Are you a neat freak dealing with a roommate who could care less if the dishes are done, there’s a layer of dust on the coffee table, or the fridge is full of last week’s leftovers? Or maybe you’re more relaxed on the tidiness scale, and your roomie won’t stop nagging you to take out the trash? We feel your pain.

We know how frustrating it can be to learn the ins and outs of sharing a space and keeping it clean, regardless if it’s a roommate you found on Facebook or your BFF. Don’t worry, we’ve got a solution. We’ve compiled the ultimate chores chart that you and your roommate can use to avoid drama and dirt!

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Define “Clean” Early On

house-cleaning-ottawa2PC: Estate Park Central Property

Are you going to be doing every chore daily, a weekly thorough cleaning, or even a super clean just once a month? Does clean mean so spotless that you can see your reflection in the floors? Figuring out what “clean” means to each of you will help you set standards, and avoid conflict down the road.

Make a Chore Chart

chore-chartPC: Sarah Titus

When you were a kid, your parents may have assigned you and your siblings chores. Guess what? Now you have a roommate, and the same techniques apply! To be successful, you need to put some time and thought into your chores chart. We’ve listed the steps you need to take to create a chart that you and your roommates will gladly adopt.

1. Decide What Chores Need to be Done

Each roommate should have specific chores that they are purely responsible for on the chores chart. For example, everyone can do their own dishes and laundry, make their own beds, and keep their separate rooms tidy. Have you seen the show Hoarders? Yeah…That’s not where you want to end up. So, for the common areas, make it’s clear with your roomies that everyone has to pick up their own clutter.  If this is done every night before y’all go to bed, you’re place will always be tidy for the next day ahead. 

2. Make a List of Daily, Monthly, and Weekly Tasks

Next, comes the shared chores. Make a list of all the chores that need to be completed daily, weekly, or monthly. Here’s how we usually do it:

Daily: Cooking dinner, dishes, after-meal clean up, wipe down countertops and sink, sweep or Swiffer the floors, empty out the garbage, pick up all the clutter in the common areas, and a quick bathroom wipe down.

Weekly: Clean out the refrigerator, take the garbage to the curb, vacuum, dust the common areas, and grocery shopping (if you’re cooking together).

Monthly: Mop the floors, scrub the shower and toilets, wipe down the windows, wipe down the refrigerator shelves and drawers, stock up on household items like paper towels, dishwasher detergent, cleaning supplies, etc.

3. Assign Specific Chores

After the specific chores are all listed, each roommate can claim their chores. This might require some discussion and compromise. Figure out if you’ll want to rotate chores each week, or have designated chores set for the same person to do each time. Go down the list and decide the same for the monthly chores. The key is to be flexible in this step. We don’t like doing dishes either, but you might have to sacrifice your nails every couple of weeks for the greater good of your home.

4. Set Deadlines

Your chores list means nothing unless you set deadlines and hold each other accountable. Obviously, the daily chores have to be done when needed, or before you all turn in for the night. For weekly and monthly chores, set deadlines and days for each chore. That way, you don’t get to Saturday and have to spend all day doing your list top to bottom. Finally, choose dates that fit everyone’s schedules. If you tailor the deadlines to each roommate’s calendar, the chores are much more likely to be done.

Check In and Talk About Problems

new-girl-saison-1-episode-4PC: The Odyssey Online

In the end, keeping your place clean between two roommates, or five, can be difficult. It takes a detailed plan and honest communication. Everyone “forgets” to take the trash out every once in awhile. If this happens, just gently bring it up to your roommate, don’t let the trash sit for weeks. If you’ve followed all the steps and the chores are still consistently not getting done, maybe it’s time to chip in for a cleaning service? Sometimes it’s worth it to avoid conflicts and take the burden off your hands.


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