For most of us, roommates are a non-negotiable part of our 20s. But living with someone and all of their quirks, is tricky -- whether it's a friend, your significant other, or a complete stranger. In the best cases, you wind up with someone who is clean and friendly, and has a schedule that meshes well with yours.
In the worst cases, you find yourself awkwardly duking it out for time in the bathroom, fighting over space on the DVR, and letting dirty dishes pile up in your tiny kitchen sink. Your home life becomes a series of mini-melodramas and you are no longer on your best behavior -- or on speaking terms with your housemate, for that matter.
We've all been a bad roommate at one time or another, possibly without even realizing it. That's why we asked a handful of R29 staffers to reveal the domestic behaviors that they secretly can't stand. Some of their deal breakers are probably your deal breakers, too. Some of them will definitely surprise you. Look through, and see if you recognize yourself anywhere in here.
"My roommate refuses to recycle, though our building requires it and will face a fine if we don't. She prefers to line her trash up in little shopping bags next to the front door to sit there for several weeks. I once trash bagged her bags up into two full trash bags, tied them, and told her to take them out before I left for a 10-day vacation (they'd already been sitting there for a full week). I came back and they were still sitting next to the front door; first thing I saw when I came back from vacation."
"I've lived with my S.O. for the past year, and in that time we have absolutely tested each other with our own personal living-space-quirks. I find piles of his socks (which I call "sock graveyards") in the corners of the room and he questions why I keep my tampons in the same place as our gloves and scarves. I lose my mind when he leaves our curtains open at night (our room faces a very busy street and it can feel like living in a fishbowl after dark) and he insists that I wash the sheets too often, citing this chilling statistic as evidence. The more I think about it, the more sitcom-y it feels, but I'll never tell him that."
"One of the things I do not allow are street clothes in my bed. Unfortunately, I'm a germaphobe and my bed should be all things clean. Any and every one of my friends are required to strip prior to entering the mattress zone -- and they know this! It's not a requirement that you shower, but if any pieces of article touched something public, take it off. Like, don't sit in my bed with those same street pants you just sat your ass on the train with! Makes sense, right? If not, you can always sit on the couch... or the floor."
"I hate finding my roommate's fake eyelashes stuck on the wall or on a piece of furniture. It looks like a dead centipede at first!"
"I hate it when people wear outside shoes into my bathroom especially when they walk on my bathmat in them. Gross, gross, gross! And, it happens a lot because I have the bathroom closest to the living room."
"I hate when my roommate gets up to pee in the middle of the night and doesn't flush it, so the first thing I see every single morning is her four to five-hour old piss sitting there in the toilet. She does this every single night."
"I hate when one of my roommates leaves dishes in the sink. It's incredibly frustrating to come home from a long day of work, looking forward to making a big pot of macaroni and cheese that you'll enjoy with an entire bottle of red wine (that pairs, right?), only to discover the pot covered in slimy muck, beneath several other muckified pots and plates. Once one roommate leaves something in the sink, someone else leaves theirs, and before you can blink, the kitchen sink has transformed into a mold-infested, unusable tower of 'it's not my problem.'"
"I once had a roommate once who insisted on turning every glass jar into a drinking glass even though we had two existing sets of actual glassware. Pickle jars, pasta sauce, more pasta sauce -- you name an empty supermarket jar -- it became a drinking glass. The cabinet was overflowing with miscellaneous glass bottles. UGH."
"I'm a very neat and organized person, but my roommate takes it to the next level. If I load the dishwasher, she will come behind me and 'fix' it. If I close the blinds in one direction, she'll come in and switch it so they're facing the other way. If I put stuff in the fridge, she always moves everything to a different shelf. I'm not sure she even realizes what she's doing half of the time, but it drives me nuts."
By Caroline Stanley.