Column: Keep mess behind closed doors

By Katie O'Connell

My apartment has a cleaning schedule on the refrigerator.

The four girls I live with and I have a rotating dish washing schedule. We have Clorox wipes and 1,234,232 different types of cleaning products including wet and dry Swiffer cloths.

We are an advanced, systematic cleaning machine.

Well, we’d like to think so at least.

My theory on living with people in peace is that you have to keep your own mess in your own room.

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My dish day is Friday, and every Friday I scrub the dishes, wipe off the stove and countertops and wet Swiffer the floor. Everything smells lemony fresh, and I’m almost afraid of how much damage that night’s potential drunken-food fest will have on such a clean, serene room.

And then there’s my bedroom.

Instead of having a door on my closet, I hung up this cute aqua curtain that matches with my bed spread. While it seems like a cute idea, it’s only good so long as I don’t have dirty laundry.

And up until a few days ago when I did six loads of laundry, my closet was throwing up dirty clothes on the ground.

Or at least that’s what it looked like.

It’s like my room had potential to be cute, and then I decided it would be better off looking like a war zone.

Who would want to live with somebody like that? Well, four other people want to. Why? Because that mess is in my room. Not in the living room, the bathroom, the hallways, etc. And nobody has to deal with it but me.

A couple of days ago I was awakened by the sound of two of my roomies fighting. To be fair it was noon, so I couldn’t be mad. Instead, I listened dreamily from my cozy, warm bed to the sounds of a fight over a Pepsi can.

See, I have one roommate who doesn’t necessarily limit her messes to her room. She’s gotten better, though, to the point where I can’t joke about her actually having two rooms in the apartment – her room and the living room.

But said roommate might have left an empty can of Pepsi and a bowl from the night before in the living room. My other roommate, who has a slight vacuuming addiction and makes her bed every day, was displeased by this.

And a brief moment of chaos in apartment 31 ensued. Never fear though, my roomies were doing shots together by the end of the night, a clear sign of forgiveness and a bright, non-empty Pepsi can future.

So the moral of the story is this: Nobody likes living with a slob, but if you’re not going to be a cleaning fascist, at least keep your messy tendencies to your room.