The Bookbyte Blog
How To Turn A Bad Roommate Into A Great One (Without Them Noticing)
Written By Lucas Wiseman
If you have lived in a dorm, you have inevitably fought with your roommate. Maybe they won't pick up their dirty laundry. Maybe they threw up on your bed. Maybe you passive-aggressively rearranged their movie collection so it is no longer alphabetical as retaliation for the bed incident.
Either way, you need a way to get your roomie to change their habits, and quick. The solution is easy: you buy them stuff and be nice to them until they do what you want.
Some may call it bribery, I call it persuasive negotiating.
Trick is, you can’t say “you’re kind of a slob, so I bought you this laundry hamper, please use it.” That may work in some rare cases when your roommate is sane and rational, but for the rest of the world it’s probably not in the cards.
Instead, you need to be diabolical. Crafty, even.
You buy two laundry hampers and say “I know keeping our clothes clean and off the floor has been a problem for us, so I got us laundry hampers!”
Your roommate is touched. You went out of your way, you spent money and gave them a gift, and it’s so… thoughtful!
Even though the other person is definitely 100% the problem, making it seem like it’s a 50/50 issue is the key. “It’s our problem.” Just like in couple’s therapy! Remember you have to live with them for the next few months, so try to be somewhat sincere when you solve problems this way.
If spending money on your roommate is a painful thought, you can make some quick cash with these 6 strategies.
Here are some solutions for common roommate problems.
Roommate smells/ unsanitary.
Invest in some scented candles for both of you (if your uni doesn’t allow candles, try potpourri) or a body lotion. Try saying “it was buy one get one, and I thought of you.”
Roommate is noisy/ stays up late.
Go out and get some ear plugs, headphones, and an eyeshade for the two of you. Let them know that you feel just awful about keeping them up late, and you don’t want to bother them anymore.
Roommate won’t clean dishes.
Buy them new dishes and a dish drainer. Alternately, you can put tape down the middle of the room and throw their dirty dishes over the tape line and into oblivion. Your call.
Roommate’s bathroom habits are disgusting.
You’re going to want to read this.