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 of whether 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!
Define “Clean” Early On
PC: Estate Park Central Property
Are you going to be doing a chore a day, a weekly thorough cleaning, or a super clean once a month? Does clean mean so spotless that you can see your reflection in the floors or does it just mean that you can see the floors period? Figuring out what “clean” means to each of you will help you set standards for what your apartment should look like on a daily basis, and also avoid help you and your roommate to avoid conflict down the road.
Make a Chore Chart
PC: Sarah Titus
When you were a kid, your parents may have assigned you and your sibling 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.
For the common areas, make it clear with your roomies that everyone has to pick up their own clutter. If this is done every night before you go to bed, your common spaces will always be tidy for the next day ahead.
2. Make a List of Daily, Monthly, Weekly, and Seasonal Tasks
Next, comes the shared chores. Make a list of all the chores that need to be completed daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonally. Here’s how we usually do it:
Daily: Cooking dinner, cleaning dishes, post-meal clean up, wiping down the countertops, eating area, and sink, sweeping or Swiffer the floors, unloading and loading the dishwasher or dish drying rack, picking up clutter in the common areas, and quickly wiping down the bathroom.
Weekly: Clean out the refrigerator of expired foods, scrub the bathroom sink, wipe the stovetop and microwave, take out the garbage and recycle, vacuum, dust and clean the surfaces and floors in the common areas, go grocery shopping (if you’re cooking together), and update the chore chart for the upcoming week.
Monthly: Mop the floors, scrub the shower and toilets, Windex the windows and mirrors, dust hard to reach places (like the top shelves of cabinets), stock up on household items like paper towels, dishwasher detergent, cleaning supplies, etc.
Seasonal: Scrub the refrigerator shelves and drawers, clean out your closet, wash the outside of windows, remove old spices, expired condiments, and non-necessary items from the pantry and fridge.
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 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.
Click here to download the Triplemint Chore Chart
Simply print out our chart, fill in the names of your household and the associated chores, and keep it updated on a weekly basis. We recommend using a non-digital version of the chore chart so that it’s visible every day. Plus there’s a certain satisfaction to crossing off your chores once they’re complete.
Check In and Talk About Problems
PC: The Odyssey Online
Ultimately, keeping your place clean – whether that’s between two roommates, or five – can be difficult. It takes a detailed plan, regular check-ins, and honest communication. Everyone “forgets” to take the trash out every once in a while; we’re human! If this happens, just gently bring it up to your roommate, and remind them of the chore chart. Don’t be passive aggressive about the matter and let the trash sit for weeks.
If you’ve followed all the steps above and the chores are still not getting done consistently, maybe it’s time to chip in for a cleaning service? Sometimes it’s worth it to avoid the constant cleaning conflicts and take the burden off your hands and minds.