The best way to break up with a roommate (© Noa/Getty Images)

He snores like a freight train.

She hasn't done her dishes in five months.

His collection of empty cola cans has taken over your kitchen table.

Whatever the reason, you're sick of your roommate. You want out. But how do you dump the person with whom you've shared space for weeks, months or years?

A roommate breakup can be just as tough as ending a romantic relationship. You share a home, a refrigerator and even a bathroom. Your lives are intertwined. You must present your case clearly, keep a level head and address all the practical aspects of disrupting your living arrangement.

We've enlisted the help of some roommate and relationship experts to break down the best breakup strategies and advice.

Is it really over?
Before you scrawl an angry "get out" note on the offender's door, think about why you are upset and whether the situation can be remedied.

If a specific behavior bothers you, have you talked to your roommate about it?

"I'm a huge fan of always giving someone a warning, " says Jodyne Speyer, author of "Dump 'Em: How to Break Up With Anyone From Your Best Friend to Your Hairdresser."

Whether your roommate is always late paying rent, never buys household supplies or refuses to scrub toilets, she may just need a nudge to clean up her act.

"The remedy may be simpler than you think," says Mary Lou Podlasiak, author of "Rules for Roommates: The Ultimate Guide to Reclaiming Your Space and Your Sanity." "A timid woman I interviewed for my book was eaten up emotionally by a mooch who wouldn't buy necessities such as soap and toilet paper. I recommended she leave a note 'reminding' her roommate to pick up items that should be alternately purchased, and that put an end to it."

There are definitely times you can work things out, Speyer says, but you have to be able to put your voice into the relationship.

"Speak up as soon as an issue becomes an issue," Speyer says. "Give them the warning, and say, 'Look, I care about you, but if this continues, maybe we're not meant to live together.'"

It also can't hurt to do some self-analysis and see what you're doing to contribute to the discord at home, says Amy Zalneraitis, author of "Room for Improvement: The Post-College Girl's Guide to Roommate Living."

"And borrowing from a bit of Buddhist philosophy, it's important to get rid of those strict expectations of what you think a roommate should be," she says. "Instead, deal with the reality of the situation."

Your roommate may not be the one you envisioned, but can you work with the real version? If you decide you can, sit down and have a face-to-face meeting to talk about what is bothering you.

"It may sound hokey, but these face-to-face roommate meetings can work wonders in creating a harmonious living situation," Zalneraitis says.

She says it helps to have a sense of humor to defuse animosity: "For example, 'I don't necessarily mind when you borrow my clothes, but I've worked hard to maintain a monogamous relationship with my underwear.'"

If your roommate doesn't respond to your efforts to make things work, it's probably time to call it quits.

"People usually know when they've had it, just like in a relationship," New York psychologist Kevin Kulic says. "It's when they really act on it that's important."