Would You Rather?

Would you rather have a roommate who’s a neat freak or one who’s a slob?

By Lambeth Hochwald  | May 14, 2018 - 1:00PM


All Odd Couple references aside, the neatest among us often share space with roommates who aren’t quite as cleanliness-minded. Then again, if you aren't exactly OCD, it can be jarring to hear from your roommate that your laundry piling methodology isn't up to snuff, and a persistently persnickety roomie can leave you walking on proverbial eggshells in your own home. So how does that compare to walking on actual eggshells left by a slovenly cohabitant?

We asked five New Yorkers who they’d rather room with if given the choice: a neat freak or a slob. Here's what they had to say.


Follow the leader

“I’d prefer to have a roommate who is a neat freak. That will motivate me to keep common areas cleaner than I would normally, which makes me feel more at peace in my home… Just don’t look in my bedroom closet!"—Katie Shaw, Crown Heights

Slobs need not apply

“I would much rather have a roommate who is a neat freak, because a slob is dirty and I prefer to be hygienic.”—Angela Jones, Astoria

No such thing as too clean

“I’d much rather room with a neat freak. I don’t think there’s such a thing as being too clean but there’s definitely such a thing as being too messy. I’ve seen that before, and I’d really rather not see it again!"—Sarah Jackson, Union Square 

A pair of socks too far

“I had one messy roommate once in the early 2000s and decided to never again live with someone who leaves dirty socks in the living room. It’s non-negotiable.”—Jon Chen, Upper West Side

She's got it maid

“I’d rather have a roommate who’s a neat freak because then shed pick up the messes I make. It’s like having a personal live-in maid without the price tag!”—Dana Roseman, Astoria

The verdict: It's unanimous. When it comes to cleanliness, the folks we polled would rather be judged for their neatness than do the judging, and reap the benefits of someone else's meticulous cleaning.



Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.