Living away from home for the first time at university is an amazing feeling and with no one to tell you to hang up your coat or tidy your room the freedom can be a breath of fresh air. But how do you cope when the few dirty dishes have turned into a mountain of mess and things are getting a little out of control? Knowing how to deal with untidy student housemates is an essential part of university living so we’ve put a helpful guide together to help you cope!


Remember that everyone has a different idea of what tidy is. If little things are irritating ask yourself if it’s something you can live with. A few shoes scattered across the hallway isn’t too important compared to a nasty smell coming from your housemate’s bedroom. Decide together as a group what an acceptable level of cleanliness is for your student house.

Cleaning Kitty

Set up a kitty amongst your housemates to buy cleaning products. Having all the cleaning essentials within easy reach in your student house or flat should hopefully encourage people to use them, especially if they’ve been paid for out of their own pocket.


Encourage regular communication with your student flat mates. Monthly pizza nights are a great way to come together and bring up any issues you may have. It could be that others feel the same way as you or that the messy person doesn’t realise the problems they’re causing. Try to avoid talking behind your housemate’s back and leaving passive aggressive notes – no one wants to live in an awkward student house-share environment.

Cleaning Together

Yes, it may seem a little dull but the only way to really ensure a happy student home is to make sure that everyone helps out with the tidying and cleaning. Pick one day every week when you take a rest from university work and you all blitz your house cleaning together. A quick Sunday afternoon clean followed by beer and Netflix could work well or failing that a weekly cleaning rota is a good way to ensure everyone contributes. Ideally communal areas of your student property like the kitchen, bathroom and living room should be cleaned once a week and bins should be emptied regularly to avoid nasty smells.

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