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Dear Carol

Share a room with a sloppy sibling? Here's how to get them to stop being messy...

My younger sister and I have been sharing a room our whole lives, and she is a slob. She leaves food, drinks, clothes, paper and trash everywhere. Her closet floor overflows with her junk. I’m not a neat freak, but I can’t stand a messy room, so I’m usually the one who cleans the entire room because she is too lazy. Why should I have to live with my sister’s mess?

Dear Slobby Sister,

Your sister’s mess probably isn’t due to hostility or laziness. More likely, it’s absentmindedness and a reflection of different styles and standards. Neat people and slobby people really are wired differently.

What to do? Instead of nagging, which isn’t working anyway, break the pattern and praise your sister the next time she does even a little picking up. And, ask your parents if they would consider giving your sister an allowance only after she does some straightening.

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by Carol Weston | 2/1/2016
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