Should Roommates Be Responsible for Helping With Chores?

vja4himApril 6, 2010

Should Roommates Be Responsible for Helping With Chores?

What do you think?

What is your experience with roommates ... ???

Should roommates be held responsible (accountable) for cleaning up their messes promptly?

Should roommates be responsbile for following the house rules, and respecting the people/family they are staying with?

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Absolutely, and the agreement/contract must be agreed to by all parties BEFORE they move in together. A frank discussion must be held, such as "Each person will maintain their own bedroom, common areas like the bathroom and kitchen must be kept clean at all times. If you eat food, take all utensils tn the sink, wash and place them in the dish dryer. Last one in at night will empty the trash. "ETC...

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 11:57AM
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When I lived with a roommate, we rotated cleaning weeks. One week I deep cleaned the bathroom and kitchen, the next week she did. I much preferred living alone, there were no misunderstandings.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 5:06PM
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I've developed my own system of chores. Roommates do not use my private bathroom. They are responsible for cleaning the front bathroom. My boys are also responsible for cleaning the front bathroom. So our front bathroom gets cleaned three times a week. Roommates clean the bathroom on Tuesday, oldest son on Thursday, youngest son on Saturday.

Some of our chores are daily, others are weekly

Everyday somebody is scheduled to take out the trash. Some days the trash goes out two or three times if there is a lot of it. And it gets bagged up securely, so it doesn't leak out all over, creating a nasty mess! I hate having to scrub the garbage can too often ...

Everyday somebody different sweeps or vacuums the kitchen floor, and a different person does the same to the dining room floor.

Twice a month all of us work together to sweep and mop the entire house, under the beds, pull out the sofa, move all the furniture that we can move, and shake out all of the rugs really good, and wash any rugs that need washing.

Bathroom rugs and seat cover get washed every week. Somebody different is scheduled every week.

Other chores on the list (posted in the kitchen clearly for everyone to see) include: Untility room, clean off the washer, pick up yard trash (different person each week picks up the yard trash at least two times a week), sweep the porch.

I monitor the roommate's side of the refrigerator, and let them know if they have any food that needs to be thrown out, or need to wipe up any spills.

My oldest son also helps to monitor the roommates and his little brother (13 and going for his purple belt in Karate), not so little anymore!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 9:17PM
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I agree with Jannie that an agreement should be made before you move in together and all chores should be listed and agreements made on how they were to be handled.

A little story to illustrate the point:

My son in his second year of university decided to rent a townhouse with 3 other university guys. I gave him this advice and got an "Oh Mom we don't have to do that. We all get along and there'll be no trouble" My reply "knowing someone and living with them are 2 different things"

He had it his way and ignored my advice. 3 months in and he was complaining about 1 guy who always left a mess and never did his share of cleaning. I never said "told you so, but I did say that the rest of them need to draw up a cleaning schedule and devise some penalty if things weren't done and present it to the lazy guy.

They did and the lazy guy paid extra rent so he wouldn't have to do anything. Not a perfect solution but one that they lived with.

My point is that all the turmoil could have been avoided if all parties agreed on things before hand

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 9:26AM
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Yes, it is important to sit down and discuss the rules. I always do that, but some people don't keep their word. Even when they sign an agreement, some people will come up with all kinds of excuses.

I could write a book on the excuses that people make ....

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 6:53PM
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It is very important to know who you want as a roomate. Chores should be shared along with other things. This is so important, before you agree to living together. Know this person, and know their habits. People don't change, so don't expect them to start cleaning if they never did it anyway. Friendships can be lost over just simple chores.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:38PM
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We just let a friend of my sons move in with us. The first day he was here I told him about the house rules and chores that my 21 yr old son lived by and if he was going to live here I expected him to do the same.
Since moving in two months ago I never have to tell him to clean up after himself. Him and my son do the dishes and most nights they cook. They clean the bathrooms and thier bedrooms. If something needs done around here they both do it without me having to tell them.
I had some second thoughts about letting him move in with us, but all those thoughts have disappeared. He is a great young man, I couldn't ask for anyone better.
I had a roommate when I was in college and it wasn't one of the greatest times in my life. We were really good friends when we moved in together. It took about 3 months of living with her to figure out I was better off without a roommate and our friendship ended!
Like oilpainter said, "you don't know someone until you live with them".
It was the happiest day of my life when I seen her moving the last of her belongings out!
I would make sure a list of all the chores and house rules were given to the roommate and then posted somewhere to see.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 5:00AM
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Is this a trick question?

The agreement ideas are great because they can help keep people on track who will do so if prodded or if expectation spelled out---also helps everyone feel things are distributed, lets some get preferences if agreeable to all (e.g. someone can do all of one thing or folks can specify that all chores are rotated).

However, as noted, you can't really make someone else do something, so in the long run--don't get too long a lease or get in over your head financially--be able to move out!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 1:03PM
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When i graduayted college, I accepted a job 500 miles from home. A friend knew of my situation and asked a family friend of his if I could live with them and pay rent. They let me move in (a total stranger!). I had my own bedroom. The parents had two grown children living with them, and I got my own bedroom. For weeks I noticed the house was always immaculately clean. I had use of the bath and kitchen and laundry. I tried to clean up after Myself. Then one day the daughter told me she'd been cleaning the bathroom ALL of the time and asked me to help. I was very embarassed and started cleaning the bath at least once a week. When I moved out several weeks later, we all parted as friends.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 8:55AM
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I married my roommate about 35 years ago and she has done no cleaning, none, since.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 11:31AM
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Definitely yes. BUT it should be decided on BEFORE you move in together. When I was single, I never had a roommate for this very reason. I like things done MY WAY . I lived alone the first 3 years after college. Best years of my life. Then I met my future husband and I've done all the chores since. He's a good guy but he doesn't know HOW to do housework. Gave me 2 beautiful smart daughters.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 8:09AM
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Over the years, I have perfected my Rules & Expectations for anyone interested in renting a room from us. We have two roommates now. One is very clean, and very responsible. I never need to remind her of anything. But the guy (66 years old) is very stubborn, thinks I'm offensive when I remind him to clean up something.

At least they are not causing trouble and not stealing or breaking our stuff, and they pay rent.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 5:52PM
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