How To Not Be A Messy Roommate In 6 Steps

Having roommates in college isn't always easy. In fact, it can be an absolute nightmare, especially if the people you are living with don't like to clean up after themselves. Dishes stack up, weird smells abound, and heads inevitably butt — don't be the messy roommate. Because being the messy roomie means quickly becoming the one who's unbearable to live with. Take it from me — conflicts will arise and escalate if one person has stuff everywhere, and everything will just turn to sh** from there. To help keep the peace, I've come up with simple roommate rules to follow if you don't want to be the resident slob. A school year is long, and if you're unable to get your own room or switch roommates halfway through, it's a good idea to put forth some effort into not being the cause of any roomie dramz.

Not everyone is a Monica Geller, and therefore will not be wiping away crumbs the moment they land on the table. But there are ways to curb your slightly less organized habits without changing the free-spirited person that you are. You don't even have to make your bed everyday. You just need to acknowledge that you live in a shared space, and you need to be respectful of those you live with. Here's how to avoid being the messy roommate in your dorm, because you (and your roommates) deserve better than that.

1. Don't leave any dirty dishes

Dirty dishes are gross. Unwanted food gunk gets harder to clean once it dries, and then it attracts critters and flies. If this is the only clean habit you adopt, know that it's the most important one. Always clean your dishes.

2. Clean up any spills immediately

You might not care about a little juice splatter on the desk, or a little soup stain on the floor, but they're ugly and might start to smell, and they will be immediately noticed by your roommates. If you spill something, just grab a paper towel and wipe it up.

3. Take out the trash regularly

The best way to steer clear of a stanky trash can is to keep your trash container small, or don't have one at all. The bigger the trash can, the longer it'll take to fill it up, which means that waste will become even more disgusting in your tiny little space before it reaches the dumpster. Just... no.

4. Don't leave dirty laundry in piles

Would you be happy to see your roommate's dirty underwear on the floor next to your bed? Didn't think so. Be the example here, and immediately toss your dirty laundry in the basket.

5. Toss all expired food

Doesn't matter whose it is, or if the name on the container doesn't belong to you. Declare martial law on perishables, and you'll never have to deal with the stench of rotten fruit or old meat.

6. Keep your stuff in your designated area

You don't need a line down the middle of the room to come to an unspoken agreement about which side belongs to whom. And should your items wander over to your roommate's side, all you have to do is pick them up. If you have a mess of papers or clothes, put it on your bed and out of the way. Keep your mess contained, and the peace will remain.

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