How to Keep Your Place Clean When You Have Roommates | Maid4condos

How to Keep Your Place Clean When You Have Roommates

How to Keep Your Place Clean When You Have Roommates
March 19, 2021

Ah, the early years of living on your own, free from the rules of mom and dad. Unfortunately, these also tend to be the years where your budget requires a little support and therefore you live with roommates.

How to keep your place clean when you have roommates

While these days of youth are some of the best days of your life, when you find yourself staring at dirty dishes in the sink, black rings in the tub and crusted food on the stovetop, you might start thinking about the good old days when you lived at home. If you are constantly facing the struggle of keeping your place clean with roommates, use these home cleaning hacks to not only keep your home clean but also keep the peace.

List All The Chores

First, write up a list of chores that should be dealt with on a regular basis. Do this as a team so that everyone has input and also realizes they need to share the cleaning responsibilities. Note how often each task should be done, such as dishes at least once a day and vacuuming at least once a week, so everyone feels comfortable with the workload you’ll need to share.

Understand Timing

It can be hard to tell how often you have to clean. A good rule of thumb is:

  • Sweeping should be daily at least in the kitchen
  • Dusting and vacuuming once every two weeks
  • Dishes, at least daily and preferably everyone does their dishes after each meal
  • Microwaves should be cleaned after every explosion or mishap!
  • Bathrooms should be cleaned when you notice they’re looking grim, although you should always wipe up after brushing your teeth.
  • Things like the fridge and oven should be cleaned every season or so to keep them presentable.

Then set up a schedule where each task is managed and shared equally.

Post the Cleaning Schedule

To make sure you don’t lose track of cleaning tasks, post a cleaning schedule on the fridge or in a common area. Use a calendar to mark the task, the person who has to do it and hold each other responsible for making sure you each complete your tasks on time. You can also set phone message reminders, so people know when they are due for a cleaning task. Consider using colour coding either using a different colour for each roommate or a different colour based on the task. This makes it easier to spot what has to get done and who has to do it.

Have Some Rules

Set some common sense rules to help people contribute equally to the cleaning cause. Some good rules should include:

  • Everyone has to do their own dishes, including dishes of guests
  • Cleaning the toilet after a burrito-related incident or a night of overindulgence is a must
  • Cleaning up after guests is a must
  • Leaving clothes in common areas is not allowed
  • Towels must always be hung up
  • Shower curtains should be pulled across the tub after showering (this reduces mould and mildew growth)

These basics help keep the apartment tidier and reasonably sanitary.

Be Fair

Never allow one person to carry the burden of cleaning. This creates resentment and simply isn’t fair. Just because someone wants things clean, doesn’t mean they should be the one responsible for cleaning. It has to be a shared task with everyone taking an equal part in the chores.

Invest in the Right Cleaning Tools

Take a group trip to the hardware store and share the expenses for the right cleaning tools. At the very least, every household should have:

  • Broom and dustpan
  • Mop or wet mop product like a Swiffer
  • Toilet brush for each bathroom
  • Microfibre cloths
  • Paper towels
  • Sponges
  • Vacuum
  • Duster

These tools will make home cleaning hacks a lot easier and faster.

Choose a Cleaning Day

It can be helpful to choose a team cleaning day, so everyone has to participate. This way the work is done more quickly. This can be difficult if you all have conflicting schedules but it can be the best way to keep cleaning under control. If your schedules don’t allow for a group cleaning day, make sure tasks on the calendar don’t lead to conflicts that mean the cleaning doesn’t get done!

Reduce Clutter

If people’s stuff starts to spread out into common areas, make sure you have a plan to reduce clutter. Living with a packrat can be a real challenge but if you try to keep their mess and jumble limited to their own rooms, it can be easier to deal with.

If you share a room with someone, this becomes more difficult. Discuss clutter issues and come up with storage solutions that make this problem easier to manage. This is a good practice for all shared spaces. You can also make sure everyone has their fair share of closet space, so they have fewer excuses for why their stack of magazines has to be kept on the coffee table.

Keep Things On Track

If you find someone isn’t pulling their weight, try these ideas to keep things on track:

1. Trick them into cleaning

If your lazy roommate is sitting on the couch playing video games or scrolling on Instagram, ask “So what are you up to today?” They’ll probably say nothing, so you can then say, “Perfect, you can get the vacuuming done.”

2. Group dynamic

If you have a cleaning day planned, and someone isn’t joining in, make a point of getting them involved. Ask if they’d prefer to start in the bathroom or kitchen, or say “Can you give me a hand here?” as you clean off the coffee table.

3. Group meetings

The group meeting is awkward because it singles out the individual. You have to be tactful and try not to get them on the defensive. Discuss how the mess is stressing people out and that you all share a space and need to respect each other’s needs.

If it gets to the point where the living situation is too stressful or unpleasant, a discussion about moving is required. Since money usually is a factor, bringing up the idea that you’ll need to move if the person doesn’t start pitching in could get them into the cleaning spirit. Chances are, they will probably fall back into the same bad habits and you’ll have to part ways.

For help keeping your place clean when you have roommates, call Maid4Condos at (647) 822-0601 or contact us here.

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