Dorm Deck - How to divide chores with your college roommate

How to Divide Chores with Your College Roommate

When you want to keep your dorm clean during college while living with roommates, the task becomes a team effort.

Cleaning is rarely anyone’s favorite thing to do but is a necessary part of being in school and living away from home.

With roommates, keeping your home clean can either be easier, as there are more hands to help, or harder, as there are more people dirtying up the place. Here’s how you can maintain a clean dorm and create a cleaning schedule with your roommates.

How to create a cleaning schedule with your roommates:

Figure out the chores

What are the tasks that need to get done to keep your dorm, apartment or house clean? Have a discussion with your roommates about the chores you'll need to take on so your dorm room stays clean. And beyond just defining what those responsibilities are, how often will these chores need to be done? Will it be daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly? Assign each of the chores you identify.

If you and your roomies are each responsible for cleaning up after yourselves, tasks like doing dishes or cleaning out the fridge shouldn't factor into the schedule.  You may, however, want to have a conversation early on as to what's appropriate or expected so you don't run into problems in the future.

Divide the chores up fairly

One way to tackle the chores you've come up with is to divide them up fairly. Once you have all your chores written out, decide which are the more time-consuming and less-fun ones. Then have each person take on some of those types of chores, as well as some of the easier tasks. You can opt to change these chores every so often or just stick to them for a semester or even throughout the whole year of living together.

Make a chart or rotation

Maybe the most diplomatic way of creating a cleaning schedule is to make a chore chart or wheel. Write each of the tasks down, along with how often they'll need to be done, and what the expectation of fulfilling that chore is.

To make rotating names easier, write down the tasks on a dry erase or chalk board. If you choose to do a chore wheel, write all the tasks in a circle and then create a smaller circle with your names on it so you can rotate the name circle or chore circle to easily change tasks when it's time to rotate.

Set chore deadlines

Whether the task is a daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly chore, set deadlines regarding when those chores should be done. If it's daily, decide on a certain time of night that you and your roommates should expect the chore to be completed. If it's weekly, biweekly, or monthly, decide on a day the chores should be done by and how you'll hold each other accountable. The objective is that all the chores that need to get done are finished in a timely manner and everyone contributes as they should to keep the dorm room clean.

Keep communication open

Make sure as you go about doing your chores that you keep communication open with your roommates. If the chore chart isn't working for someone, sit down and discuss what can be done to make it more fair. Or listen to their complaints. If someone has a really busy semester, see if they can be responsible for the weekly, biweekly, or monthly chores for that semester to make it easier for them to stay on top of their dorm room tasks.

Set up roommate meetings to discuss the chores if you've noticed that a certain task should be done more or less often. If it seems like your dorm room isn't being kept as clean as it should be, discuss this openly.

Keeping a clean dorm at school is important, as you'll be able to focus that much better and feel more comfortable in your room if you don't feel like you're living in filth or a disorganized environment.

Dorm Deck by Life Hack Decks™

Dorm Deck is a 52 card deck of cards designed to make dorm room living easier by identifying the most important things you need to know your freshman year. This includes how to navigate your new city, get along with roommates, and find ways to keep healthful snacks on-hand during heavy study sessions. Dorm Deck makes all these tasks easier because it guides you through some bumpy spots during the transition from living with family at home to living on your own with roommates. Tricks during this  transition are important as life become busier and there are more demands on your time. Pick up a deck of card prompts to make dorm room life easier on your physical and mental health.

Back to blog