Having a peaceful and harmonious living space is all but necessary in a world that is becoming increasingly frenetic and noisy. Part of having a home that provides a respite from life’s vicissitudes and hectic pace is having a living space that is clean and clutter-free. Keeping your place in such shape may not be all too difficult or too necessary if you live alone.
However, if you share a living space with roommates, you are more likely to find that you and your roommates may not always share the same standards for cleanliness or even an opinion on how to divvy up the chores. One way to approach this challenge is to create a chore wheel so that all roommates involved can be held accountable for their individual responsibilities as well as making sure that no one person gets stuck with the ugly jobs all the time or so that any other amicable arrangements can be made to keep everyone satisfied.
Dividing Up the Chores
The first thing you must do with your roommate or roommates is to discuss the chores that are on the table for negotiation. Decide which things need to be done and how important they are. A typical list of chores that appear on many chore wheels includes such things as:
- Doing the dishes.
- Cleaning the fridge.
- Taking out the trash.
- Sweeping or vacuuming the floors.
- Cleaning the windows.
- Cleaning the bathroom or bathrooms.
- Includes showers, toilets, and sinks
- Paying the bills.
Once you agree upon what chores need taking care of, each roommate may wish to make their own list of which particular chores they despise doing as well as those they do not mind or even enjoy taking care of around the house. For those chores that all interested parties dislike you can simply rotate the responsibility from week to week so no one gets stuck with it all the time. Keeping things fair and even lowers the risk of arguments and disturbing your happy home.
Note: Make sure to have the necessary cleaning supplies on hand.
Daily, Weekly and Monthly Chores
Different chores may require different schedules, as not all chores need to be done daily. Some chores are weekly in nature or even monthly. Determine which of each sort your home requires and take their frequency into consideration when constructing your home’s chore wheel.
- Daily chores – These chores are to be done on a daily basis and may include such things as cooking dinner, doing the dishes, taking out the garbage or clearing the dinner table after a meal.
- Weekly chores – This category of chores can include cleaning that does not require daily attention, such as vacuuming and dusting in the common living spaces, cleaning the fridge, mowing the lawn and even doing the grocery shopping if you share meals.
- Monthly chores – These are typically more involved and labor-intensive but also need attention less often. Some typical ones include scrubbing the shower, toilets, and sinks, cleaning out the coffee maker, scrubbing out the refrigerator, doing the floors as well as shopping for household items such as paper and cleaning products.
This is where you and your roommate or roommates negotiate about how to divide up the chores. If you can come to an accord on chores you like and do not like, it will make the process fairly simple. However, it is more likely that you will need to compromise and set up some sort of rotating schedule for chores that neither of you are particularly fond of doing.
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You may, for instance, decide to rotate the responsibility for doing the dishes every day. Or you may decide you enjoy taking out the garbage and wish to have that chore every day. You should aim to repeat this process with the weekly and monthly chores as well to head off any possible conflicts or confrontations.
Setting Deadlines for Chores
Daily chores are to be taken care of each day and should be completed before going to bed for the evening. Weekly chores can be sorted out by particular days of the week according to how well they fit the schedules of you and your roommate.
If your roommate has off on Thursday, he or she may prefer to have their chores set for Thursday so as not to be bogged down when they have long workdays. Monthly chores may be scheduled according to a particular day of the month, such as the 15th or perhaps they are to be completed on the third Saturday of the month.
How to Create a Chore Wheel Chart
Making and posting a physical chore wheel can help keep the routine clear and the roommates involved accountable to each other so they do not forget to take care of their responsibilities, which can lead to conflict. Making the actual charts can take a number of forms or designs. To decide which is best for you, it may be necessary to research several options before coming up with one that works best for your home. You can find many different forms posted on sites such as Pinterest for ideas.
What Happens if someone forgets to take care of their chores?
As a child, not completing your chores came with consequences. Perhaps you were denied the privilege of watching a favorite TV show, you lost some of your allowance (if you received one at all) or you were grounded for a period of time. However, as an adult living on your own with roommates, that sort of discipline is not something you will encounter.
If you live with a roommate who routinely forgets to pick up after themselves or do their assigned chores, it requires a respectful conversation with the roommate in question. There may be a reason for the transgression. It could be that they hate the chore assigned but did not say anything at the time, or they had some issue that genuinely got in the way. Or perhaps they do not know how to clean properly.
You can discuss how to handle the situation, such as switching up chores so that the despised deed may be swapped out for a less offending one. Or perhaps they may counter you with an offer to pay more rent in exchange for being absolved from having to do certain chores.
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