Housemate doesn't clean up after himself. Help.
November 16, 2009 10:58 PM Subscribe
My housemate doesn't clean up, like ever. How can I do to make things work, or at least more bearable?
posted by dunkadunc to human relations (41 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've been sharing an apartment since the beginning of September with an old acquaintance, and everything's been going well enough. EXCEPT:
My housemate doesn't help out with the cleaning. Every day I come home to even more mess, and it's starting to really bug me.
Some background here: My housemate and I are both 23, male, and college seniors. We went to high school together but lost touch after graduation. I was looking for a housemate for an apartment I found this August, and a mutual friend said Housemate (whose mom died last year) was looking for a place as well. We signed a lease, moved in and started school, so far so good.
The first hint I got that Housemate wasn't very good at cleaning was about a week in when he asked me what "rinsing" dishes meant. Since then, he's remained pleasant, but the amount of housework he's done has gone from little to almost none.
The main problems:
-His dishes stay dirty in the sink either until I wash them or there are no more clean ones, whereupon he washes a dirty one, uses it, and puts it back in the sink. The same thing goes for pots and pans. I can count the number of times he's washed all the dishes in the sink on one hand, and even then they've come out covered in brown curry grease and needed to be washed again.
-When asked to wash his dirty pots and pans that were filling up the sink, Housemate was surprised that I would want them to be cleaned even if I wasn't immediately going to use them. Housemate said that he would wash them before he needed them again "only as a favor". He cooks about four gallons of curry every two weeks.
-Although he was willing to split the cost of a $50 vacuum cleaner, the only time he's picked up a broom was when he broke a glass. He's been leaving brown greasy globs of curry on all the kitchen surfaces and covers the floor in oil when he cooks. All these problems with cleaning up have carried over to the bathroom as well.
Apart from all this, he's been a decent housemate, asking if I want to watch cartoons or split a pizza or whatnot, or coming out to parties with me.
I've talked to him about washing dishes and cleaning up around the apartment, and he's always said "sure"- the problem is it doesn't end up happening. He tends to drink beers and watch cartoons when he's done with schoolwork and doesn't have anything to do, so it seems like a combination of procrastination and just not knowing how to run a household: his mom used to do all the housekeeping.
What can I do to encourage him to do his share of housework, or failing that, what can I do to minimize the amount of mess I have to deal with? Ideally, we would clean up after ourselves, and if someone else missed something then the other would clean it, no problem.
I don't want to be that passive-aggressive guy, but something's got to change, since I'd like to be able to have guests over without feeling embarrassed. I'd be tempted to only clean up after myself, but I'm afraid the apartment would be taken over by maggots.