The Great Divide: How To Split Chores Amongst Roommates

Have a lot of roommates, and even more chores? Some of the following steps may be of service:

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Sit down, everyone together, and make a list of the various tasks you want completed. Examples:

-Kitchen clean

-Refrigerator clean

-Vacuuming

-Mopping

-Bathroom clean

-Trash and recycling

Some households might want dishes done by the individuals, for example, whereas others might cook and wash together, and even buy groceries together. Decide what works best for your group.

Next, determine how often each chore should be done. For example:

-Dishes: daily

-Refrigerator: twice monthly weekly

-Vacuuming: twice weekly

-Mopping: weekly

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Agree as a group what constitutes “clean,” and what you must do to adequately complete each chore. For example:

Bathroom clean:

-Take out trash

-Replace toilet paper

-Scrub toilet bowl & wipe down toilet seat and cover

-Wash bath mat

-Wipe down mirror & sink

-Mop floor

-Etc.

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Now you’re ready to split up the chores. You may want a chore chart or chore wheel—or multiple ones. When I lived with 8 other people, seven of us had one night a week to clean the kitchen, and the remaining two had to sweep and mop once a week. In addition, we all had a “weekly” chore that rotated. You might decide that some people have standing chores, and some people’s jobs rotate. Whatever you do, try to split things up fairly, and remember that the time schedules for different tasks will differ.

Decide as a group how you will handle someone consistenly missing their chore. It’s awkward to deal with a delinquent roommate, so it’s best to decide on an appropriate course of action before you’re in a stressful and delicate situation. Hopefully you’ll never have to act upon that agreement.

Be willing to rework the system. Try a trial period for chores, and then check back in. Is everyone reasonably happy with their workload, and the cleanliness of the house? You may need to make some changes if certain jobs have proven more or less difficult than expected.

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And make sure someone is buying cleaning supplies. Otherwise, all that good work is for nothing.

How do you split up chores in your apartment? Tell us here or on Facebook?

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