Housemate 101


I have recently moved from a student house, where the only people who knew each other were the people in the same fraternity, where dirty dishes would be left to ‘soak’ for weeks and where I once found a mouse under my pillow.

When I lived there I considered myself to definitely be the cleanest, tidiest and most considerate housemate of the lot of them, and although I am not dirty per se, I am very aware that my living arrangements from last year have dramatically raised my tolerance for grime.

Having moved in with two friends to a sparkling new apartment, with housemates who take great pride in the state of our home, I am slowly realizing the extent of my messiness.  It seems, that in my old home, I was simply the best of a bad bunch.

Unused to living in a space greater than 14 square meters, I somehow manage to spread my things in a kind of even disarray across our home.  Reaching corners and rooms which I have no reason to spend time in, I mark my territory with a trail of hairbands, bobby pins, receipts, notes and sweet wrappers.

I have a nasty habit of leaving our damp washing in the machine, only removing it once the stagnant odor permeates the cupboard in which the machine is kept.  And the countertops of the kitchen are dusted with an even sprinkling of my coffee powder.

Contrary to my idea of myself as a dedicated aficionado of housework, I sit on my laptop, sucking up our meager wifi as my housemates buzz around, sweeping, vacuuming and generally making our house a home.

But, I do not believe I am beyond the point of return.  I think with their schooling I can easily be transformed from ‘messy clean’ into something easier to live with.  This is probably something I should do fast, before the appearance of passive-aggressive notes, which is surely only a few steps away from being told that “I think it might be time we went our separate ways…”

Phoebe Ellis-Rees, Bachelor Student of Arts & Culture

Housemate 101
Phoebe Ellis-Rees
Author: Redactie

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