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Where we have the problems and you give the advice

Q. I have been blessed to have a great, fun roommate. But though I love living with her, I am amazed at how MESSY she is! Lately, we’ve been remodeling my room so I’ve been sharing hers. I can’t help but clean up, but she gets upset every time because she does not like her things being moved. Am I wrong for putting things in order? Shouldn’t she have more courtesy for me since I am technically the guest? How do I handle this?

A.

“Am I wrong for putting things in order?” In short...YES! Stop it! Don't be that annoying person that thinks their way is the best way, no matter what others say. Yes, you are the guest, but it is YOU who should have some courtesy for your host. How do you handle it you ask? Stop moving her stuff!—Blagoja Todorov, New York

As someone who obsesses over neatness, I feel for you. In college I lived two years with a roommate who was so messy, that I was the one to give the room a thorough cleaning before his parents visited. But in your case, I think you need to respect your roommate's boundaries. After all, it's only a temporary situation. While you are entitled to keep your corner clean, picking up the entire room doesn't seem worth it. And how much time do you really spend in the room?     —Diego Ribadeneira, Weehawken, NJ

HANDS OFF! It is her stuff and, you got it, you are a GUEST in HER room. The best solution is to get your room finished and move back in there, post haste! Now, in your home’s SHARED spaces, you can tidy all you want. If she doesn't like "her stuff moved" then she won't leave it there. I suggest that you have a couple of lidded, opaque baskets that you can stash the clothes, makeup, mail, etc. that she leaves lying around in. Then the mess is out of sight. She can drag it into her rats’ nest of a bedroom and shut the door behind her and it won't bother you. Hope that helps!—C.Lee Cawley, Certified Professional Organizer, Simplify You, Inc.,Arlington, VA, 

Next week’s problem:

I’ve been involved with this guy on and off for four years. A few months back, I got promoted at my job and now am making more money than he is. I didn’t think it was a big deal but he won’t stop joking about it. I have told him repeatedly to drop it but he won’t. What can I do?

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