Looking for Roommate Advice: Common area invasion

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Looking for Roommate Advice: Common area invasion

Lady of the Lab Lady of the Lab
My roommate designs & makes costumes for several theater companies, as well as commissions. I've noticed since the last show that the dining area has been swamped with her work. This is an issue because the one place to sit and eat is on the couch in the only common area (excluding the kitchen proper) that has a clean surface. Also most of the floor space is piled up with materials in boxes, which makes it difficult to clean the wooden floors.

Am I being unreasonable in wanting her to take her work space into her bedroom? I sometimes take my 'work' (homework, projects) out into the common areas, but I make an effort to put away my textbooks, laptop, etc. when I am done. I feel torn because I understand that the kitchen table is a great size for her work, but on the other hand I brought it to the apartment for us to eat at...

Has anyone else dealt with a roommate's hobby becoming an issue of space?
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
You are being unreasonable.
You are being reasonable.
59
This is how I've handled this issue...
3
Other
Total votes: 62 (62 voters)
Poll is closed
08/22/2012
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Bignuf Bignuf
Get CONTAINERS...handled or Rubbermaid..CHEAP at Lowes or Home Depot, then say she can use the space when doing work...but ONCE DONE for the day...it all gets "PUT AWAY". House rules, you BOTH live by. It keeps the living space neat, happy, calm and yet allows work to NOT be piled in bedrooms. Things work better when organized enough to put away in a corner anyway.
08/22/2012
Lady of the Lab Lady of the Lab
Quote:
Originally posted by Bignuf
Get CONTAINERS...handled or Rubbermaid..CHEAP at Lowes or Home Depot, then say she can use the space when doing work...but ONCE DONE for the day...it all gets "PUT AWAY". House rules, you BOTH live by. It keeps the living space neat, happy, ...
Thanks, that does sound like a good compromise. I want to be supportive of her work, but I really do get stressed out by the mess.
08/22/2012
BG529 BG529
I would just sit down like adults and say. This has been going on for X amount of time, I understand that this is your work but this is were we eat, and I'd still like to be able to eat there. Could you Clean up at X time so we/I/you can eat and then the next day take it back out to work on.

I mean he or she couldn't be working 24hrs a day. Everyone needs a break and they should clean up their messes. For me it would totally get on my nerves to come into a mess and leave a mess every day. (work speaking)

I have a craft room in our house. My SO hates it becasue it is a mess. But It's my room. It's not the TV room or where we eat. So I would deff. say something and not let this just build up. good luck
08/22/2012
Lady of the Lab Lady of the Lab
Quote:
Originally posted by BG529
I would just sit down like adults and say. This has been going on for X amount of time, I understand that this is your work but this is were we eat, and I'd still like to be able to eat there. Could you Clean up at X time so we/I/you can eat and ...
Mhmm, I am planning on talking to her tomorrow after classes. Most of my work is electronic, so I wanted to hear perspectives from the community who have experience with the physical arts and how they handle the mess. I would love if we had an extra room, but we only have the bedrooms and the common areas
: /
08/22/2012
Nora29714 Nora29714
Both ideas are really good. I had this room mate one time who never picked up anything... ugh nightmare. I moved out I'm to much of a neat freak I guess.
08/22/2012
Lady of the Lab Lady of the Lab
Quote:
Originally posted by Nora29714
Both ideas are really good. I had this room mate one time who never picked up anything... ugh nightmare. I moved out I'm to much of a neat freak I guess.
I know I am bit of a neat freak too Unfortunately it would be too much of a hassle to look for new housing until next year because classes start tomorrow and I do not have a car. I think I am going to combine both ideas because I am pessimistic that she'll want to make her room even messier.
08/22/2012
Nora Nora
Quote:
Originally posted by Lady of the Lab
My roommate designs & makes costumes for several theater companies, as well as commissions. I've noticed since the last show that the dining area has been swamped with her work. This is an issue because the one place to sit and eat is on the ...
Yep, when not in active use...all materials should be picked up and put away (if they won't fit in her room, maybe a designated corner or in the garage or something)!
08/22/2012
damnbul12 damnbul12
You are being reasonable.
08/22/2012
Bex1331 Bex1331
Quote:
Originally posted by Bignuf
Get CONTAINERS...handled or Rubbermaid..CHEAP at Lowes or Home Depot, then say she can use the space when doing work...but ONCE DONE for the day...it all gets "PUT AWAY". House rules, you BOTH live by. It keeps the living space neat, happy, ...
Sounds like a great idea!
08/22/2012
deltalima deltalima
Quote:
Originally posted by Lady of the Lab
My roommate designs & makes costumes for several theater companies, as well as commissions. I've noticed since the last show that the dining area has been swamped with her work. This is an issue because the one place to sit and eat is on the ...
That's unreasonable from your roommate.
08/22/2012
Lady of the Lab Lady of the Lab
Quote:
Originally posted by deltalima
That's unreasonable from your roommate.
Hopefully she doesn't perceive the conversation as an attack, we only recently came to a compromise on dishes...
08/22/2012
Terri69 Terri69
You're being more than reasonable
08/22/2012
GenderSexplorations GenderSexplorations
I think you're not being unreasonable to request that the space be useable. Perhaps suggest a certain time that things should be cleaned up by. Suggesting Rubbermaid tubs (or similar large plastic containers) is probably a good idea. Good luck!
08/22/2012
Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. Maybe let her know that you don't mind her using common areas to work in but you would like to be able to use the common areas as well. I think the tubs are a good idea.
08/23/2012
MissCandyland MissCandyland
I have never had a roommate. I don't think you are being unreasonable though.
08/23/2012
GONE! GONE!
You're being totally reasonable and honestly more than patient with this person. Unfortunately, I have no advice because I have the same problem and have no idea what to do about it.
08/23/2012
Jaimes Jaimes
Very reasonable. I can understand how she might need the bigger space to actively work, but, I give active work a two day leeway on clearing it up again. However, standby supplies do belong in her room.
08/23/2012
(k)InkyIvy (k)InkyIvy
I feel that you're being reasonable. If your room mate needs to use the dining table as a work area, she should neatly pile everything out-of-the-way when she's not working. Leaving her stuff all over the table and chairs is inconsiderate of the other people in the living space because it prevents you from using that area yourself.
If she wants to leave her supplies and such all over, then she needs to keep her work confined to her room or a different area that isn't used as frequently.
08/23/2012
Incendiaire Incendiaire
It's one of those situations where you just have to be assertive and sit down with her and calmly explain how you feel about the issue and what you'd like to change. If you don't say anything you'll just become passive aggressive about it and an unpleasant living environment will ensue.

I lived with people once and one of my housemates had been up all night doing some work and left it all across the dining room table. My other housemate got up early in the morning, saw it, mistook it for rubbish, and threw it out before she went to work so the space would be clear for when she had friends around for dinner that evening. Unfortunately it was the day the bins got collected, and everything was long gone before the first housemate got up and noticed his work was missing.
08/23/2012
Lady of the Lab Lady of the Lab
Quote:
Originally posted by Incendiaire
It's one of those situations where you just have to be assertive and sit down with her and calmly explain how you feel about the issue and what you'd like to change. If you don't say anything you'll just become passive aggressive ...
Yeah, myself & the third roommate recognize its her work so it hasn't been at risk for being throw out. Thanks for all the input, I am going to try and talk to her tonight ~
08/23/2012
Lady of the Lab Lady of the Lab
Quote:
Originally posted by GONE!
You're being totally reasonable and honestly more than patient with this person. Unfortunately, I have no advice because I have the same problem and have no idea what to do about it.
I'll let you know how my conversation goes, maybe it'll go easier than expected.
08/23/2012
unfulfilled unfulfilled
Good luck to you, I'm sure you can come up with a compromise to this situation as well. What does the third roommate think about it?

I don't think you're being unreasonable.
08/23/2012
CaliGirl CaliGirl
I can't do the roommate thing. I had one and loved her dearly as a person, but she was a slob
08/23/2012
Beck Beck
It is so hard to live with someone and have to actually share space. You have to come up with compromises together. Is there a reason it's not picked up and laying everywhere? Perhaps it needs time to dry or needs laid flat, so it doesn't wrinkle? In any case, she should be willing to help compromise something so you have some space.
08/23/2012
edeneve edeneve
Quote:
Originally posted by Beck
It is so hard to live with someone and have to actually share space. You have to come up with compromises together. Is there a reason it's not picked up and laying everywhere? Perhaps it needs time to dry or needs laid flat, so it doesn't ...
ditto - couldn't have said it better!
08/23/2012
HotMilk HotMilk
You are being reasonable
08/23/2012
michael scofield michael scofield
you are being reasonable
08/23/2012
Mihoshi4301 Mihoshi4301
I think you're being reasonable especially if it's taking up most of the space in the common area.
08/23/2012
Lavendar Lavendar
You're being totally reasonable, you should definitely talk to her.
08/23/2012
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Total posts: 43
Unique posters: 34