Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Things To Buy To Make Your Housemates Actually Clean Up*

The Debrief: *No miracle cures promised. Some people are beyond help

If you’re ‘the clean one’ in your house, you’ll understand the pain of spending all Saturday mopping your kitchen floor, washing up all the leftover dishes and wiping down the counters only to go out and return find your flatmate has had a massive boozy dinner and everywhere is covered in red wine and/or fajita fillings.

Short of yelling at them (and no-one wants to be ‘that guy’) there’s little you can do apart from gently remind them how nice it is when you all live in a clean house together. That, or you can get sneaky. Here’s a few (cheap) things to buy to make your house an altogether more harmonious and hygienic living space.

This novelty washing up brush


You know when you get a fancy new shampoo and you go home and have a shower even though you already had one just for the novelty of using it? Perhaps you can give the washing up the same treatment by introducing interesting implements. This snazzy flower dish brush is absolutely not guaranteed to work but might just be the one thing that sways your housemate if they’re looking at their plate and wondering whether to bother washing it up. The novelty will wear off quickly so maybe rotate with this one which I had a lot of success with in my house. I'll never understand why the concept of washing up liquid in the brush was so exciting but there you go.

This pathetic attempt to share the weight


If your flatmates aren’t cleaning then they’re also not pitching in for cleaning supplies. Don’t sit down and work out how much you’re spending on it a month; you'll cry and hate everyone you live with. Instead, implelment a kitty situation. Tell them that you’ll take the boring buying of supplies off their hands as long as they pitch in a couple of quid a month. This see-through piggy bank will make it easy to see who’s not paid and who’s just pitching in coppers.

A real life cleaner


If there’s enough of you, it’s not actually that expensive; like a tenner an hour and if you knock off the bedrooms (because who cares about what they do in their own space) you could literally need them for as little as two hours a week; which is a happy four quid each if there’s five of you. Bargain right?

This lame attempt to put it in writing


Either use this wall sticker to draw up a cleaning rota that will inevitably not be followed or, use it to write passive aggressive notes on. Even just a simple name and shame might do the trick. Maybe. Or they’ll all hate you. At least it’ll peel off without harming your landlord’s wall.

This last resort


We all lie in hope that this day will never come but some housemates just never learn. Buy a lock for a drawer and put all your stuff in there. All your nice cutlery, pans, plates… everything. Sure it’s the most passive aggressive thing you could ever do, but perhaps the severity of it will finally drive the nail home? Who knows. Good luck.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

The Eight Housemates You've Definitely Had

Question: What’s Worse, Having Nightmare Neighbours Or Horrible Housemates?

How Long-Term Housemates Make It Work... Tips From Those Who've Done It (Successfully)

Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

Tags: Housemates Head To Head, Home Sweet Home