Living with Messy People!

Keeping your home clean can be a challenge, especially when you have got external factors cramping your style. Yes, that’s right, we’re talking about messy people. We have had people writing in asking for advice about how to live/cope with messy loved ones on the daily, so we have decided to come up with a few strategies to help you survive living with the lovable slob in your life.

Focus on effective communication strategies! One of the first things we learn when we reach adulthood is that communication is key. How you communicate is just as important as the message itself. So, let’s talk about a few ways you can improve how you communicate with the messy people in your life.

Don’t Raise Your Voice

If you are raising your voice or if you find yourself picking fights to get your feelings heard, your messy partner isn’t going to be too receptive. Be as clear as you can and approach the other person from a place of respect.


Keeps things positive and focus on the benefits of having a clean living space. This is a constructive approach to the discussion that will enable you both to reach a resolution more effectively and quickly.

Understanding & Perspective

Be open to the other person’s viewpoint. Avoid viewing the other person’s messiness as a negative, and instead dedicate your energy to understanding where they are coming from. There is no right or wrong here. What we are looking for is a happy compromise between messy and clean that you can both live with.

Most Important Areas (MIAs)

Even messy people enjoy the feeling of cleanliness when it comes to certain areas. Instead of trying to take on one huge cleaning session, figure out what areas you would both like to prioritize and start with that.

Have Reasonable Expectations

People do not change their habits magically overnight, so be patient. Let them start with baby steps and build from there.

Make a Deal!

Offer up a space where your messy friend can let their messy flag fly free. It can be a bedroom, a closet, an office, a storage room—whatever makes them comfortable. In return, the messy person must agree to a clean space that stays clean no matter what.

Don’t Forget Rewards

Give positive feedback and reward your loved one for the progress they make towards becoming a tidier person. Positive reinforcement will help them feel like their efforts are appreciated and it will encourage them to keep improving.

Have a certain messy someone in mind? Try out these communication strategies and let us know how it goes!


Who in your life came to mind when you watched this video? Is there a messy person or a clean person who you live with?

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. Keep in mind that a “messy person” may not actually want to be a messy person. I’m notoriously messy. I don’t want to be, but I suffer from comorbid mental illnesses, live alone and work 40 hours a week in a crappy physically demanding job. I’m so exhausted and already lack the motivation to do anything, let alone clean, (thanks depression) that the mess piles up. It’s not always a matter of being a “messy person”.


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