When you’re taking college classes, working regularly, and trying to maintain a solid social life, it’s easy to let certain things slip under the radar. Now, we’ve already talked about clutter before—it’s hard to let six different people decorate at once—but what about literal messes? Who’s responsible for the dishes, who’s responsible for the bathrooms, and so on?
Worse, what happens when someone gets sick and the house needs disinfecting, or if someone isn’t doing their part?
Maintaining a healthy environment is a big part of maintaining a happy environment, or at least, that’s what my mom always says. So, how do we manage it in this big house?
Keeping the Chores Even
As college students, one of the best things we can do for ourselves is stick to a real schedule. It’s easy to let things slip by, especially when midterms are rolling around. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to make time for what’s important, like keeping things clean.
That’s why we make sure everyone has their chores split evenly. We made a list at the beginning of the semester, and we divided them out into chunks. No one has to do several hard tasks or clean a whole room, this way.
We also exchange chores lists on a weekly basis. So, as for me, I hate doing dishes. It’s my least favorite chore. But, when I get it, it’s only my chore for a week. That’s really not so bad, so it keeps us accountable, but not overwhelmed.
What If Someone Doesn’t Help?
Back when we first moved in, we had another roommate, a woman named Melissa, who was studying to follow in the footsteps of a lawyer who helped her most, car accident attorney in Riverside, where she grew up. She was the first one to come up with this list, before she graduated—but her boyfriend wasn’t willing to chip in on anything. He didn’t even help pay for the groceries!
It’s hard to enforce rules like this when not everyone is on board with the situation. Because of that, we decided to add in some consequences. If he didn’t help with dishes, we didn’t cook for him. If he didn’t clean out the coffeemaker, no coffee for him.
Eventually, he got the idea. A week after we told him what would happen and stayed true to our word, he did the dishes. He was a little grumpy about it for a while, but by the time they graduated, we were even on good terms—and now he handles a lot of the housekeeping for both of them.
Keeping Good Cleaning Habits
Now that we’re all in a decent cleaning schedule, we’ve gotten pretty good at keeping the house tidy and maintaining some good habits. We’ve even gotten better at all pitching-in when someone is sick. For example, last week, Danielle came down with a cold, so we all sprang into action. There wasn’t a single spot in that house that wasn’t cleaned, disinfected, and safe.
Keeping a place with six people, plus visitors, clean is tough. Still, it’s our home, and we’re happy to come home to a clean, safe house with a little help from one another.