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4 inevitable household arguments and how to solve them


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We've all been there. You've just moved into your brand new accommodation and everything is clean, bright and uncluttered. Ahead you can already imagine a bright future of sophisticated dinners, complicated French movies and cosy evenings in by the fire (even though you don't have one).

Skip ahead a few months and that rosy image has begun to show its thorns, and it is at this point that the four inevitable household arguments begin to rear their ugly heads.

1. Empting the bin

Emptying the bin is never difficult in the beginning. You catch it just before it's full, slide the bag neatly out of the shiny clean bin and tie it into a perfect bow before throwing it out the window to a beaming bin man, who chucks it into the lorry and disappears into the sunset.

The trouble starts once the inevitable bin juice starts to develop. An ambitious attempt to cram an entire pizza box into the bin has split the bag and now half the contents are leaking out. On top of that an aversion to the bin juice has meant that you and your house-mates have delayed in emptying the bin, the contents have been repeatedly crushed down and now the infamous teetering jenga-pile of garbage has begun.

Someone might start an alternative bin using an old Tesco bag, but you all know this can only ever be a temporary measure. The tension becomes palpable. Brother turns on brother.

Solution: This argument cannot be resolved by an individual. The house as a whole needs to take collective responsibility. Wait until you hear your house-mate approach, grab the bin and use the tried-and-tested passive aggressive approach: "Can you give me a hand with this?" Teamwork will make the dream work.

2. Hair in the shower, hair in the bath, hair everywhere

Anyone who says they don't have to deal with the hair issue just hasn't realised that they have one. Students especially may not have realised the extent to which their parents have sheltered them from this hair-filled reality.

The shower in particular usually forms the battleground for this argument. Left unchecked that drain will inevitably become blocked and result in a monumental flood, the kind that would have had Noah frantically buying wood.

And no one will want to do anything about it, because unclogging a drain is a truly disgusting job.

Solution: Don't use bleach, it kills anything organic including many of the organisms that help keep your drain clear. You don't have to get a plunger out if you don't want to (and who does); just go to your local DIY store and find a drain cleaner that is specifically designed to unclog drains. 

3. Washing those pesky dishes

Washing the dishes can be a bit of a pain, especially once they pile up into a huge intimidating, sink-filling megawash. 

It's all very well to say that you "wash your own dishes" but this will inevitably mean that no one wants to take responsibility for the mountain of plates and saucepans that resulted from you flat's epic Come Dine With Me night. 

Solution: The trick to staying on top of the dishes is makng the process of washing them as painless as possible. Going to wash your clothes? Take some of the tea towels with you and just chuck them in with your clothes. Clean tea towels mean that the process of washing dishes won't be interrupted halfway through, and you won't be wiping your plates with dirty towels (eww). 

Turn the water heater on to wash the dishes. You want to save money on heating bills, that's cool, but washing dishes in cold water is just horrible and they most likely won't get completely clean. If you're averse to turning on the heating then boil a kettle and use the water from that. And use washing up liquid. 

Enlist the help of a house-mate to go on drying duty if possible. It's generally considered to be the better of the two jobs so hopefully they will get on board. 

4. The fridge

The fridge can be a source of many a household argument, from that weird sticky substance that hasn't been cleaned to the poltics of shelf allocation to people snaffling each other's food. 

Quite often milk can be a paticularly tense issue. Easy to use 'a tiny bit' of, quick to go off and disgusting to spill, it is the perfect epicentre for a fridge-related storm. Especially since there seem to be four or five different types now, which seems a bit extreme. 

Solution: The solution to any fridge-related arguments is essentially to just be a good human being. Admit to your spillage and clean it up, ask before taking something that doesn't belong to you, chuck out that disgusting red pepper that you never ate and which now looks like the stuff of nightmares. It's really quite simple. 

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