Excuses are boring.
//Can this be published anon?// I just need some encouragement. I came home from a six-week trip to find that a housemate’s hoarding has escalated from clean to filth, and my room, the room I’d left meticulously crisply clean was so thickly infested with fleas that just to step in there was to pick up 20-30 visible on my feet and ankles. With the hoard at an all-time height, all I could do was flea-bomb the whole place. Cleaning beyond that isn’t possible. I’ve been crying for almost 24 hours.
First and foremost, anon, this situation sucks, and you’re totally justified in being upset and I’m really sorry you’re dealing with it.
If your housemate’s mess is in your room, as in a room that contained only your things, a room in which you had an expectation of privacy and respect for your belongings, you are well within your rights to remove the mess by any means you deem appropriate. I normally do not recommend dealing with hoarding in that way, as it can be harmful to the hoarder’s mental health, but : A) you need to protect your own health, both mentally and physically, B) if the house was clean when you left, had been clean up to that point, and deteriorated that quickly while you were gone, then your housemate most likely does have ways of dealing with their hoarding that they stopped using when you left, and C) you have the right to have your own personal space be flea-free. If the mess is in shared spaces, you have the right to a clean and pest-free living area, especially if you left it that way. Either way, it needs to be dealt with, and your housemate needs to take some responsibility.
If you haven’t already, you need to have a conversation with your housemate and find out what she’s planning to do to undo both the mess and the flea situation. Pests of any kind that result from one person’s mess are unacceptable in a shared living situation, and the person responsible has to be accountable for it.
I’m very sorry you have to deal with this. It sucks, but you can get through it.
[Just a note: every time I answer a question like this, there are always a ton of notes that say “just move!” Real life is rarely that easy, and “just moving” is not a feasible solution for many people. Yes, if that’s an option, sometimes it’s the best one to take, but often it’s not, so people who are in these situations need specific, helpful advice for the situation they’re actually in, not the dismissive ideal of “just move!”]
All sorts of stuff about roommates!
This week, we’re refocusing on the third step of laundry and dishes: put it away, goddammit! Washing and drying are great, but until it’s put away, it’s not done. So this week, as soon as the dryer or dishwasher’s done, or once your air-dried clothes or the dishes in the drying rack are dry, put them away! Our goal is to have nothing lingering in laundry baskets, dryers, dishwashers, or drying racks. Everything gets put away as soon as possible.
Even on the weekend.