Cameron Fraize remembers a former roommate, nicknamed Randy, who never cleaned up after himself.
“He was completely liberated from any responsibility of it,” said Fraize, a 20-year-old UF mathematics junior.
Fraize and his roommates tried to discuss the matter with Randy, but they couldn’t fix anything, and Randy eventually moved out.
A new blog and online store, Roommate Harmony, which launched four months ago, aims to resolve the issues roommates tend to bump heads over — including cleaning.
The owner of Roommate Harmony, Chad Jarrah, said he started the site because he had a bad freshman year roommate experience.
Years later, Jarrah said he realized he was part of the problem. He said his lack of communication with his roommate was a major contributing factor. Through his blog posts and product line, Jarrah said he hopes to help students avoid the same mistakes.
“Speak up,” he said. “Just because you speak up doesn’t mean it has to be angry or annoying or mean or cocky.”
Roommate Harmony supplements its blog posts through a product line, which includes personalized stickers to show ownership of food and a chore chart so keeping the space clean is fairly divided among roommates.
A portion of these proceeds go toward Project HOME, a program that provides outreach, housing and comprehensive services to impoverished communities.
Chad Furst, a UF public relations senior, said he thinks the website is a great place for roommates having issues to seek resources to resolve these issues.
“I think if nothing else, it could be kind of a place to start a discussion for roommates,” said Furst, 21. “You know, maybe realize that maybe we should use some of these services and try and fix any problems we could have before they develop into something too serious.”
[A version of this story ran on page 3 on 1/30/2015 under the headline “New blog, store aims to resolve issues between roommates"]