STUDY: People who have roommates are messier than those who live alone

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Research conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Rinse found cleanliness can also play a deciding factor romantically for some people. (Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash)

People who live with roommates tend to be messier than those living alone or with a partner, according to new research.

A new study examining the cleaning habits of 2,000 people found some interesting correlations when dividing the data by living situation.

Results showed it’s people who live with roommates who tend to self-report as being the messiest. Just 67 percent of the respondents who live with roommates feel on top of chores around the house.

That is in sharp contrast to the 95 percent who live with a significant other and regularly do chores or the 89 percent who live alone.

In fact, one in five of those who live with roommates will ONLY tidy up when they know they’ll be having guests over.

The research, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Rinse, found cleanliness can also play a deciding factor romantically for some people. Of the 47 percent of Americans who have been in a relationship with a messy partner, one in five have broken things off because of it.

“The reality is, chores can be a major source of tension in a relationship. You can remove some of that tension by outsourcing certain chores like house cleaning and laundry, and avoid an argument in the process,” stated Kelsey Flittner, Marketing Spokesperson for Rinse.

The study also found that certain signs of messiness are surprisingly common- one third of those studied said they had dust collecting in the corner of certain rooms and and three in ten say their car is a mess.

It can divide people but 47 percent of those polled admit they aren’t the type to make their bed.

A further 33 percent were guilty of having clothes on the floor while another 31 percent have seen spiderwebs in their rooms.

Fifty-seven percent fling clothes on a chair or somewhere rather than hang them up or fold them away.

And nearly one in five only vacuum or wipe down their furniture just once a month — if not less frequently than that.

In fact, 31 percent of the people studied revealed that they have been called a messy person by someone else.

“For a lot of people, doing chores is a time consuming hassle. In fact, many will put off cleaning their space even when they live with others. At the end of the day, getting along with those you live with is important — and outsourcing chores like laundry can be a big step toward reducing roommate squabbles,” added Flittner, the spokesperson for Rinse.

The research also asked people to name the things that they think make someone a ‘messy person’ and found dirty dishes named as the most common sign.

A dirty toilet and overflowing trash can are other clear signs a person isn’t on top of their chores, while toothpaste marks in the sink also made the top 10.


  1. Not making the bed 47%
  2. Having dust collecting in the corners of the room 35%
  3. Having clothes on the floor 33%
  4. Seeing spiderwebs in their room 31%
  5. Having expired food in the fridge 30%
  6. Having a messy car 29%
  7. Having paper everywhere 28%
  8. Having an unorganized/chaotic closet 27%
  9. Not using coasters 26%
  10. Collecting a pile of dishes in the sink for more than 24 hours 26%
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  • Cleaning the bathroom (sink, toilet, shower, tub)
  • Cleaning out the refrigerator
  • Washing the dishes
  • Doing and folding the laundry
  • Vacuuming/wiping down furniture
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  1. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink 62%
  2. Having a dirty toilet 60%
  3. Having an overflowing trash can 60%
  4. Having clothes on the floor 60%
  5. Having a dirty shower 54%
  6. Having a messy car 53%
  7. Having spoiled food in the fridge 52%
  8. Having a smelly refrigerator 52%
  9. Having papers everywhere 51%
  10. Having toothpaste marks in the sink 46%

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

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