There’s nothing as stressful as living in the same house with someone who dumps a wet towel on the bed, or someone whose shoes are always in every nook and cranny of the house. Living with someone who leaves their dirty dishes on the floor or unwashed is stressful, especially when you can’t stand untidiness.
There are some people that, no matter how clean the house is, they will always find a way to disrupt the cleanliness and make their presence known. It is like a clean environment gives them allergies 😒 – they will always find a way to leave it a little stained or obviously dirty. Should we talk about those who pee in the toilet and leave droplets of urine on the toilet seats? Yuck!
Dirty people are everywhere; from those who have their baths three times a week to those who will wear one underwear for two weeks and those who dip their index finger into their nose, swirl it round and round and then rub the catarrh on their cloth.
Okay, okay, we’ll spare you the details.
Anyway, an untidy person is different from a dirty person. Unlike a dirty person who will wear a white shirt that has a palm-oil stain on it and trowey face like say im no see am, an untidy person will most likely wear a clean cloth without ironing it. Clean, but rough, gerrit?
We all (probably) know one or two people that are like this and we’ve just left them to do or be whatever they want to be. But it’s a different ballgame entirely if you are living with such a person. You need the supernatural energy not to continually yell at them and go crazy. Anyway, if you are living with an untidy person, let us help your ministry before they drive you crazy.
Talk it out
Do you know that some people don’t know that they are untidy? Many of them fling their clothes and leave their shoes in the living room unconsciously. If you cannot condone this, then it is better you talk it out with them. Have a one on one discussion about how their untidiness affects you (and even they themselves). You should be very specific about what actions bother you.
You can take a step further by constantly reminding them about it until they get used to being tidy. Before reminding them about their actions, ensure that they are willing to learn. You also need to be polite about it. So rather than say: “what nonsense is this? Why is your towel on the bed?” You could say: “please pick your towel from the bed and spread it outside.” With time, they’ll adjust.
Come to an agreement
Some people hate doing certain things – like folding clothes or arranging the dishes. If you love (or don’t mind doing them), then you both can come to an agreement on who will do what. You can wash the dishes while the other person mops the floor. Or you can spread the wet towel while the other person cooks the meal. It will be no good if you keep forcing an untidy person to do certain things. Just come to an agreement and watch your life – and lungs – get easier.
Have a punishment for each action
Punishment does not mean asking who you live with to kneel down or ‘ride bicycle’. Punishment, here, means making whoever you live with realize that there are consequences for actions. For instance, you not spreading your wet towel means that it will remain there until it is covered with fungus or bacteria. If you do not clean the toilet after use, you have to go back to do that. If you continually clean up after the other person, because you don’t have the energy to ‘talk‘, then you will do that for a really long time. So the best thing is to let that person ‘learn a lesson’.
Laslas, learn to overlook certain things
One way to have peace of mind while living with an untidy person is to overlook certain things – especially if they are very little things and you notice that the other party has made certain progress and improvements in becoming tidy. Paying attention to the littlest untidy habits will do you more harm.
In all of this, ensure you don’t become a nag – complaining all the time and reminding the other party about how untidy they are could worsen the issue. While it is good to not condone untidiness and ensure that your other party contributes in keeping the environment clean, it is also good to let them learn at their pace and help them through the transition from untidiness to tidiness.
Ever had an untidy flatmate, roommate or partner? Share your experience with us.