wasn't to the extreme of your roommate but she wasn't that clean. But when we had company, all of a sudden she would be cleaning everything... because she had an audience. Now, I'm not obsessive with cleaning, but it does drive me crazy when I see clutter, a floor that needs sweeping, a sink full of dirty dishes.. and I wipe down counters constantly. And no one can have a drink without using a coaster. But MAN.

    And don't even get me started on the hygiene. I never saw her brush her teeth or floss once in the whole 6 months we lived together. She had a toothbrush in our medicine cabinet, but it never came out of the package. And she only wore deoderant when she was about to go out. Same with showering.... once a week, maybe twice. She always did her hair and makeup nice, but she was always gross otherwise.

    Funnily enough, those aren't even the problems that made me not be able to stand her. On top of all this charm, she was also a total psycho. Ugh. Oh man, I ended up rambling anyway haha.

    I've got to be direct
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  4. #4
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    Tough issue.

    You usually can't convince a slob that they are a slob. They just have no concept of cleanliness. I think its a shame. I walk into people's houses sometimes and just about have a seizure. Amazing how some people live.

    This will only get worse as time goes on.

    You might want to start looking for alternate arrangements once your lease commitment comes due.

  5. #5
    WH Super Moderator Array caterpillar79's Avatar
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    A slob would always be a slob IF he/she doesn't do anything about it, and in most cases, they don't. There's a lot of "upbringing" issues there. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it"....

    I agree with OTYA ...or better yet, find a new roommate - or live on your own (if you can afford it anyway).
    What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility. - Leo Tolstoy

    The clearest explanation for failure of any marriage is that two people are incompatible; that is, one is male and the other female. - Anna Quindlen

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  6. #6
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    Alrighty, my sister is the world's biggest slob. I lived with her for about 3 years before I turned 18 and moved out. How I did do it? I got on her case to the point of her having to do something about it. I kept my area of the room tidy and when it even started to get messy, I would let her know it was clean up time. Granted this is my little sister and not a roommate but still. Just start cleaning up and be like, hey can you take this out to the trash and hand it to her. My boyfriend also isn't the tidiest of folk. Because he's my boyfriend, I generally try to just clean up after him but I also get on his case if I catch him in the act of dropping something on the ground. Since I left my little sister to our big old room together, OMG, it looks like a hurricane hit it. I am not kidding, this room looks like someone threw a grenade. is EVERYWHERE. There is not 1 inch on that floor you can walk on without stepping on something. I tried staying there recently, couldn't do it. I had to move to the living room and sleep on the couch. She even has an extra bed in there, two dresses, big closet, her own bathroom. You name it. I hope someday she realizes how NOT SAFE OR HYGIENIC it is to live like that. Ugh. It's awful.

  7. #7
    WH Moderator - JUNE 2011 POSTER OF THE MONTH- Array KMonte85's Avatar
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    Oct 2009


    I wish I had a solution for you, but unfortunately I've been in your situation and the only way it got better was parting ways w/ my dirty roomie!

    Freshman year of college I moved in with a girl I didn't know in the dorms who was also looking for a roommate. I'm a neat/tidy person and she was a SLOB in a tiny tiny TINY room. She had 3x's the stuff she ever needed, with obviously no storage space so I would randomly find her in my closet/dresser/etc where she stuffed it. Her food was always rotting in the fridge or on the shelf - we had so many bugs because she left empty food containers sit out forever. I asked her countless times to clean since there was no escape from the grime/smell in a small 1 room space. She would be okay for about a half second and go right back to her old ways.

    That was the longest school year ever.. she never got any better about being clean. Even when I was moving out at the end of the year - I was rolling up my rug that covered the cold tile floor and found a rotted half-eaten smooshed orange (i think) hiding under the rug. I wondered for WEEKS what was stinking and it was because she stuffed a flipping ORANGE under the RUG! who does that?!

    Blah. I haven't missed her one bit. The next year I got a job, moved into an apt and lived on my OWN! No roomie = no headaches!
    Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by echoskybound View Post
    I don't want to get too aggressive with her, because I don't want to be living with an enemy.
    You are living with an enemy, though. Strangers and friends wouldn't leave food out all over your house or do half the things you listed. I know it can be tough to put your foot down, but maybe it's time your roommate learns that she doesn't want to be living with an enemy.

    Every bad roommate I've ever had stopped being a bad roommate after I set boundaries and defended them. In many cases, setting boundaries actually improved the friendship between us. The roomie could feel like he was doing the right thing, and I could think of him as a friend instead of an enemy or an annoyance.

    Honestly, the other posters are right. Flight's better than fight in this situation. Get out and you'll save yourself a ton of trouble. But my take on it is that you'll need to learn to stand up for yourself at some point. It's much better to risk a relationship with a slovenly roommate than it is to risk one with a boyfriend, a husband, or someone you really care about.
    A chance to do good

  9. #9
    WH Head Moderator Array WildChild's Avatar
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    Speaking as a property manager, this type of thing can be a health and fire hazzard and is evictable. I have a tenant moving out now to avoid eviction because of an amazing mess - floor to ceiling, wall to wall - you can't see the floor or walls. I had the fire dept in to look at it, requested it be cleaned up to meet their standards and they are moving. It's too big a mess to be cleaned up otherwise. This case is probably a emotional disorder and without help will be repeated. I've seen it clearing out foreclosures, filth that cannot be accounted for by a few months of economic trouble - in nice neighborhoods.

    Eviction goes on your credit record and may not drop off for years. Depending on how bad the problem is there is more reason to deal with it than just annoyance. It can attract and harbor vermin and the management can require you to pay to have your unit and adjoining units treated. If you are on the lease together you are jointly and separately liable. Spell this out for her. It takes it out of the personal preference arena and may make it easier for you to stand your ground.
    We can only learn to love by loving. - Iris Mudoch, British writer

  10. #10
    Silver Contributor 100+ Posts Array lime_lemur's Avatar
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    Not long ago some health and safety officials came to check out the building, and since the fire escape to my apartment is only accessible through her room, we did get a warning... but she didn't clean anything. The next time they announce an upcoming health and safety inspection it'll give me an ideal opportunity to get on her case for a legitimate reason, other than my own pickiness/neatness.

    You're right OTYA... she must be completely comfortable with her living conditions, she sleeps on a bed covered with papers and dirty dishes and whatever else. Ick.

    I love having the place to myself... I definitely need to be out on my own. Ugh

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