Real Roommate Problems I’ve Experienced Over The Years

real roommate problems

What makes a roommate problematic?

It’s the roommate who damages your stuff or sucks at cleaning. Below, I’m going to share some real world roommate problems that I experienced back when I use to rent out a room in my house for extra income.

Let’s begin with a little roommate from hell story!

In 2009, I had met a really nice roommate, and we completely hit it off. Then they moved in, and everything seemed normal for the first month. Then with a serious look on their face, they asked me if I could show them how to use the vacuum and the mop.

I was in total disbelief that they would ask me this, but I found it a bit humorous at the same time. A bunch of other cleaning problems came up after that too, and I was not going to be their maid. They moved out a couple of months later.

The lesson here was I could have saved a lot of time if I knew about the cleaning problem before they moved in.

The best way to find out about your potential roommate’s bad habits is by having an upfront conversation about their life experiences. Asking questions and telling each other stories will reveal any red flags you might have about them.

If you don’t hear anything bad then you might have a winner!

My biggest roommate tip ever!

During the first month, when you live with someone new, make sure you alert them to any of their bad habits. You need to catch it early on because the more time that passes, the harder it will be to correct.

The below is all true and something I’ve personally experienced.

Let’s Begin!

Problems Sharing The Kitchen

Sometimes sharing a kitchen will be going well for one person, but the other person is thinking. “This sucks, what is this person thinking?”

The Dirty Dish Brush

Imagine this for a moment. You go to your favorite home store; Bed Bath And Beyond and buy a new premium dish brush (one that will really scrub those dishes clean).

You use it once, and then you leave it by the sink, then
your new roommate decides they want to use this brush.

They see it and say, “Wow! What a lovely new brush, how nice of my roommate to buy this. It will make a great brush to clean my muddy shoes with.”

You later walk into the kitchen to witness them doing this. Of course, you say: “Hey! What are you doing?” They get upset because you are yelling and in their mind, they are doing no harm.

What if you did not walk in on them? I guess you’d be using a dirty shoe dish brush for washing your dishes.

The Overflowing Trash

Another interesting problem that comes up in the kitchen is when everybody stares at the overflowing trash in the garbage can; sometimes it will even get packed down. Then you can’t pack it down anymore, and it smells dreadful.

It should only get packed down once and never get to the point where it smells. Set the example and take it out yourself, then hint to your roommate to chip in if they are slacking.

You Clean The Floor, They Make It Dirty

The last big problem I have noticed in the kitchen is the floor. They’ll be a time when you’ll be finished sweeping and mopping it. You’ll look down when you are done and say “Wow does that floor sparkle!”.

You’ll leave for a few hours, and when you get back, you feel something under your feet. Then you realize what has happened. Your roommate cleaned the counter-tops and wiped all the coffee grinds and sugar straight onto the floor.

So you make a request to have them clean that up, and they say “Okay.” You come back a few hours later, and your feet are sticking to the floor like glue. They used a cold wet towel to spread it all over the floor. Then you find out that they don’t even know how to use a mop!

Believe it or not, this happened to me once with an old roommate, I was shocked, to say the least.

Problems Sharing a Bathroom

If you are not getting along in the kitchen, the bathroom will be hell. If you are getting along, it will be no big deal.

One of my favorite problems is when my roommate likes to use my clean towel as a floor mat! It’s nice for their wet feet to dry off after getting out of the shower. Then they’ll mop up the water on the floor and hang your towel back up.

That was a problem I had once and why I don’t share a bathroom anymore.

Problems Sharing The Laundry Area

Having a laundry schedule might sound like a good idea, but no one will ever follow it 100% of the time.

Be a good roommate and move your clothes from the washer to the dryer as soon as your wash cycle finishes. Then again, once your clothes are done drying take them out of the dryer and clean the lint.

If you accidentally leave laundry sitting in one of the machines and your roomy needs to do laundry. Agree with them that they’ll gently put your clothes to the side and not on the floor.

A lot of times, my roommate would leave their wet clothes in the washer for the entire day, or never clean the lint out of the dryer. I had one roommate even ask me to fold their clothes if I saw them left in the dryer. What?

All you can do is your best to move your clothes out of the washer or dryer once they are done, out of all the roommate problems, this is not a big deal honestly, but more of an annoyance.

Problems Sharing a Living Room

Sharing the living room with your roommate will be fun and where most of your social interaction will happen. When you start inviting friends and other guests over, some memorable events will occur in this space. You’ll want to make an inviting and comfy place for all the people using it.

Make sure you clean up after your guests! Guests normally leave a big mess behind and most of the time my roommate would not clean it up.

Problems Sharing The Garage and Outdoor Areas

What kinds of problems could you possibly run into, while sharing the garage and outdoor areas? We’ll here is what I’ve experienced.

Too Much Patio Furniture

If you have too much patio furniture, you’ll need to pick out who has the best pieces and leave the rest at the junkyard. No one wants big, heavy, rusty old furniture.

The BBQ Grill

Barbecue time! Make sure you show all your roommate how to use the grill if you’re the one that owns it. I once saw someone take my gas grill and preheat it to high.

Then they forgot about it and it burned up the metal paint on the lid and ruined the burners inside.

Junk In The Garage

Don’t let your roommate store too much junk in the garage, because when your roommate moves out they’ll probably leave most of that junk behind. So agree upfront on limits for how much stuff will be stored in the garage. Also agree that it must be removed from the garage when they move out.

Working On Old Cars

Be careful of the roommate who likes working on old cars. It is the worst person to share a garage or parking area with, that broken car will never get out of there!

Not to mention, all the scattered old tires, rims, tools, and engine parts throughout the garage. Maybe even a little oil and grease, landlords just love that! NOT.

Final Thoughts

It’s very possible to not have a roommate from hell. But, then again only in a perfect world. LOL – When you mix two friends or strangers living in the same space complete bliss rarely seems to happen.

So if you get stuck with a bad roommate, learn from the experience, be kind, and be glad when you don’t live together anymore.

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