The five stages of grief when dealing with a messy housemate

No matter how loveable, their mess drives everyone else in the house crazy


So you’ve just moved into halls or a house with your second-year mates, sorted who gets which room and then the issue of a cleaning rota gets brought up. Who’s going to take the bins out and who’s going to mop the floors?

We all know that after a while any rota you made will be forgotten about and you will be faced with the issue that pains every student: the messy housemate.

You may be familiar with the five stages of grief. They are the five stages of emotions you go through when experiencing loss or grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. When living with a messy housemate, you may also go through this process, a trying time for everyone.

First stage: Denial

It’s been a few weeks into the term, you’ve managed to keep on top of your washing, most of the time, yet there always seems to be a massive pile clogging up the sink with bits of soggy pasta floating here and there. Where is it coming from? And why is it still there when the rice stuck to the bottom of the pan has gone from white to green? Surely someone just forgot about it and it wasn’t left there on purpose..?

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Second stage: Anger

Now you’re just fuming. It’s been weeks and the living rooms hidden under a layer of rubbish and there’s not a single clean plate in the whole house. You go up to the offending housemates room, which looks like a tip, and have a go at them about the fungus growing in every visible space that is somehow all their fault.

Yet you achieve nothing. They refuse to change their ways and instead they just leave more mess to spite you.

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Third stage: Bargaining

Either you try and bring the cleaning rota back to no avail or you just straight up offer to clean their rubbish if they pay you, because let’s be real, the messy roommates always seem to be the ones with the rich parents so surely, they’ll be tempted by this. But when faced with it you can’t bring yourself to clean the horrifying mounds of mouldy food no matter how much chocolate they would have gave you in payment so back to square one you go.

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Fourth stage: Depression

It’s been months and you’ve finally gave up, guess living in a pig sty will be your fate for the rest of the year and so you try and do as much as you can in the safe haven of your own room. You hope the mould growing in the microwave won’t kill you and switching the oven on won’t start a fire hazard.

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Fifth stage: Acceptance

The final stage is one most people don’t reach with their messy housemates, and if you have reached this stage you’re one of the lucky few. This is the stage when you reach a fragile truce that if they at least clean dishes before they grow their own populations, you’ll try stop bringing up their inability to simply put rubbish in the bin that’s 2 feet away in every conversation. Either this or you start to make plans to move out and try and find people who know how to wash dishes to move in with.

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