Roommate Living: Splitting Chores

No matter who you are living with, chances are there is a discrepancy about household upkeep. Roommate living is all about compromise, so roll up your sleeves and get ready to tackle dust mites, soap scum and grimy food residue.

Solutions for the Situation

Some people may work better under a strict regimen that says bathroom cleaning should be done on Wednesday nights, but others prefer a loose schedule that allows them to work cleanliness into their daily routine. Determine what scenario works best for you and your roomie. If your apartment-mate tends to procrastinate regularly, a tighter plan, such as a chore list, may be a better option.

You will also want to figure out how cleaning fits into your schedule. You might want to have your weekends free to go out, so you can plan to have allotted chores done by Friday each week. Even if you’re planning a laid-back rotation, there should still be a bit of structure to make sure you and your roommate don’t fall behind.

Determine the Level of Cleanliness

If you’re a self-proclaimed clean freak who can’t stand one dirty plate in the sink, chances are your roommate doesn’t feel the same way. Understand that while you may want everything spotless at all times, your roomie may be OK with some personal items lying around the house. If this is the situation, you’ll want to find common ground and consider that the “cleanliness standard.” If you want things to be tidier than this, you will have to take matters into your own hands.

Fairly Split Rooms

A chore chart for adults is ideal for making sure every room gets cleaned on a regular basis, but what if your roommate virtually never steps foot into the kitchen? Take into consideration both of your daily habits. Ask them to pick up after themselves when they inevitably cook a meal–they have to eat, right?–but plan to tackle the dirty stuff like scrubbing the stove. You can still ask them to unload the dishwasher or mop the floor occasionally, but make sure this room isn’t in their rotation as much as it is in yours.

Guests and Cleaning

There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning after your roommate had friends over to find the place covered with beer cans and old pizza boxes. If either of you tend to invite guests to your apartment on a regular basis, creating a rule to clean up after friends is probably a good idea. Cleaning late at night might not be feasible, but make sure you’ve set ground rules, such as throwing away garbage or clearing the kitchen counters before hitting the hay.


Roommate living is all about compromise. How do you and your roommate split chores?

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