How to Evenly Split Chores with Your RoommatesJuly 15th, 2009 by Staff Writer
Splitting chores with your roommates may seem easy in theory, especially if you’re all adults and agree to take out the trash, wash the dishes, and clean the apartment as you see fit. However, as you may have encountered, it hardly works this way. There’s always someone that ends up doing more cleaning than they expected, and someone that’s always getting off the hook. We’re all busy with our own lives, and it’s inevitable that cleaning may easily become second on the list. Here are some ways to evenly split chores with your roommates to add efficiency to your life and get you on your way to a cleaner apartment.
How to Talk About Chores
Whether you’re addressing a problem or establishing ground rules, have an upfront discussion with your roommates. If you don’t like confrontation, or don’t want to seem like you’re the leader of a boot camp, try addressing the topic by giving praise. For example, say something like, “I’m sure you guys probably clean the bathroom just like I do on your own time, but so we don’t do double duty, let’s get on a cleaning schedule.” Giving credit to your roommates, regardless of whether they’ve cleaned the bathroom or not, is a friendly way of starting the conversation (and your ticket to establishing a cleaning regimen).
Nail Down a Cleaning Schedule
The best way to tackle chores is to get on a schedule. Posting a calendar or dry erase board in the kitchen or common space, will help everyone see which tasks belong to whom each month. You and your roommates can coordinate which task needs to be done and how often. You’ll also have to decide on group chores and what can be left for each individual. For example, maybe everyone must wash their own dishes and put them away on their own.
Be sure to check in with your roommates every month to look at the schedule and re-assign new chores. This will ultimately lead to a clean apartment and ensure the chores are still being split evenly.
Now that you’ve agreed on a schedule, it’s time to talk about cleaning supplies. It’s easier to nominate one person to buy products for the month and divide the bill equally. This way, everyone is contributing the same amount and no one person gets stuck with a hefty bill. You should also ask each roommate whether they have an allergies or brand preferences for any products and cleaning supplies (as a courtesy to each another).
Have Fun with it!
If dividing up duties becomes a chore within itself, and you can’t get either of your roommates to clean the bathroom, try having some fun with it. Suggest that at the start of each month, everyone can pull chores from a hat. This way, it’s fair, fun, and switches up everyone’s responsibilities. Plus, it won’t seem like one person is delegating or overpowering the situation.
Splitting up chores evenly with your roommates shouldn’t be hard. With open communication, a regular schedule, and some fun, you’ll be on your way to a clean apartment.