Sounds like you're marrying your mother.


Haha! I wouldn't go that far since my mother is an immigrant from another country and her hoarding stemmed from growing up in extreme poverty. But I do see that one resemblance. :)


It seems like it's gotta be a long term compromise that you BOTH are working towards. It's clear your living standards are different so the task is finding a happy medium where both people can live comfortably. The problem that arises often is people take things out of context and put more meaning behind each action or inaction. To you, him not cleaning up could be frustrating to you 1 because you have to deal with the mess but also 2 because you've attached more meaning to it, often that it "is a sign of disrespect". To him, he may find that his not being able to leave a mess anywhere means that "he doesn't belong ". Make sure that the issues stay as the issues that they are because they get much more personal when we attach meaning. It's tricky because you want your clean house but don't want to be mothering someone. Depending on how good your communication is, I would hash out a list together of must haves, sorta wants and don't cares. Maybe there is one table in the house that you always want clear but don't mind about another table. Maybe all he wants at the end of the work day is to leave his lunch box on the counter. Get to know eachothers priorities and try to respect them. At the end of the day, good company is worth a 100% tidy house. Best of luck.


Beautifully put. Thank you for your thoughtful input. I know that I have often kept myself from bringing up his clutter because he is absolutely the kindest person I know and he would never purposefully disrespect me or my space. I am just interpreting his actions that way and it's not what he means. But I didn't think of it conversely that allowing him some areas to leave a mess makes him feel like he belongs a little more comfortably. I want that for him because I love having him here and he is my Person. He is tired from working all day but I will start thinking about pitching the list idea to him. Love this suggestion! Thank you so much.


Awesome, happy to help!


You gotta get on the same page, somehow. You are a bit extra with cleaning. He has that *fun* "I don't see the mess," thing going on. But you guys can do this, I think. You know there are fingerprints allllll over your house, right? You're only wiping them off stainless steel because you can see smudges. You're not following him through the bathroom wiping off his fingerprints, I'm assuming. Do your thing where and when it makes you happy (I like that you admit you're weird for enjoying cleaning.). He needs a ~~swift kick in the ass~~ loving talk. You cannot live like this. With someone *kinda* messy, maybe. But the toll to pay to be with you is to be cleaner. No shame there. Paper is the worst. It never stops. I have every single bill and correspondence online, and I still get probably 10 pieces of junk a week, and I doubt that's typical. It is your shared house, but he is a tenant, right? Tell him Tax Season is long over, and it's time to take your office back. He can pace and mutter. He can go to therapy. Or buy a paper shredder. Wish me luck. I have a cleaning service coming for the first time in my house next week, and my roommate acted like I told him I invited a dentist.


Is he trying at all? What does he do to meet your needs? He doesn't have to be perfect, but it seems to me like you gave him space for imperfections (e.g. spaces where he could keep his mess/be messy) and I think it's reasonable to want him to invest a little bit in your needs too. Putting his greasy fingers on the fridge for example is something that is completely avoidable just by washing his hands.


I sympathise with both sides. Firstly even though it was once "your" apartment, you live together now and he pays rent. Trying to get settled and make a place feel like his must be really difficult and maybe that's where the stress and anxiety comes from when you suggest organising to him? I think you should cut him a bit of slack. Find a middle ground where you can both collaborate to make a home you both feel comfortable in. Maybe set aside a space that is just yours and just his? (Though that doesn't sound doable if it's a small place). I think you both need to sit down and work out how to make a tolerable living situation for both parties before it becomes resentment and ingrained behaviour.