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Living in a sharehouse teaches you many things. From sharing responsibility to polite etiquette to compromise: living with other people is definitely a learning experience. Sometimes, these experiences can turn sour, but for the most part, they are wonderful experiences resulting in laughter and good times. However, like any household, there are chores to be done! So you can keep your sanity and your friendships intact, we’ve put together our top tips for splitting chores in share houses.
- Define your definition of ‘clean’ early on
Will your house be tidied daily, weekly or monthly? Of course, the frequency will depend on the cleaning chore in question. For example, in order to protect your home from pests, you will need to do a thorough clean of all cupboards and shelves every month or so. However, something such as cleaning the mirrors in the bathroom may require a weekly or even daily clean, depending on how often they are used. It’s important to determine each person’s definition of ‘clean’ early on, in order to help reduce conflicts down the road.
- List the household chores and agree on a cleaning schedule
Make sure you determine how each of the chores will be split between you and your housemates. How will you split the light cleaning (vacuuming, dishes) and the deep cleaning (refrigerator, windows)? Break down the expectations of the common rooms, and hold each person responsible for completing a certain amount of tasks during their assigned week. If you can’t stand the thought of scrubbing the bathroom, but you enjoy doing dishes, you might be able to negotiate a deal. For deep cleaning, it can often be more manageable (and fun) when you set aside a day to tackle the big jobs together.
- Determine how you’re going to keep people accountable
Chores will always be done if people can be held accountable! Depending on how serious you want to get, this could mean a calendar in the kitchen, a detailed roster, or an online chat in a Facebook message. Whatever your medium of accountability, it is a great way to passively enforce the cleaning schedule, without having to hassle or nag your housemates. Always be clear and transparent; if you want to have a cleaning day, make sure everyone is available and keen, so as not to get disappointed when the day rolls around and no one turns up!
- Check in and discuss problems as they arise
Call out problems as you see them, or schedule weekly/monthly meetings so you can talk about what’s working and not working before they become a big deal. That said, you need to have realistic expectations; you might have to take on some of the tasks that you find important, but aren’t necessarily important to the rest of the house.
Chores and bills have a great potential for creating tension between roommates. The best way to keep trouble at bay is being upfront about expectations, everyday clear communication, and discipline. If you’re all online, technology can make all of that a lot easier. Take heed of this article in order to live your most organised, clean and stress-free sharehouse life!