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I’m back in my residence in the Northeast welcomed by mounds of snow and an equally sized mound of unopened mail.

While I was traveling around Africa, one of my current roommates moved out of the basement room. Normally, I like to be there during the move-in and move-out process to accept or give the key in-person and return the deposit for the key. The timing didn’t work out and so I had my entrusted roommate to get the key and I returned the deposit electronic means.

I went to the basement room yesterday to have a look around and run the vacuum before the new roommate moves in. I found a few things that annoyed me.

First, there were empty beer boxes. I don’t have a problem with anyone drinking in the house, but if they’re too lazy to through out the box then I have a problem.

Secondly, he didn’t move out his stuff from the bathroom. Now there’s his dirty toothbrush and his other toiletries lingering in one the bathroom waiting for me to clean up.

The stuff left behind by a roommate

The stuff left behind by a roommate

Lastly, He also left a lot of stuff behind, specifically in the fridge and freezer, which brings up one thing I want to mention. Over the course of the years I’ve been renting out rooms, I had 14 different roommates and when it came time for each of them to move out, the roommates always left something behind whether it was intentional or deliberate. Here’s a list of items that spring to mind:

  • Bicycle pump
  • Shoes in the coat closet
  • Boxes of office supplies/stationary
  • Food
  • Loads of plastic cloths hangars
  • Charcoal grill
  • Towels
  • Lamps

The extra cleaning left by the roommate in the basement room was well worth the trade off to have a reliable roommate for 10-months. During those months, it allowed me to travel to Australia, participate in the Mongol Rally, and travel for the rest of 2014. In the end all I’ve done a lot and seen a lot so I should be grateful I found a reliable roommate to replace myself in the basement and shouldn’t complain too much with all the stuff left behind.

What are some items that your roommates left behind? Is there any similarity to my list?


I’m going to migrate this site to a new hosting service so there might be a period of “downtime.” I don’t anticipate anything long-term.

  • Mark July 12, 2015, 5:15 pm

    Hey Mike, Great website and another great post.

    How did you travel? Did your 3rd roommate help pay for that? I know you probably have a post on it but you have so many. Thanks in advance.

    • Mike July 13, 2015, 9:34 am

      Yeah, replacing myself was the key to making it work

  • Pedro Menezes April 26, 2016, 6:14 am

    I think that does things are a lack of respect. Some people just dont learn 🙁 – The best option is to get another flatmate. Period.

  • em August 23, 2016, 6:43 pm

    Of course, roommates have left stuff (and my rooms are furnished with linen for the bed). The worst was an 18yo student who had a parent guarantor. But that’s what the security deposit is all about. I charge a minimum cleaning fee of $50 if I have to vacuum, let alone clean the bathroom, fridge and stove….AND a dry cleaning fee for the linen.


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