Tips for Sharing Chores with a Roommate
Finding a great roommate can be hard, but once you have one, it can be the best experience ever. You have someone to share a meal with or watch Netflix with or just engage in conversation. It’s also a great help for your budget as you can share the expenses of rent, utilities, and things like groceries should you choose.
But, there can be issues when you have a roommate, too. Financial stress can arise. You may have disagreements over things that get borrowed. You may find that in certain situations, you’re unable to reach a compromise. And, one of the most common problems that roommates face is how to share chores.
But don’t let fights over chores around your apartment lead to a poor roommate relationship. If you follow these tips, you can limit the disagreements over whose turn it is to clean the bathroom or take out the garbage.
- Have an Open Discussion About Chores: Once you’ve found a roommate, you want to have an open discussion about chores. Maybe this isn’t the time where you decide what needs to be done, but more of a time when you share what each of you has for expectations. Does your roommate consider themselves to be a clean or messy person? And what about you? Do you like things to be neat and tidy, or are you okay with things being slightly in disarray? This type of discussion can help you set some ground rules moving forward.
- Divide Up the Chores: Nobody wants to do all of the chores, so coming up with some way to divvy them up is essential. Perhaps there are chores that each of you don’t mind doing – so start with those. Then you can divide up the tasks that neither of you likes. You might also decide to rotate tasks – weekly or monthly – so that neither of you is stuck doing the same chores all the time.
- Create a Cleaning Calendar: Often, roommates amicably agree to share chores, but then things start to slip, and tasks don’t get done. If this is the case, you could soon find yourself with a real mess. A cleaning calendar can help to keep track of what chores are getting done and when. Post it where it’s visible to everyone and encourage your roommates to use it.
- Make Sure You Have All the Needed Supplies: When the cleaning needs to get done, you want to make sure that you have all of the supplies on hand and ready to use. Keep them all in a caddy and located someplace that everyone has access to.
- Additionally, make sure you’ve set up a system for sharing the costs of cleaning supplies. If you’re sharing groceries, you can just add cleaning supplies to your list. But if you are keeping expenses, you might want to establish a petty cash fund for when you need to buy some glass cleaner or vacuum bags.
- Keep Each Other Accountable – Nicely: Keeping each other accountable for completing chores – in a courteous manner – will go a long way to keeping your roommate relationship healthy. Some chore charts have check-off boxes where you can mark that the job has been completed for the week. Or, you might use an app like OurHome to help.
- Talk About Problems as They Come Up: No roommate relationship is ever going to be 100% perfect all of the time. If you find that you are becoming resentful of your roommate because chores aren’t done, then it’s time to have a discussion. Don’t let things fester!
Sharing chores with a roommate doesn’t have to be a problem as long as you keep the lines of communication open. Establish some guidelines and divide up the tasks, and you will probably have a clean apartment and roommate you love, too.