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Equal Cleaning: How to Divide Chores with Roommates

By Roommates.com, on 02/04/2021

Living with roommates is a great way to save money, make new friends, and split household responsibilities. With roommates, you now have someone to share the burden of all of those annoying tasks like washing the dishes, vacuuming, or sweeping the floor. However, sharing chores has also been the cause of many heated arguments among roommates. 

 

Some living arrangements can feel like a class project with one person doing all of the work while others sit back and watch. To help you effectively divide chores between your roommates, we have created a simple guide. You will learn the easiest method to schedule tasks and learn what you can do about a roommate who doesn’t want to help. 

 

Hold a Meeting With Your Housemates 

 

To get started, hold a meeting with your roommates to talk about chores. While this isn’t the most fun discussion, this will ensure that everyone is on the same page and are willing to do an equal amount. Agree on some cleaning standards in the space and how you all want to go about doing chores equally. 

While also talking about doing an equal share, you must also discuss everyone’s definition of clean. Every person has a different meaning of what they deem as clean, so understand how much effort someone will put towards a particular chore. Some people believe cleaning is tidying up a room, while others think they need to scrub every last inch of the space. 

Also, let your roommates be open about which chores they don’t like doing. Some people may despise doing the dishes but have no problem vacuuming the carpets. Try to come up with a compromise among all of your roommates that fits what they like doing, making it easier for everyone to stick to a schedule. 

In some cases, someone will need to do a chore they hate doingbut that’s just how life goes sometimes. However, if you need to remind someone to do a chore frequently, this may be a sign to switch their tasks. 

 

Create a Chore List or Calender 

 

With everyone on the same page, you can create a chore list that assigns chores to each roommate in the home. Create a list of everything that needs to be done, including personal and shared tasks. This list will be the ultimate resource in your home and will make splitting up the chores easier. 

 

Give everyone in the home weekly and monthly chores that they must follow. When assigning these tasks, keep in mind someone’s personal and work schedule so they can work around it to complete the chores. Keep all of this in writing and keep it posted somewhere that everyone can see, like on the refrigerator. 

 

To switch things up, you can also create a weekly rotation system that will change up the chores each week. A system like this is excellent for those who don’t like doing any chores and have to do a chore they hate every other week. If you live with multiple roommates, you can also group tasks together to get the job done faster.


Keeping Each Other Accountable 

 

A chore plan or calendar can only work if your roommates actually follow it. Holding each other accountable for chore duty is vital for a smooth co-living situation. In some cases, a calendar that is visible to everyone is enough to enforce a schedule. But, everyone has a different background and attitude towards doing chores. 

 

Check-in with each other if you notice someone is not following the chore plan before it becomes a bigger problem. You can’t expect someone to follow a strict chore schedule at all times, as everyone has moments they don’t feel like doing anything. However, it does become a problem when it reoccurring. 

 

Think of ways of keeping each other accountable. Some examples of things you can do require people to sign-off after doing a chore or having someone drop a dollar in a jar every time they skip-out on chore duty. 

 

Splitting the Costs of Cleaning Supplies

 

When you live with roommates, you should attempt to split the costs evenly as much as possible. Splitting the costs should also include the money everyone spends on cleaning supplies for the tasks they complete. Some examples of supplies you can split with your roommates are: 

 

  • Trash Bags
  • Glass Cleaner 
  • All-Purpose Surface Cleaner 
  • Sponges 

Anything you can think of that everyone uses to clean should be included in the budget for your chores. The split can be modified depending on everyone’s budget in the home. If someone cannot pay for an equal part of the cleaning supplies, you can make a manageable list of supplies they need. 

 

Show Your Appreciation 

 

Chores can be difficult and tedious work, so it’s always nice when someone shows their appreciation for your hard work. A simple thank you and doing your own part in the housework is far more effective than trying to force someone to do the chores. While you should communicate with your roommates if you dislike something, you should keep it positive.  

 

Building a positive environment that focuses on teamwork in your home will allow you to finish the chores with ease and move on to what you love doing. After a long day of working together and doing chores, you can be proud of your living space and have a great relationship with your roommates. 

 

Conclusion 

 

Chores can make or break your experience with roommates. Everyone has needed to deal with someone who expects you to do all of the work. Setting your standards for chores and making sure everyone does them is your key to successful co-living.

By setting a chore schedule and making it fit for everyone’s strengths, you will be one step closer to peaceful coexisting. Are you looking for a roommate that has a similar mindset towards chores as you? Roommates.com will connect you with roommates of all backgrounds who are willing to take on their fair share of chores without stress.