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Dividing Chores As Roommates

November 1, 2023

When you live with other adults under the same roof, it’s important to make sure everyone pitches in and deals with all the scrubbing, vacuuming, dishwashing, trash emptying, and other chores that no one wants to do but have to happen to keep your living space nice and clean.  By having everyone pitch in, everyone will feel a shared responsibility for keeping things neat and no one will feel like someone is dodging work.  There are several ways to divide these jobs and your best option can depend on you and your roommates.

Room Responsibility

One way to divide work is to assign each room to a different person.  For instance, bedroom cleaning would be the responsibility of the roommate or roommates who live in it, and then shared spaces like bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens would be divided between everybody.  If one room is larger or requires more work, you can divide it into smaller areas or individual chores and hand them out until everyone feels like they have an equal amount of work.

Chore Division

Another way of dividing your chores is to hand out a different job or set of jobs to each roommate.  One person can keep clean the dishes and the kitchen counters, one person can mop the hardwood and vacuum the carpets, one person can clean the toilet and shower, and so on.  This setup is good for roommates who don’t mind one chore but who don’t like doing other jobs.  Keeping things consistent will also make it easy to know who’s responsible in any given situation.

Chore Wheel

A chore wheel is like chore division, but person responsible for each chore changes every week.  This can keep things fair because everyone will do everything at some point, and so even if one chore seems harder than the others you’ll know that everyone will do it eventually.  However, a chore wheel can make it harder to remember who’s responsible for a given chore that week, even if the wheel itself is in a public spot like the refrigerator or the calendar.  It may also be a problem if one roommate isn’t as good at performing a chore.

Chore Trading

Chore trading is something you can add to any chore division.  The idea is that if you take care of a roommate’s chores along with your own one week, that person will cover your chores next week in exchange.  This helps to keep things fair if someone forgets to do their chores or if a roommate goes on a long trip.  You can also trade individual chores between roommates, although if it happens often enough you should probably make it official.

Something else you can do is live at a complex that offers basic cleaning services, a complex like LivingQ. Our rental spaces are designed with shared living in mind, and your rental payments include utilities, Wi-Fi, basic amenities, and a regular cleaning service.  You’ll still need to pick up after yourself to some degree, but it’s much easier to LivingQ than it is to live elsewhere.