Roommate chore chart
I have an awful roommate who is moving out this weekend. I've had many awful roommates, but that's another story. New roommate (moving in on the 1st) is a friend of mine, not super close but not too distant. Because I am so tired of being the only one who cleans, I'm trying to see about a chore chart. Nothing major, just "scheduling" everyone once a week to sweep, vacuum, and make sure the countertops are wiped off (three people in house, so house is cleaned roughly three days a week). There is still a great amount of cleaning up after yourself; do your dishes, don't leave a mess, take out the garbage if its full, etc.
So I ran this by the new roommate and she thinks its dumb, extreme, ridiculous, she's moving out to get freedom not more rules, etc etc. So I ask you, is this a bad idea? I just feel like it evens the field, we can avoid resentment, everyone knows what to expect from everyone else and the house will stay cleaner. What are your thoughts?
Fun facts of varying importance that you're welcome to skim or skip altogether;
~I am 23, have been out of my parents house for 3.5 years.
~Current roommate (the one staying, not leaving) is 20, her first time "on her own."
~New roommate is also 20 and this will be her first time too.
~I admittedly have a high standard of clean, but I don't think sweeping and vacuuming three days a week (maybe four; I have cats and don't mind doing it twice) is setting the bar too high. Especially since it is never (and I mean NEVER) anyone else who does it, just me.
~Current roommate has a much lower standard of clean. She doesn't leave dirty dishes in the kitchen, and is pretty good about loading/unloading the dishwasher and taking out garbage, but I don't think she has ever swept and she's only vacuumed the common area once and it was because I asked. Nice girl but kind of dirty.
~New roommate is a bit more... entitled. She has and wants nice things, a bit easily slighted (her taking offense to my suggestion, for instance) and just, well, entitled. Love the girl, she is nice and respectful. Its hard to explain.
~I have no intention of being a nazi. I won't hunt anyone down if I don't think they cleaned on their day, if they don't have time because of plans, no big deal.
~It is my intention to sit down with both girls and discuss how often we think things should be done, and make sure everyone leaves the "meeting" comfortable with what WE decide.
Good idea in theory, but it won't work.
You can't sit them down and give them the cleaning schedule.
You could say, when you hand her the key, that she is expected to pick up after herself and help out with the general housekeeping duties such as sweeping, vaccuuming, shower and toilet cleaning.
Put up a few cute signs, one in the kitchen and one in the bath Saying pick up.
To be honest when people say "cleaning roster" my gut response is to get away.
There are a few reasons for this I guess. First is that the instigator is putting themselves in a position of power over the other people. By dictating the terms of this they're setting up an unequal power balance which throws me right off.
Second, I'm an adult. I live out of home. Home is a sanctuary, a place to relax, a place to be me. When there is a roster outlining what needs to be done by what day etc I feel like I've lost all my independence, like I'm being scheduled at a job, or that I'm a child that needs to be told what to do. I pay rent to live somewhere not to be bossed about.
I'm not the only person who feels like this. I've met so many others that when you say the words "roster" or similar they want to run the other way. It's just not the way you want to approach a living situation.
The best thing to do in my opinion and experience is start by being upfront. When you interview them for the room ask them what their idea of cleaning is. How often do they expect to vacuum, clean the bathroom and properly clean the kitchen? Sounds like a pretty straight forward thing, but everyone does have different answers. Some people I've lived with think that you don't need to properly clean kitchens if everyone puts their stuff away. Some people think you need to clean bathrooms weekly, others monthly. We take our cleaning expectations for granted where as people actually have a widely different idea of what is "normal". So find out what it is and if its quite different to your idea then don't live them. You can't expect people to change.
Then discuss your expectations clearly. Like do you expect people to wash up and wipe up immediately after cooking? Or can they do dishes at the end of a day, do they need to tidy before they eat or can they leave their stuff out of a couple of hours? Be clear. Is everyone required to vacuum, clean bathroom and kitchen once a week, if so, when? What if they're busy that day or just plain don't feel like it? Who decides that? Is the person happy with that? Try to find someone who thinks the same as you, because in the long run it will be much easier.
What I have found works best is each person having a certain chore at a certain time, like one person cleans the bathroom, one cleans the kitchen, and one vacuums that week. And they can do it whenever they want that week, as long as it gets done. Then the next week you switch about. You don't even need to write it down or anything, just informally rotate between yourselves. On top of that everyone cleans up after themselves.
To be honest I think vacumming/sweeping three times a week is a lot. I've lived in many group houses and not one of them has had a particular chore more than once a week. When I lived with a girl who had a shedding dog she did all the vacumming and sweeping because she knew that without her animal the place wouldn't be needing that much upkeep.
To me, spending more than one day a week on cleaning is excessive. I have a life and I'm not going to spend it cleaning. I'll clean up after myself, wipe stuff down etc but not take time out to clean. Expecting other people to do that is also too much.
I've lived out of home for five years and I've lived with a range of people in a range of countries. Some have NEVER cleaned/vacuumed and some were good. But you've got to lighten up. Yes you have your standards but other people have their standards. You wouldn't want to conform to theirs so you shouldn't expect them to go to yours. Find a reasonable middle ground and go with it.
And work this stuff out prior to moving in.
Good luck - sharing can be a nightmare! And sorry for the super long response, I am feeling too rotten to be succicent.
But asking everyone to clean one week isn't any different than making a chore chart, so I'm confused. It's just a longer drawn out one.
Interviewing is kind of a moot point right now, I already have the roommates, and no matter how much you talk about cleaning, everyone always says they are cleaner than the are. Like the roommate moving out is horribly disgusting but man did he boast about how much he straightened up.
I don't mind vacuuming more as I have the two cats, but I don't think I should be the only one to do it. We all walk down the hallway and use the living room.
I firmly believe that without being directed, most people won't do anything and will procrastinate the hell out of it. I feel it'll be me asserting dominance more if I have to ask either of them, "hey, can you vacuum?" as opposed to sitting down together and working something out TOGETHER. I don't think suggesting this is making myself a dictator, and I don't want to be a nag, which is the other alternative.
If everything gets done once a week, I can live with that. That's why I plan on talking to the girls about what their thoughts are on it.
I have also heard from many people whilst complaining about roommates that chore charts were a lifesaver for them.
Mostly, I'm tired of being taken advantage of. It seems they think that it stays pretty clean without having to do much, because I'm the one who does it. I'm not a maid, and unless they want to start accommodating me for those maid duties, I've no intention of continuing to be one.
Anyone else? Sorry if my thoughts are jumbled, just woke up.
You can't designate a day or pin down anything to someone's schedule. You don't know how they're feeling or what they have going on. No one is going to drop everything and run home loon a particular night because they are supposed to clean. If everything financially is split equally you again have less pull. If you're willing to take on more rent in exchange for chores done a certain way then some people would go for that.
Are you really being taken advantage of? They're not asking you to clean and you have the higher standard that you want people to live up to.
Any space that's your space is fine to nitpick over but shared space you're going to either have to let it be how it goes or just take on more work if you want it a certain way.
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I AM being taken advantage of it. I have been taken advantage of with every roommate. People see it clean and don't think anything of it, no one takes out the AP cleaner and wipes down the counter. EVER.
I don't assume I have pull. Again, this is something I plan on taking about WITH EVERYONE SO WE ARE ALL IN AGREEMENT. I think people assume I'm just assigning shifts and that isn't the case. Everyone will have to agree on what we decide. We ALL have to be willing to compensate.
I also feel it is important to add the apartment is tiny. The slowest cleaner ever would be done sweeping, vacuuming, and have the kitchen wiped down in twenty minutes. Tops.
What about saying you will charge everyone more money and hire a cleaning woman, if they don't start helping with the cleaning.
You are not always right! Just because you deem that a bathroom needs cleaning doesn't mean that your judgement over-rules everyone else's. if you want to share a house you are going to have to learn to compromise.
Personally, I think that each person should clean up after themselves, and that the vacuuming and floors need doing once a week.
People are different - you are a cleaning-goddess, maybe one of your housemates is a great cook. Enjoy the differences.
Ricci I think you missed my point. You've already lost your case with people when you designate a day. It doesn't matter that it takes 20 minutes. It's the whole aspect of people feeling like they're being mothered into chores when they're supposed to be on their own. Taking an I scheduled approach is better - even if YOU have a schedule in kind just don't say anything and make it look spontaneous. I do stuff like that st work all the time and it does work. If its a Saturday morning and everyone is lounging about its a great time to start cleaning up and ask for help. In your head it was cleaning day but there was no assignments. Follow me? Point is you can't suggest, ask, designate, whatever chores. In theory it works but in reality it doesn't and you should see that from experience. You have to let to the expectation and firm belief of what other people will do. It may be the truth but it causes you to act in a way that makes people reject what you're saying - your experiences should be confirming this.
If you volunteer to do something, especially if its because you have a higher standard, you're not being taken advantage of, sorry. They may be benefitting from a nicer house but its not as important to them as it is you. If its really "only twenty minutes" then why is it such a sore point? I do agree that everyone should clean up after the selves to a point - dishes, trash, dropped items - but the overall house is not something that can be delegated out when the majority of the people living there are ok with it one way and the minority is not/
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Please don't assume you know me, my habits, my stress level, etc.
ETA: Why do I have to be the only one who compensates? That isn't fair. If I accept less and they do more, it evens out. That is all I'm looking for. An even playing field for all of us.
Again, I NEVER SAID I WOULD NAIL DOWN A DAY. WE WILL TAKE AS A TRIO AND ARRIVE AT AN AGREEABLE ROUTINE FOR EVERYONE. THAT is what I am suggesting.
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