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Kirk: How to train your roommate



I have this friend who has a roommate who, to put it gently, is a slacker. There are dirty dishes left out, lights left on in every room and messes left to be cleaned up by someone else. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

Having a messy, careless bum of a roommate is not an unheard-of problem. We all have heard horror stories about the roommate from Hell and pray we never have the pain of actually having one. Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to avoid this slob of a problem.

I’ve done some basic Internet searches to get some ideas — for my friend, of course. I’ve found countless forums with ideas that range from letting animals loose in the house to verbal abuse. They mostly seem like common-sense solutions, but they don’t always work.

Here are some basic steps to getting that couch potato of a roommate to behave as the rest of the people in the house — and society — do.

Your problem: your roommate doesn’t clean or put away their dishes. If the problem persists, first remind them that you are not their mother and are not responsible for their mess.

If, for some reason, their ears aren’t telling their brain that you’ve asked them to clean up after themselves, you’ll have to move on to step number two.

Take all of their dirty dishes and put them in a pile with a big sticky note on them so that they are forced to see them. It will make it obvious and apparent that the chore still needs to be done. If that fails, take the pile up to their room and leave them in the doorway.

Your problem: your roommate leaves the electronics on and therefore wastes energy, increasing your electricity bill and wasting your money. First, remind them that you both pay for the electricity and that it’s downright irresponsible to leave the TV on when no one is watching it.

If they don’t listen to that either, write another note as big as you can and place it on whatever electronic they leave on. Whether that’s a light switch, TV or oven light, make sure you’re obvious in your attempts.

When that fails turn off the TV whenever they are using it and tell them it’s for all the times they leave on the lights.

Your problem: your roommate threw a party and didn’t clean it up. First, ask them to get the cleaning done right now because you didn’t make the mess.

When that fails, get your big-girl pants on and get ready to become a raging you-know-what.

Remind them multiple times a day that you are tired of looking at their mess — they’ll become annoyed and angry with you. But that’s okay because watch as slowly your home becomes clean and goes back to normal.

If everything above fails, you can do as others have done on the Internet, and let a mouse loose in the house. If that’s too frightening and downright foul, call their parents.


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