When you are sharing a house the hardest thing to do is get the place clean and tidy on a regular basis. Many systems have been put in place to make sure each person does their part, but not many last.
The key, I think, is to find a solution that suits the personalities of your housemates. So in regards to household chores, here is a list that might help.
Method: Bit By Bit
Personality: The more productive, yet messy individual.
This method requires the most amount of initiative, where a mess is made it is cleaned up immediately. If a dish is used, it is cleaned and packed away.
Although this works best for the smaller jobs around the house, bigger chores like cleaning the shower etc may require separate method.
Method: A Job For Each Person
Personality: Organized and job orientated people.
Here we have the house split to carry out different jobs. This method works well with Method #1 to ensure those bigger jobs that don’t need to be carried out every day get done.
Creating a list of these kinds of chores and running a rotating roster for each job works best. Choose days that fit to each individual’s schedule.
Method: Once A Week Free For All
Personality: Party-goers who are busy during the week.
Sometimes it is just impractical to get some jobs done during the week. People have full-time jobs and have no energy to carry out chores when they get home. Once more, when there is some free time, ie. Friday night, it will result in headaches and hangovers.
Generally on a Saturday afternoon, the house will want to relax and veg out. This method requires the house to come together and clean up the place in their post-party stupors. The reason this works is because while conversation is low, a steady cleaning pace can be carried out.
The benefit being when things are done, all housemates can relax without the guilt of having done nothing the entire day. The right to veg has been earned.
Putting Them Together
For these methods to really ‘shine’, it is best to include all three in your household’s cleaning regimen.
Method #1 keeps problem areas from being neglected and building up to daunting proportions – most notably dishes.
Method #2 ensures the less liked chores get done. Keeping the load spread by rotating responsibilities for each keeps everyone happy.
Method #3 can be the backup. Although some houses can run entirely using this manner of shared cleaning, relying on all the duties being done during this time can be troublesome. Use it to keep everything in sorted that gets put out of order during the week, or the night before.
Insisting that everyone get things done the way you do can cause problems. Accommodating everyone’s different lifestyles and ways of working will make sure the jobs are done without too much resistance.
Otherwise, you could always resort to Method #4, which is chipping in $10-15 each week to hire a cleaner. Any other simple methods keeping your shared space tidy?