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Top 10 Petty Arguments We All Have About Home Life

by Gregory Myers
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Even those who live alone now, at one point had to grow up living with a family of some sort, and we have all had to learn, over time, how to live with others without too much serious strife. And, funnily enough, one thing most of us have probably picked up over time is that sometimes, it really isn’t the bigger things that cause trouble (partly because humans don’t tend to do extravagantly annoying things very much, unless on purpose as revenge), but the smaller, pettier things, that can ruin the peace, and cause roommates and housemates to go after each other over the most petty things imaginable. In this list, we will go over some of the most contentious (and petty) home-life debates of all time.

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10 Should You Stare Into The Fridge Deciding, Or Look Really Fast, Close It And Decide?

This is one I personally ran into as a kid, and it is something that electricity saving parents or housemates have been harping on for years. Some people will open up the refrigerator or freezer, and simply stand there perusing it, looking at all the various things inside and trying to decide what they want to make or eat. When I did this as a kid, I was often told by my dad to close the door, and think about what I had seen and decide what I wanted to eat instead of leaving it hanging open to cost electricity.

Of course, like all housemate arguments there is the opposite side. There are those who have heard this argument, but simply disagree. They feel by memory they will be unable to make the best decision, and that they will if nothing else, have to keep reopening it briefly to remember what was there, which might actually cost money overall. They would also agree that the energy being spent probably amounts to cents a month, and isn’t worth particularly worrying about (the thing is though, some housemates care about every cent of possible energy savings).[1]

9 The Blinds: Should They Be Up Or Down (Or Inverted)?

This is another popular argument and can also apply to drapes or curtains as well as blinds. Many a housemate has argued about how important it is to keep blinds open or closed, and there are various reasons for the particular arguments. Some people are simply worried about privacy, and rarely like blinds or curtains to be open at all. Some people believe it makes the sun get the house too warm, and too hard to heat, or the like.

However, obviously you can imagine similar arguments on the opposite side. Some people feel they are only temporarily, or at least depending on the room, not really inhibiting privacy seriously, and they like to be able to see out and enjoy the view easily without moving the blinds every time. They may also argue that the sun coming in is beneficial at certain times of year and brings down heating costs. On the third hand though, there are those less common people who will argue with you about which way the blinds should face, and at what time of day, year or sun placement, they should kept inverted or regular.[2]

8 The Toilet Seat: Should It Be Up Or Down? Or Should The Whole Cover Be Down?

Ah, the toilet seat. The age old argument that will never, ever, ever end. Those who live with more women are more likely to put it down out of habit, and those who live around more men or few women are more likely to keep it up. Once again, this debate often divides mostly around gender lines. Women are afraid that if the toilet seat is not put down, they might go to the bathroom when their eyes are adjusting to the light, and accidentally sit in the toilet. Guys counter this by pointing out that they have to poop in the middle of the night themselves sometimes, and sit down, and they avoid this issue by actually looking before sitting down.

Guys also feel they are being asked to do extra work for no reason, just in order to satisfy someone who should look before they leap. On the other hand, there are some who have come up with a compromise position that states that the entire lid should always be down. This ensures, male or female, both people have to do the same amount of work to setup before they go, and no one can fall in the toilet by accident. It also ensures that if you have pets, they won’t be getting their fuzzy little selves sick drinking out of the toilet — of course for some, this compromise will never be enough.[3]

7 When Should The Soap Be Replaced? Is Adding A Little Water To The Dispenser Okay?

This is something countless siblings and roommates have fought about over the years, and it will likely never stop being a nasty, petty little battle. The argument goes that whoever first makes the soap run out should either get a new one, or refill it, depending on which applies, and while most people agree with this, there are also just the lazy jerks who will go out of their way to not wash their hands if they have to, to avoid being the one to replace it.

On the other hand, there are also those who get to the bottom, and put in a little water to get out the remaining soap. Some roommates or housemates get angry about this, claiming the person should have just replaced it, instead of simply trying to help everyone get that last bit at the bottom. Now, this argument makes some sense if you just use a refill jug anyway to fill up your soap dispenser, but if you get a new one each time, it really does make sense to get all the last from the bottom.[4]

6 Should Closet And Other Doors Be Kept Open, Or Should They Remain Closed?

This is one I had with one of my siblings growing up, and as a little kid, our reasons were of course demonstrably silly. The truth is, as little kids, both of us were worried about monsters in the closet getting us at night. I felt that the doors should remain closed, as we would know if monsters were coming because they had to open the doors, and we wouldn’t be confused in the dark by clothes and such looking like something frightening. On the other hand, my brother felt that we could better see the monsters coming if the door was open.

Among adults, this is usually more about aesthetic and convenience. Many of the more home fashion conscious feel that everything just looks so much better and neater with all the doors nicely closed. On the other hand, the opposite viewpoint feels that the stuff can still be nicely displayed with the doors open, that it makes the house look more open, and makes the stuff more convenient to get to. Strangely, some people seem to be more weirded out by their roommates bedroom door being open all the time, or the bathroom door being closed/open when not in use.[5]

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5 Should Unnecessary Lights Always Be Shut Off To Save On Electricity Costs?

Both dads and tighfisted roommates everywhere are right now going through their houses to make sure lights are off. Some may have read this title, and have already gone to make sure there are no lights wasting electricity in their house. They will make sure that unless it is truly necessary, it is off, and they will scold or even yell at people who don’t follow these rules. These people feel that the electricity is being wasted and they are having money taken out of their pocket for no reason. As far as they are concerned, what matters the most is utility — whether it is useful in that moment or not.

However, there are also the aestheticists who feel that having more lights on actually brightens up the place, brightens up moods, can make it less likely to have accidents because people didn’t see as well, and really can make a house or apartment feel like a home. These people would also argue that the savings cost of constantly keeping all the extra lights off is extremely minimal, and worth the costs if it means the constant improvement to their mental health from having more lights around to enjoy.[6]

4 Should The Toilet Be Flushed Every Time, Or Only For Bigger Loads?

This can be a big one depending on the household, and can lead to a lot of strife if the people living together do not agree on this strategy. Basically, the idea is that if you want to save water, you don’t flush unless you have solid waste, or as the saying goes “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”. For those who don’t have a flat fee for water, this can actually be quite a sizable savings, as your toilet flush is easily one of the biggest money sinks in your entire home. However, there are also counter arguments.

Essentially, there are a lot of people who simply don’t find the increased savings to be worth the potential smell. Now, most houses who do this have very little if any smell and there are always air fresheners you can get for the bathroom, but some people have more sensitive noses and the whole idea really bothers them. There are also those who think not flushing every time is simply gross and unsanitary, and you will probably never get them to see it another way.[7]

3 Who Controls The Thermostat? When Is It Hot Enough For AC? Cold Enough For Heat?

This is a classic argument, and can get ugly really fast. Now, in most families, it is easily enough decided by the parents, although they may still regularly fight about it as women and men often have different core body temperatures and react differently to hot and cold. Among housemates, it can easily become extremely contentious, especially if there is more than one roommate around who has different temperature desires. While this can be a battle of the sexes, it can also be an ungendered war.

People will change the thermostat without asking others when they think it needs to be changed, and this can easily irritate someone else. Not just women and men but all people perceive temperature a little differently, and what might be just right for someone else, may require adjustment for another. Except for those roommates who only have wall units in their rooms and can set their own temperature, this is an argument you should expect to have if you have roommates, and try to work things out beforehand so you understand each other’s needs and have a plan or strategy for everyone politely coping.[8]

2 Should The Butter Be Kept In The Fridge, Or Left Out, Covered Or Uncovered?

This is one that a lot of people even get angry at restaurants over. Many restaurants, even if it isn’t technically against health codes, often store butter in the fridge out of an abundance of caution if nothing else, even if there are some safe conditions under which you can leave it out. These are the type of people who vociferously argue that because of its fat content, butter is fine to leave out for hours or days, and they hate with a passion trying to spread cold butter.

On the other hand, the keep the butter in the fridge crowd points out that there are still conditions under which it can go bad outside of the fridge quicker and easier than you think, and that it can quickly go rancid, messing with the taste even if it is okay to eat. For those who are okay with leaving it out, there is always a contentious argument about whether to cover it or not. Some people think leaving it uncovered is fine and actually makes it taste better, while others think it protects it from flies and from going rancid.[9]

1 Toilet Paper: Should The Roll Be Facing In Or Out? And Who Replaces It?

This is one of the classic housemate arguments of all time, and despite being such a small, silly little thing, can drive people into an absolute frenzy of arguing over it. The argument goes, should the toilet paper be kept with the roll facing out, or should the roll be facing in? This is a debate that is often split more along gender lines, as men, who often are simply standing up, find that it is harder to reach that way and get annoyed about the placement (usually “fixing it” immediately afterwards).

On the other hand, since women have to sit down anyways, many feel that they can reach fine, and that it also looks more aesthetically pleasing overall to the eye, to have it all tucked away like that. However, there are also some women who are shorter and think that tucking it inwards makes it too hard to get too from a sitting down position. Despite how silly this really is, most of you are already thinking about how angry it makes you when someone does it the “wrong” way.[10]

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fact checked by Jamie Frater