Apartment Therapy On... Divvying Up The Chores

Apartment Therapy On... Divvying Up The Chores

Beth Zeigler
May 5, 2009

050509chores-01.jpgWe've been pretty lucky in the roommate department when it comes to doing chores around the house but we've heard how difficult life can be when standards of living don't match up. A few tips on how to maintain cleanliness and keep the peace at home after the jump.

  • Picking the right roommate. Sometimes, it's better not to live with someone you already know. If you find a roommate through Craigslist or through friends, it's best to have the "cleaning talk" before you move in together. Discuss expectations and chores in advance (especially if you're about to move in with your significant other). You may find out that he enjoys doing the dishes and you don't mind taking out the trash. It will be important to compromise when discussing chore duty (and if your prospective roommate doesn't sound like they're a good fit--move on).

  • Talk about it. So maybe you already live with your roommate or beau and never had the cleaning discussion before you moved in together. Instead of leaving passive aggressive notes or letting the dishes pile up, talk about your cleaning needs in a respectful manner.

  • Chart it out. Sometimes it's best to chart it out for all to see (especially if there are more than two roommates living together). By mapping out the chores, everyone is on the same page and the individual(s) that weren't keeping the area clean now know when and what they are responsible for.

  • Clean together. Set a date for you and your roommate to clean together. You'll knock out cleaning the entire house much faster plus you won't feel like you're the only one who ever cleans the house.

  • Keep clutter out. It's much easier to clean a space when there aren't knickknacks to work around. A spotless apartment will remain cleaner longer (plus your roommate will be less hesitant to leave a dirty dish out if there aren't items already strewn about).

  • Hire help. If all else fails, hire a cleaning lady to tidy up--you'll feel much better when you don't have to nag and resent your housemate Plus, the threat of having to pay someone else may just be the kick in the pants your roommate needs to pitch in and start cleaning up.

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