How to Make a Roommate Chore Chart and Maintain Peace

A woman cleaning up confetti off the floor with a broom and a dust pan

Maybe you’re a bunch of students who have just moved away from home for four years of university. Or maybe you’re at home trying to reconfigure the dynamics of living with your partner. Whatever your situation may be, chores at home can make or break any co-living situation. We aren’t kidding. And without a chore chart or cleaning schedule, you and your roommate (or partner) are bound to fight. Trust us, chore list is extremely important, especially for roommates.

House chores are undoubtedly tedious and tiring. Folding the dishes, doing the lawn, mowing the laundry. Wait, no. Uh, you know what we mean. No. One. Likes. This. Stuff.

To be able to successfully and diplomatically work through this land mine, all concerned parties just need to come together one evening (preferably over snacks, maybe some wine) and with a pen and paper, make an actual activity out of this.

We doubt this can be accomplished to a similar effect if just one person chalks up a chores’ list on the fridge on a frustrated morning.

The solution lies not in the list but in the system you set up.

Have a house meeting to work out the Roommate Chore Chart

When drawing up the roommate chore chart, take everyone’s input. After all, you don’t want to end up with a cleaning schedule where one roommate has to do more work than the other. After a set of household tasks are on paper, go through each task, asking around the table how many people wouldn’t mind taking up that particular job – you’d be surprised to know how many people find joy in decluttering or stress relief in mowing a lawn.

Similarly, ask for tasks that people absolutely despise. For instance, if you’re a despiser of washing the dishes three times a week, switch a few turns out with a couple extra runs for the grocery – with maybe someone who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty (or clean?).

Related: Groceries And Roommates: How To Budget Better!

Welcome to Compromise City, Population: You and the roommate chore chart

The list is bound to have certain tasks that no one enjoys. For the sake of maintained harmony and minimal shade served, split the undesired tasks as evenly as possible. You could also try switching up the chores over a monthly house-meeting (mmm, we smell a tradition ).

A great tip is to tackle the less fun chores together – so time goes by quicker, and the entire house gets time to bond – or as we like to call it, a laundry cleaning party.

A Pocket Full Of Everyone’s Time

It’s highly unlikely that your entire household will be running on the same schedule. Some might have the regular 9-5 grind, while others might have multiple jobs, off-timed shifts and others just regular nights of constant typing. Perhaps the sharing of chores can be done to fit everyone’s schedule – depending on what everyone’s most comfortable (re: least uncomfortable) with.

Also understand that people’s schedules change. And a foundational understanding and mutual respect for all members of the house is more important than any thing else here.

Related: Help! I’m Fighting With My Roommate – What To Do Next

Remember, You Cannot Micromanage This.

You may not be able to divide the chore list completely evenly amongst your roommates. And chances are, splitting the chores to a precise half, will only lead to resentment as things will never work out perfectly. We believe the most important thing at this junction is all parties sharing effort in maintaining your home: whatever that effort may be. The roommate chore chart will never be perfect, but it’s the effort that counts!

Do as Elsa did

Let it go. We all know that one nosey friend that will run to wipe the counter behind your back… After you have already done your best to clean it. And if you don’t know that one person, chances are you’re it.

It’s always best to remember that even with the best intentions in mind, you cannot impose your standards on people around you. Especially those people that are actually trying. Nobody’s perfect and being appreciative of those around you goes a really long way. Just make sure you and your roommates stick to the chore list as much as you can, and forgive the rest!

Related: 19 Tips To Make Your Life Simpler

The Last Resort

Now this very preachy piece might click for you or it may not. Either way, we are all familiar with dysfunctional days when nothing seems to go our way. Those days call for scheduling help. Many people prefer a once-a-week deep clean service (that can easily be hired over the internet). It’s basically meant to help you catch up on your chores while also catching all those corners we never really find the time for. So, come up with a cleaning schedule with your roommate that works for you.

This gives you the peace of mind that comes with a clean home and a mighty satisfied set of housemates!

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers come up with a roommate chore chart that works for everyone? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!