When it comes to unpleasant childhood memories, there’s one that everyone can relate to: the household chore list. However, what may have seemed like an unnecessary evil when the biggest priority in your life was waking up in time for Saturday morning cartoons, having a chore chart for adults can be a handy way to avoid arguments with your roommates. Let’s be honest–nobody likes cleaning–and a chore chart will help you make sure everyone is pulling his or her weight around the apartment.
Step 1: Talk About What “Clean” Means
When it comes to making a chore chart for adults, talking about your standard of cleanliness is key. The chart won’t be effective if your roommate’s definition of a clean kitchen is far below yours. Now is the time to be honest about how often (and how well) you expect each chore to be completed. If you’re truthful with your expectations, you can avoid some unpleasant arguments down the line.
Step 2: Identify What Needs to be Done
After you and your roommate have established your standards for cleanliness, talk about the chores that need to be completed around the apartment. It may help to go from room to room as you make your list. You should also decide how often each task should be accomplished. For example, do you want the dishes to be done every night, or only when the sink is full?
Step 3: Divide Them Up
Everyone’s unique, and you and your roommate may have different feelings about individual chores. Create three columns: like, indifferent and dislike–and sort the duties accordingly. Then, compare lists. If your roommate loves to vacuum and you hate it, great! Let him or her take over that duty. Maybe you don’t mind dusting, while it’s something your roommate can’t stand.
Step 4: Create Your Chart
Now it’s time to create your chore chart. There are plenty of templates available online, or you can make a custom household chore list. Create a table that lists everyone’s names and duties that can easily be checked off. Be sure to account for chores that only need to be performed weekly or monthly rather than daily.
Step 5: Impose Consequences
Your parents probably had consequences for you if you didn’t complete your chores, and you may have to do the same if your roommate isn’t sticking to the schedule. This should be decided beforehand and put in writing. Maybe he or she will have to pay a larger portion of the cable bill, or complete the one task that you both hate.