Living with roommates can be both fun and stressful. Movie nights, parties and inside jokes are just a few of the reasons living with roommates is fun. However, when it comes to chores, it might not be so pleasant. A simple way to avoid confrontation and passive aggressive behavior is by discussing chores with your roommates before getting completely settled into your new apartment. Here are a few ideas on how to split up household duties and avoid any drama.
Discuss the Chores
Call a roommate meeting one night to talk about the chores. It may seem lame, but this little step will go a long way. Decide what chores need to be taken care of, how you will purchase cleaning supplies and how often things will get done around your apartment. To make it easier, create a list of chores. Here’s an example:
- Clean the kitchen
- Sweep/vacuum the floors
- Scrub the toilets, showers, bathtubs and sinks
- Running the dishwasher/emptying the dishwasher
- Clean the fridge
- Take out trash
- Wash the windows
- Pay bills
Divide the Chores
You probably have chores that you absolutely hate doing, which means your roommates probably have chores they hate to do as well. Create a list of chores you enjoy, don’t mind and hate. If you hate vacuuming but your roommate loves it, then let your roommate do that. If more than one roommate enjoys vacuuming, then take turns doing it. The same goes for certain chores that you hate. Scrubbing the toilet isn’t the best chore, so alternate turns to do this. For the other chores, you can divide them up by drawing chores out of a hat, or just take turns volunteering to do them. If you divide the chores up randomly, there will be fewer hard feelings.
Make a Chart or Calendar
Use a wall calendar to write everyone’s duties down, or create a chart that lists all of the roommates’ names and their responsibilities next to it. This way, there is no confusion as to who is responsible for what. If it works better, rotate the chores every month. This way, you won’t get stuck with scrubbing the bathtub for the entire length of your lease. To keep everyone accountable for their responsibilities, initial next to your chore when you have completed it.
Divide the cost of supplies evenly among your roommates. Supplies can include trash bags, all-purpose cleaners and dishwasher detergent. Discuss how much each roommate is willing to spend on cleaning supplies to make sure everyone can afford it.
Remember that just because you like perfect lines when vacuuming doesn’t mean your roommate feels that straight visible lines are necessary. You can have those vacuum lines when it’s your turn to tackle that chore. Also, keep in mind that everyone has a different schedule; don’t set a time when chores should be done. If a few days have passed and your roommate has not completed his or her task, nicely remind him or her. If you know your roommate is busy, offer to switch chores if that will work out better.
Photo Credit: iStockphoto/CamiloTorres