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Nice work

This past weekend, my roommates and I spent some time cleaning the common areas (living room, kitchen, hallways, and bathroom) because when I went from living alone to having roommates, the common areas of my townhouse became a bit messier. My roommates or myself are not dirty or messy people; the place just gets dirty from normal foot traffic and occupancy.

With that said, I want to write a post because I think my approach to cleaning is a unique that makes cleaning fair for everyone sharing a place to live.

I am not a clean freak, but I do notice the place does get dirtier with additional people and like to keep my place clean since after all, I do own the place.

Cleaning the common areas myself would be option, but it would unfair and too much for me to handle on a monthly basis.  I had to devise a way to have my roommates chip in and help.  The solution — a cleaning schedule and checklist.

The Google Cleaning Solution

What does Google, the internet’s largest search engine have to do with cleaning my townhouse?   Simple, since my roommates and I have Gmail accounts, I use Google Calendar to set a specific date for all of us to clean the common areas.

I then have a cleaning checklist in a Google word document format, detailing what needs to be cleaned in each of the common areas. On the scheduled cleaning day, each of us follows this checklist to clean the common areas.  I felt this checklist is necessary to ensure a standard level of cleanliness was met.  This checklist doesn’t have to be in Google documents, but I figured it would be a convenient place for all of us to find it, given that we all have Gmail accounts.

Also, to be fair so that no one gets stuck cleaning the bathroom every time, the worst place to clean, on each subsequent cleaning schedule day, we rotate the common area so that no one person cleans the same common area two consecutive times.

End Result

All in all, the whole cleaning process seems to be working pretty well.  The townhouse stays tidy and my roommates are 100% onboard with the cleaning schedule.  I have never thought about this, but everyone likes to live in a clean place; when was the last time you choose to stay in a dirty hotel because you preferred it to a clean hotel? For this reason, I think my roommates like the cleaning schedule because it distributes the chore evenly and everyone benefits by having a clean place to live in.

I strongly feel the key to making this work is setting a date and time when everyone contributes their time to clean. With a date set in Google calendar, it allows your roommates to plan around the schedule cleaning and reminds them through alerts.

Some may think the cleaning schedule is being a control freak, but I think the cleaning schedule is an organized way to make cleaning the common areas fair.  The scheduled cleaning time takes only about an hour.  If my roommates can’t devote an hour of their time a month to pitch in and help keep the common areas clean, then I have to say the roommate is probably not a good fit.

Any thoughts or questions about my cleaning schedule or cleaning checklist?

Creative Commons License photo credit: urbanlegend

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