Manners Matter: My Roommates Are Slobs

Dear Mary Pat,


Help! My roommates are total slobs. I live in a summer rental with three of my coworkers and no one seems to be aware of the fact that we do not have a live-in maid. The bathroom looks like a war zone with towels thrown about, make-up and brushes left on the counter and my feet practically stick to the floor from all the hairspray residue. The kitchen and common areas aren’t much better. Dirty dishes are left in the sink for days and the refrigerator is full of leftovers that are beginning to resemble science experiments. I picked up after everyone the first week, but it’s not my job to clean up their messes. I am working 55 to 70 hours a week as it is. Is there a way to motivate them?



Neat as a Pin

Ephraim, Wis.



Dear Neat as a Pin,


Maybe some of your roommates haven’t lived in a dorm or away from home yet, but they aren’t getting off to a good start. If basic cleanliness and hygiene don’t appeal to them, you might want to remind them that leaving dirty dishes around (and/or trash) might attract some unwanted guests, i.e. mice and flies. Why don’t you all sit down and come up with a cleaning schedule? It should work out perfectly. There are four weeks in the month and four of you, so you can alternate cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, etc. once a week. If you all clean your dishes right after you use them, put your toiletries away, pick your clothes and towels up off the floor, that will go a long way. If they start to slip, remind them that it doesn’t take much to have critters move in along with you.


Good luck,

Mary Pat

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