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How to create a roommate cleaning schedule

December 13, 2022 | By Roomrs


Living with roommates is not always easy, especially when there are disagreements surrounding cleaning. If you’re feeling frustrated with your roommate's cleaning habits (or lack thereof), try incorporating a cleaning schedule. Having a cleaning schedule or chore chart, clearly outlines what chores each person is responsible for. This makes it less likely that one person will end up having to do all the work, and will help you get along better in the long run.


When it comes to roommate compatibility, communication is key. So, working together to discuss issues, and coming up with solutions together (like implementing a chore chart) assists in fostering a good roommate relationship.

Come up with a chore List

First things first; when coming up with a cleaning schedule, you have to discuss what chores need to be done. Think about the chores that you all do on a weekly basis, and just begin writing them down. This can include things like taking out the trash, cleaning out the fridge before grocery shopping that week, doing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, sweeping and mopping floors, wiping down countertops and messy surfaces, etc.

You can even come up with general rules to encourage overall cleanliness and to help keep the apartment tidy. Such as each person being responsible for their own dirty dishes, picking up personal items from shared spaces to avoid clutter, and so on.



Decide how chores will be assigned

Now that you have your list of chores, it’s time to come up with a system. This should detail what the chores are, and who exactly is responsible for them. Each person’s chore chart or cleaning schedule will look different, the important thing is to come up with a system that works for you and the people you live with.


With that being said, if you’re not sure where to start, here is an example of a cleaning schedule you can follow. Group each of the co-living spaces such as the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, etc. From there, detail what needs to be cleaned in each of the shared spaces. So for the kitchen, chores might include throwing away old or expired food, cleaning the stove, countertops, etc.


Each week, assign one shared space to each roommate, or equally, divide chores depending on how many roommates you have. That way, by the end of the week, the entire apartment would have been cleaned.


Divvy up trash days as well. For example, trash goes out on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, so each day one person is responsible for taking out the trash.


Set a deadline for when chores need to be completed so everything is done in a timely manner.

Be detailed and specific

It might seem nit-picky, but it’s crucial that you are as specific and detailed as possible. Even if something seems irrelevant, you should still discuss it between your roommates, and add it to your cleaning schedule if necessary. For instance, If you’re living in an apartment with women, you may be well aware that hair gets everywhere. And frankly, there's nothing more annoying than cleaning hair out of the drain from the person that took a shower before you. If you see this becoming an issue, add it to the chore chart. Put in a house rule that after each person takes a shower, they should remove all hair from the drain and shower.

Keep the chore chat where everyone can see it

Your chore chart/cleaning schedule should be displayed in a place where everyone can see it (like on the fridge in the kitchen). That way, everyone has access to it, and can be reminded what chores they are responsible for, and when they have to be completed.


Try buying a cheap whiteboard and decorating it. Make it a fun activity between you and your roommates, to help get everyone excited about the chore chart. As you complete chores, you can check them off to help you feel more accomplished. This may also encourage your roommates to complete their chores as well.



Check-in occasionally

Make sure throughout the weeks, you check in with your roommates to see how the chore chart is going. If they are unhappy with something or wish to make changes, you should have a house meeting and discuss it. The object of the chore chart is to divide household responsibilities and keep the peace between roommates, so if something isn’t working for someone, it should be adjusted.


It may be something as simple as wanting to change the date they were supposed to take out the trash. But continuing to communicate helps make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Figure out steps to take if chores aren’t done

If someone isn’t doing their part, you need to think of what the consequences will be. Ultimately, the best course of action is to communicate, as your roommate might have a good reason for slacking on their chores. Maybe they’re stressed with finals, or they had to work later than expected, whatever the reason, it’s best to discuss it and work out a solution.


The solution may be as simple as having to make small adjustments to fit their lifestyle better. Either way, make sure to always talk it out.


Finding a roommate you’re compatible with isn’t easy! Roomrs knows this and works with you directly to find roommates that would suit you best.

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