The Food Thief
The Scenario: You wake up bleary eyed and stumble downstairs to seek out your all important bowl of cereal. Only Tony the Tiger isn’t there to greet you with the morning treat you crave. Somebody has swiped your last bowl and you’re left forcing down muesli from the back of the cupboard. Grrrreat!
Annoyance level: HUNGRY
A solution: If you like a lot of the same foods and share similar eating habits, start chipping in together for a big shop. You’ll then both have equal rights to what’s in the cupboards, meaning there won’t be as much tension about what is being eaten.
The Mess Monster
The scenario: Dirty plates. Crisp packets. Muddy shoes. Clothes everywhere. Mug of mould in the corner. And this can go on for weeks before the possibility of tidying up is even considered.
Annoyance level: STICKY
A solution: As much as you want them to, the evil eyes you fire across the room when clearing up somebody else’s mess just don’t work. Create a cleaning rota. This may seem a little stiff and regimented for some, but everybody knows what they are doing, when they are doing it and it is better than living in a life-size dustbin.
The Neat Freak
The scenario: The flip side of the Mess Monster can be somebody who is overbearingly orderly in everything they do. From the placement of cups in the cupboard to the arrangement of towels on the shelf, leaving something out of alignment can get you in big trouble.
Annoyance level: STERILE
A solution: It is important to remember that to an especially neat person, they are not the problem, you are. So working this one out is all about careful discussion and compromise. Make your housemate aware of how their attitude is making you feel uncomfortable or unable to relax and work together on a more amicable living situation. But bare in mind, you may need to up areas of your cleaning game to reach this!
The Post-It-Man Pat
The scenario: You never see the notes being written, but they are always there to greet you in the fridge, the bathroom and pretty much any surface they’ll stick. And no matter how many smiley faces are put at the end, nobody wants to be told what to do by a piece of passive-aggressive pink paper.
Annoyance level: RIP. TEAR. DESTROY
A solution: Whilst it may well be the case that you are in the wrong for something, anonymous messages are never encouragement for change. Sit down with everybody and have a real conversation about niggles and annoyances. And to prevent things getting out of hand, simply have a light-hearted chat once a week, with everybody bringing just one issue to the table to discuss.
The scenario: You pop into the toilet to do your business, as everybody does, only not everybody makes use of the bathroom essentials in quite the same way. Leaving you with an empty cardboard roll and a tricky situation.
Annoyance level: RATHER NOT SAY
A solution: Not limited to the bathroom though, the Over-User is somebody who goes to town on any household product. The approach to this is gentle comments and reminders about being mindful of waste, aiming to encourage a change in their living-habits.
The scenario: After a delightful weekend brunch with your parents you take them back to your cosy new home to show them what you’ve done with the place. Then right in the middle of telling them about your new cushions they make eye contact with your housemate’s nipples.
Annoyance level: BLIND
A solution: To many the human body is perfectly natural, normal and nothing to be ashamed of. But once again it is important to talk with each other about what makes you uncomfortable. Not everybody shares the same upbringing, values or habits, so try to reach that all important compromise.
The Party Animal
The scenario: It’s 1am and you’re comfortably asleep in bed, only to be awoken by the pounding bass, cackling laughter and relentless glass clinking of your housemate extending the evening’s party into the early hours.
Annoyance level: SLEEP DEPRIVED
A solution: With everyone at University having differing timetables, what might be a big night for some is most certainly an early night for others. So it may be a good idea to simply put a collective household ban on after-hours events unless everybody is involved. Because as well-meaning as earplugs, hushed voices and low volumes are, you’ll still end up staring at the ceiling struggling to sleep.
The Penny Pincher
The scenario: They need to ‘borrow a couple of quid’ so as not to break into a £20 note. They’re not willing to contribute to a shared meal. They go quiet when bills are mentioned.
Annoyance level: MAFIA BOSS
A solution: Probably best not to go full Godfather, but simply remember you have the ability to say no or be stern. Once a penny pincher gets into the habit of taking advantage, chances are they’ll continue to treat you like an off-shoot of the Student Loans Company. If you know they are well capable of paying their way, let them do so. If however you feel they are genuinely struggling with their finances, you don’t have to take the burden, the University has the Advice Centre and Financial Support team to help out.
The No Sense of Privacy
The scenario: You’re out at a lecture when they decide to go for a rummage around your things. You’re in the middle of getting changed when they barge through your door to ask where the remote is. You’re taking a relaxing bubble bath when they decide that’s the ideal moment to brush their teeth.
Annoyance level: TRUMAN SHOW
A solution: As well as explaining your need for your own space, pop a small sliding lock on your door. Providing it is okay with your landlord and perfectly safe in fire situations, it’s an easy fix to a peeping problem!
The Extended Guest
The scenario: It’s debatable whether this can actually be included in the list, as they’re not even your housemate. But the Extended Guest somehow manages to park up on your sofa for days at a time, making use of your precious resources and generally getting in the way.
Annoyance level: HOTEL
A solution: You’ll have to be blunt and bold with somebody sponging off you! Chances are they are well aware they have outstayed their welcome, but they’re just trying their luck.