Appartment Woes

Michelle2GeoffJuly 6, 2004

I have been renting appartments all of my adult life, and have lived in other people's appartments as well (i.e. significant others). I have recently moved my newest relationship to the next step (living with me) and it has started....mess! mess! mess!

What is my duty? What is his?

I've found as a relationship progresses, so do the chores I have to do!

(and I heard it gets worse)

why is that? what have you found? Some are good, I know... but the majority seem to think it is my responsibility because i'm supposedly "good at it."

Why is a male's chores "cleaning out the trash" and mine everything else?

what are your experiences?

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My experience is that a man can build a skyscraper, he can captain a super tanker, he can run a corporation- but dammed if he can figure out the mysteries of loading the dishwasher or running the vacuum. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2004 at 12:10AM
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There's only one way to handle it. Make a list of chores and divvy them up. And then only do yours and not those of your housemate. As soon as you do them, the list will become lopsided (and it won't be in your favor).

    Bookmark   July 7, 2004 at 8:47AM
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"I have recently moved my newest relationship to the next step (living with me) and it has started....mess! mess! mess!" "What is my duty? What is his?"

Whatever you decide it is ... I'd make a list and divide the chores so that you are spending about the same amount of time every week. Discuss expectations too. Maybe he expected that the pleasure of his presence would be so great that you would pick up after him like him mum did.

After the division - and it's the HARD part - stick to it. If you start doing his chores, he'll see no reason to do any of them. Here's some starting material, including chores and the age that can handle such chores.

1.If you make a mess, clean it up.
2.Leave it looking better than you found it.
3.If you open it, close it.
4.If you turn it on, turn it off.
5.If you unlock it, lock it.
6.If you break it, fix it.
7.If you can't fix it, tell someone who knows how to fix it.
8.If it's not broken, don't try to fix it or improve it.
9.If you use it, take care of it.
10.If you donÂt accept responsibility for taking care of it, donÂt expect the privilege of using it.
11.If it belongs to someone else, ask before you use it.
12.If you get permission to borrow it, return it.
13.If you use it all up, replenish it.
14.If the supply of it is running low, put it on the shopping list.
15.If you move it, put it back.
16.If you start a fire, put it out.
17.If you don't know how to operate it, donÂt touch it.
18.If it doesn't concern you, don't mess with it.
19.If you want it to get done, just do it.
20.If you don't know how to do it, learn how.
21.If you don't know what to do, ask.
22.If you don't like doing it, too bad. Do it anyway.

Following are age-appropriate chores children can do:
Ages 2 Â 3
-Help make the bed (pull covers up)
-Pick-up toys
-Hang clothes on hooks
-Carry laundry to and from the laundry area
-Help feed animals
-Help wipe up spills
-Bring in the newspaper
-Mop a small area
-Pour from a small pitcher
-Help pick up the living room

Ages 4 - 5
Any of the others plus:
-Make their own bed
-Clear dishes from the table
-Set the table
-Retrieve the mail
-Dust the furniture
-Help in the kitchen
-Help carry and put away groceries

Ages 6 - 12
Any of the others plus:
-Take care of pets
-Cook simple foods
-Help wash the car
-Vacuum, sweep and mop
-Clean the bathroom completely
-Rake leaves and shovel snow
-Use the washer and dryer
-Hang and fold laundry
-Take out the trash

Ages 13 and Up
Any of the others plus:
-Change light bulbs
-Replace vacuum cleaner bags
-Wash inside and outside of windows
-Clean out refrigerator
-Clean stove and oven
-Prepare a meal
-Make grocery lists
-Do all laundry functions
-Mow the lawn

    Bookmark   July 7, 2004 at 11:22PM
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Many people have never made it past "Ages 2 to 3".

You have to NIP IT IN THE BUD. Have a serious talk about him picking up after himself, what your expectations are, and that you are not his mommy or his maid.

Don't back down. The minute you do, yes, you'll be doing everything.

Important question: What was HIS apartment like when you were not living together? I'd love to hear the answer.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 11:54AM
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So I'm not the only one? Seriously, some men just expect the woman to do all the cleaning. It's programmed from birth. Mommy always did that stuff.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2004 at 2:19PM
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As a guy, I gotta tell you gals that you are on to something. Maybe part of the problem is that once we are out of Mommy's house, we get to live on our own and be total slobs too. These days, I am noticing that a lot of gals are falling to the same slovenly standards.

Agree, that you must nip it in the bud right from the very beginning. It will not get better unless you confront it. It'll just stew until you explode.

Well, its been +15 yrs for me. Now I yell (gently) at my wife to pick up after herself. She created a monster.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2004 at 5:48PM
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I complain a lot because "nobody ever does anything around her except me!!" But I shouldn't, because I'm the one that created that monster. They don't do it because I do it. It's really that simple. Why should they do it if you do it for them? You might think that if you huff and puff a little and act all tired out and stuff they might decide to be nice and help out, but honestly, they never notice. Unless you're really huffing and puffing loudly, and they'll say something like "you really should go to a doctor or something. You're always tired and out of breath."

And once you do get a division of labor going, never ever ever "be nice" and do the other's work or you'll be doing it always. During a period when DH was working many extra hours, I started taking the trash out on collection day. Guess who does it every week, even when he's on vacation?

OTOH, it's easy to miss what the other person contributes to the relationship. I fuss that I have to tend to a million niggling little unappreciated chores, but he does the really heavy nasty stuff so I feel it's fair. Perspective helps.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 1:03AM
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As a man i will freely admit, i can repair almost anything but when it comes to doing laundry i am totally lost. By example, if the underwear has skid marks,,does it go in the whites or coloreds..............hehehehehehheh.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 3:50PM
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LazyPup -- depends on whether they're tighty whiteys or blue boxers. :-)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 8:58PM
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you mean you didn't settle this before you moved him in?

your bad, sister- this isn't the 20th century any more, and if you want to live as an have to be ready to do battle with 200 years or so of habit.

romance is all fine and well- but it's a rotten, misguided reason to pick a housemate

    Bookmark   August 13, 2004 at 12:31PM
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After reading this, you will all hate me. My boyfriend is a natural neat freak. Every time he comes home, he starts cleaning. The bad thing is, he STILL doesn't know how to put the seat down, load the dishes (until they're molding and he whimpers til I do it), or put laundry in the drier. Oh he's great at putting them in the washer, but NEVER in the drier. Everything he washes stinks to high heaven of mildew every time!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2004 at 4:39AM
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NaturalGArdens, that is the most brilliant set of House Rules I have ever read. I moved it to a word document and printed it out for all 5 children to read. My husband thought it was great. We are going to frame it so we can say "refer to house rules" as problems arise!! LOL

    Bookmark   October 17, 2004 at 5:44PM
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