In the bathroom, a few key rules that seem like common knowledge are unfortunately not. Take, for instance, hair in the drain. Everybody knows to remove hair from the drain after a shower, right? But do you know how many people actually do it? Like two in ten. And even though hair in the drain may seem like a small problem to have, it’s the little things that spark a lot of resentment over time when you’re living with others. So don’t be that person. And even more importantly, don’t be the person who can’t dispose of tampons or pads properly. Those of you who fall into this category know what I’m talking about. For some reason or another, you’re too lazy to take the time to wrap up your used lady items and mask them from your roommates by burying them in the trashcan. You may think no one cares or notices, but I assure you, your roommates think you are disgusting.
If you’re a dude, don’t be the guy who pretends that he doesn’t treat his own toilet like a urinal at a baseball stadium. ALL guys treat their own toilets this way, and therefore all guys should own up to the fact that pee is covering much of the underside of the toilet seat as well as the area surrounding the toilet itself. Rather than ignore this fact, guys should clean the toilet somewhat frequently. It’s not hard, and your roommates will very much appreciate it. This is especially important if you’re a guy living with all female roommates, because no woman is going to say, “Hey, your piss is all over the back of the toilet,” even if she feels like puking every time she enters the bathroom.
Finally, in the living room it’s nice if you don’t leave weird items around, like dirty dishes, sweaty running shoes or random piles of crap like junk mail mixed with candy wrappers and bottle caps. On occasion, it’s okay to be messy, but once you hit a certain age it’s better to just take all of the crap out of the living room that you brought into it. I have a theory that people whose moms used to always clean up after them find comfort in leaving behind traces of their lounging, but when you’re living with roommates it’s really not that cool. No one needs to know that you just watched nine hours of The Real Housewives back-to-back, so don’t feel compelled to claim your territory by leaving all your stuff behind.
Ultimately just because you shower every day and wear clean clothes doesn’t mean you’re a saint in the cleanliness department. It takes effort to maintain a clean house when you live with other people, so don’t let things fall by the wayside even if they’re not always obvious. There’s more to sharing a home than figuring out whose turn it is to take out the trash, and sometimes the most critical chores are the ones that no one mentions to your face.
Email me at roommates AT crushable DOT com to suggest column topics, ask personal advice, or share whatever is on your mind. But don’t be shy in the comments below. Nothing is more entertaining than reading and sharing your own roommate experiences, and we’ve all got a few. Or a thousand.