My roommates both moved out (without telling me first) because I was too messy and didn’t have the motivation to clean (because of executive dysfunction and my depression). I’m wondering how people handle living with roommates that aren’t brains and how to get out of my own head. I was so in my own world that I couldn’t tell how disgusted they were with me.
I am sorry that this happened to you. Its the hardest thing when dealing with this struggle. it’s okay nothing you can do about this right now, here is what I do. I find a roommate that is great at organizing and cleaning and offer a reduced portion of the rent to balance your end of the deal. I have dealt with that executive dysfunction most of my life… its okay you may be able to help that person with something in return that they may not be good at, but ASK and make a deal with your next roommate and DISCLOSE from the beginning so their is no surprises. I had a roommate that I use to pay 100$ a month towards rent credit and groceries and it worked well, until she got married and then she moved out. I hope that helps, but don’t think about the ones that moved out, those where not a good mix and its okay, a better fit will be your next roommate. GOOD LUCK let us know.
I’ve had these exact struggles for many years and here’s a few ways I’ve dealt with it (in bullet points because those who have seen my posts may know I love a good bullet point list):
- Keeping my own separate plates, cups, cutlery etc. so that when I don’t wash it, it doesn’t affect anyone else.
- Keeping all my mess, including dirty dishes and laundry, in my room so it doesn’t affect anyone else.
- Not cooking things that use lots of pots and pans. At worst, my meals just came in a packet and the only thing I had to wash afterwards was a fork. I knew I wouldn’t be able to cope with the washing up so I avoided creating it in the first place.
- Cleaning communal areas as I go rather than as a general rule, e.g. Wiping kitchen surfaces after I’ve spilled something, rinsing the bath after I’ve had one, cleaning the sink after I drop some toothpaste in it etc. This also means my mess doesn’t affect anyone because in the communal areas, I’m not leaving any.
- Setting reminders for the chores I can’t lessen, like taking out the bins and emptying the washing machine. This one is still hard to follow but if you’ve made everything else as easy as possible for yourself, this may be do-able some of the time.
- Don’t berate yourself if you’re not consistently tidying and cleaning, just celebrate the times you are able to do it.
- He honest with your roommates about how much you struggle with things, but more importantly, assure them that you are taking steps to make changes and lessen the impact it has on them.
It may not be practical, but if you keep your mess to your own room and not in the communal areas, your roommates will be more sympathetic. If you leave communal areas messy and dirty, people may take that the wrong way as a sign of disrespect and insult, regardless of what you say to the contrary.
Thanks for the tips! The problem actually is that we shared a bedroom as well, so all areas were communal areas. The only space that was “my own” was my closet or under the bed (which can still be seen by other people). I will be getting new roommates soon so I have a chance to start with good communication. They didn’t tell me which specific things to clean, just that I need to “keep the communal spaces clean.”
I also didn’t get to pick my roommates- they were chosen by my university. Another problem was them going to sleep before me so I couldn’t properly put my stuff away from the day before without waking them up.
I have had a very similar thing happen to me recently. My roommates decided they dont want to live with me anymore in university. I think at first it was upsetting for me because I didnt see it coming. Now I just try to do my best and put reminders for things that bother them and hope that I’ll eventually find roommates that understand the way I function. I was talking to my therapist today about this whole situation and she told me to create a list of how my brain makes living with other people more difficult or ways that I accidentally upset people because of my brain. She told me to talk to my roommates or write a letter about this and explain to them that its not that I am not trying its that my brain works differently and im not acting the way I do on purpose.
Its really a mismatched situation and no fault to you. Maybe asking the university for support in matching you up with nightowls. Potentially may help you catch up with your roommate duties. Good luck
I know it’s more expensive, but maybe you can discuss a single room as an accommodation for your ADHD, since it does make it difficult to live with others? Not sure they’d make that leap, but it might be worth a shot, especially since you’ve already had people move out over it. That’s a pain for the administrators since they have to find spots for those people and find new people to stick with you (unless you luck out and end up with an empty triple).