Dear Agony Aunt,

My housemates keep leaving passive-aggressive post-it notes for me and I don’t know what to do about it. Yes, I leave my hair to clog up the shower drain, yes I leave my dishes out for so long they became mouldy, yes I eat other people’s food without asking, yes I have loud parties during exam season. No I don’t take out the bins or buy toilet roll for the house. But what they don’t understand is that I don’t like cleaning!

I just don’t think it’s fair for them to expect me to do something I don’t want to; especially since I had a cleaning lady growing up. They don’t understand how hard that makes things for me. What can I do to make them stop (other than start cleaning and stop eating their food)? I can’t live like this much longer!


I think you just answered your question right there. You should probably start cleaning and stop eating their food. You obviously don’t want to do that. But we all have to do things we don’t want to; especially when we are living with other people.

Your housemates should find a better way of communicating their issues, without resorting to passive-aggressive notes. But it sounds like you’re quite stubborn, so maybe you haven’t been listening when they’ve tried to communicate with you before. I think you know how to resolve this issue, but here are some things you can do to make changing your habits a little easier.

In terms of cleaning you’re right that, if you were never taught how to clean growing up, it can be difficult to learn once you get to university and it seems like everyone has known from birth. But the fact that you didn’t have to do chores while growing up makes you the lucky one, not them. There are plenty of YouTube channels dedicated to teaching you how to clean. If you put on some music, it won’t seem quite so bad.

Party Remnants
Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

If you really want to throw a party, talk to your housemates beforehand and see if they are okay with it. If they have assignments due soon, or an exam they need to be rested for, then I’m sorry to say that is more important than your party. It’s also nice to make sure they feel welcome when you do have a party. After all, it is their house too and, even if you aren’t best friends, they should still be invited.

As for eating their food, that one is easy; just don’t. If you’re really in a bind and can’t get to the shops, send them a quick message asking if you can have some. Or agree amongst your housemates if there is any food everyone wants to share.

It sounds like you and your housemates aren’t really compatible when it comes to living together. If you’ll still be living at uni next year, maybe try to find some housemates who are on the same page as you when it comes to cleanliness expectations. That way, there won’t be any need for passive-aggressive notes.

See also: Hilarious tweets about UCAS we can’t stop laughing at