Coping with messy flatmates

When you sign up to live in Uni halls, you're more than aware it's a complete luck of the draw who you get put with. My flatmates were pretty varied - I lived in a flat of four, however it was more like a flat of three because one of the guys moved out after two weeks and went home, and we never saw him again! My other two flatmates were very different. I got on very well with the girl (Olivia*) I shared with and I was friendly enough with the guy (Jack*), however Olivia and I were very clean, and Jack....lets say he wasn't so clean. So here are some of my top tips to cope with a pretty untidy flatmate.

You have to live with these people, and as much as you don't have to be bezzie mates you still need to get on - you share a fridge! Instead of shouting 'clean the kitchen and stop leaving dirty pots everywhere' through their bedroom door, message them and say 'Could you please wash your pots in the kitchen please?' It just makes it a little less awkward the next time you're trying to share a shelf in the oven.

It's the old thing of if you do it for them, they'll never learn. Instead of washing up and putting everything away for them, let it build up at the side of the sink for a while (yes - I am a kitchen clean freak so this is very hard to cope with but it'll pay off). When they leave stuff on the table, pots on the worktop, just gentle stack them up and hopefully they'll realise how much they have to do.

This never worked for us but I know other flats where it did. Jack was hardly ever in the flat (he is the ultimate socialite), so making a cleaning schedule did not work, but flats where they are all willing to chip in with keeping the communal area clean, deciding who will hoover, who will mop, who will clean the worktops, who will take the bins out, everyone will do their fair share.

The 'two can play at that game' game will not work. Instead you'll just end up with twice as much mess as you would have done. Make sure you keep on top of what you use, wash it up, and if you fill the bin, empty it, if you're the last one to use the hob and it's all greasy, clean it. It's only fair, and you won't be the bad guy.

When we moved into our halls, it provided us with a couple of plates each, couple of bowls, a few pans, and cutlery. However me and Olivia took our own and I'm really glad we did. We had different plates, different patterns on our mugs, we knew what was ours and if someone left something you knew who's it was. Jack used the stuff we were provided with as well as the stuff he bought himself, so we know that anything white or black, and any plain glasses, have not been used by the girls!

I don't mean to cook, or to clean if you want to - but if you're having a massive flat party and people will be coming around ask you're flatmates if it's ok. If you get on with them (and invite them!) you probably won't have a problem, so just ask. The ask permission bit is really important if you run out of glasses and want to use their stuff! It's very frustrating when you go into the kitchen they day after your flatmate has a flat party and see all your glasses have been used. If you ask permission, they're probably going to repay the favour!

*Changed their names obvs just incase they ever find out I have a blog!

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