I have in recent years tried the "shut the door" approach. Hell, they live on another FLOOR. The entire upstairs is theirs, and I don't go up there very often any more. But here's the thing, every once in awhile I DO go up. To check in. To bring fresh rolls of toilet paper and boxes of Kleenex. Or after a Target run with shampoo, deodorant and sundry erm... female...erm...products. And what I see makes me nuts.
I don't get a lot of back up on this issue. The Saint grew up with a brother who, now in his late forties, still moves every four or five years when his place gets so deplorable even HE can't stand it. So the Saint's idea of squalor is a tad different than mine. I think this is where the ambivalence comes in. I am always the "nag". Raining on the collective parade with my "expectations". So I back off and try to ignore things. But the reality is I swallow the disappointment (turned irritation, turned anger) until so much pressure has built up that I explode.
So I think I'll accept the recommendations of Suburban Correspondent and Mary Alice; a "specific list" of must do's and "ride their ass like a monkey until new organized energetic clean synapses form in their brains". I feel better already!