Ask Garrett for Nov. 6, 2013
I live in a suite with three other girls. Three of us get along really well, but the fourth member of our suite is a bit reclusive. She rarely leaves her room to hang out with us, and this sometimes hurts our feelings. We try to get her to be a part of whatever we are doing, but that’s really difficult since she is usually locked away in her room. What can we do to get our fourth roommate to actually be a part of our room?
Just Wanting to be a Good Roommate
Dear Just Wanting to be a Good Roommate,
You should start by leaving a trail of candy that leads from the door of her room out into the main living area. From there, you will be able to capture her and drag her in to whatever shenanigans you and your other roommates are getting in to. However, you should definitely not do that because I am only joking, and that would probably be really creepy.
Now, let me try to give you some real advice. I would start by suggesting that you learn about a few things that your fourth roommate is interested in. Does she have any activities that she enjoys? If you show interest in things that she is interested in, then this can cause some serious roommate bonding to happen. Also, roommate dinners are a great idea. Set aside a night that you will cook with all of your roommates. However, if you have a couple of roommates that are not good cooks, some people can be assigned with clean-up or setting the table. If food is involved, who could possibly say no to roommate bonding time? Basically, get creative. Plan some fun things that she would be interested in and convince her to join you. It is amazing just how easily people can be persuaded if you pester them long enough. After all, there’s always the chance that she just isn’t sure if you want her to join you and your other roommates.
My roommates are a mess. I don’t know how to handle it. They always leave so much trash in the living room along with piles of dirty dishes and their personal stuff. Sometimes, I like for friends to come over and watch video games, but who wants to invite people over when there is basically nowhere to sit because of the huge mess? What do I do?
Drowning in Trash
Dear Drowning in Trash,
This is a common problem that can be really easy to deal with. Of course, I would definitely not confront your roommates with yelling and screaming about how messy they are. That definitely will not work. Instead, perhaps set up a “chore” list of sorts. Now, don’t write them down, just sort of get a verbal agreement from each roommate. For example, one week you may do dishes, someone else will take out the trash, someone will organize the living room and so on and so forth. This way everyone is pitching in, and it won’t seem like you are blaming everything on them.
Of course, if this does not work, you can always use guilt to your advantage. Start cleaning up when they are around. If they see you picking up their mess, then any self-respecting person would feel bad that their roommate was having to act like their mother. This is a for sure way to shock your roommates into action. Of course, the key is to not make a big deal out of it. In other words, don’t pointedly glare at your roommates while picking up their crap. Instead, do it quietly, and they will definitely notice. Good luck with getting your roommates to clean up after themselves, and hopefully you won’t be embarrassed to have company over for much longer.