Make Home Life Easy With A Roommate Chore Chart

roommate chore chart

Roommate Chore Chart - A Great way to manage chores effectively

If you’ve ever lived with roommates then you know that one of the biggest sources of potential conflict are chores. Some avoid them until fights break out while others take them so seriously that they become the micromanager everyone loves to hate. And the more you let it fester, the worse it gets. Luckily, there is a handy solution – the roommate chore chart.

This straightforward planning tool will set you up with the structure you need to make doing chores a predictable activity that hopefully everyone can get on board with. But what should you keep in mind when making one and what’s the most efficient way to do it? Let’s find out.

Set Expectations

It’s important to start this process by always making sure that everyone living in the house is on the same page as to what the standard of cleanliness is. Some people love to see their reflection in the countertops while others think that dusting is more of a once per quarter activity. Ensuring that everyone has clear definitions for every chore is one of the best ways to avoid conflict and maintain satisfaction across the board. 

To give a brief example. What does doing the dishes mean to you? For some it might mean washing, drying and putting away the dishes while for others it might just be washing dishes and leaving them out to dry until they’re needed. Define what each task is for a more harmonious environment.

List and Categorize Chores

Another important aspect of bringing clarity when it comes to creating a roommate chore chart is to properly list and categorize chores. Make sure to not make any assumptions about what others might think is included in the cleanup. If you want cleaning the kitchen to include clearing the fridge then you’ll have to specify it. 

Do your best to create a comprehensive list of what needs to be done in common areas and sure to categorize these chores. Not all chores will need to be done over the same interval. Some will need to be accomplished daily while others can be done once per week or even once per month. If you’re feeling especially thorough you can always include the details of a quarterly or bi-yearly cleaning. 

Specify how often every task will need to be done and always allow input from others.

Assigning Chores

There are two main approaches to assigning chores and they both have their pros and cons. 

The first is by preference. You can ask everyone in your household what they like – or hate least – in the cleaning process. This has the advantage that people will be much more likely to do their tasks if they don’t involve activities that they hate.

The disadvantage is that it’s much harder to assign chores based on frequency. Some people might strategically prefer the monthly tasks or the mickey mouse daily task and it can get complicated to make it equitable. 

The second is assigning chores by rotation. This will be a much fairer method but it might create some friction as people might drag their feet on the things they don’t like doing.

Managing Your Roommate Chore Chart

Any type of system is only valuable if it’s used. And when it comes to managing the chore chart you have to make sure that you have a feedback system in place so that individuals know when it’s their turn and what chores are involved. What’s more, it’s important to keep people accountable and the system itself visible. 

There are several models of chore charts that can be laminated or you can even create a Google Calendar especially for your chores. Alternatively, you can take a look at a chore management app such as Enzo, that can make life easier by connecting everyone, sending reminders and maintaining visibility over what was done and what’s due next.

Don’t Micromanage

If you’re usually the one pushing everyone to get organized or for chores to be assigned, it might mean that you’re the one who most often gets frustrated with what’s not being done. It’s important to understand that clear expectations and clarity on who needs to do what are essential for harmonious living with roommates. 

That being said, it’s easy to go from organizer to micromanager and that’s not going to increase your chances of getting things done. People don’t like being micromanaged and knocking on your roommates doors to give them friendly reminders about the right way to do the dishes might accomplish nothing more than make you unpopular. 

Put in place a system that does the reminding for you and set clear definitions for each chore for best results. If these sorts of issues do arise, address them during a house meeting rather than every time you pass the offending person in the common area.

Show Appreciation

Changing habits can be a challenging endeavor and even if you manage to convince everyone to get onboard the new chore chart you still need to make sure that everyone keeps up the good work. A well placed word of encouragement and a sustained culture of showing appreciation for others’ efforts will contribute to a great atmosphere as well as serve as incentive for people. 

So there you have it. The top steps that you can take to create, implement and manage a chore chart that will contribute to a clean and happy environment at home. And if you want the process to run even smoother, take a look at how a chore app can help.