roommate and the balance of housework
May 11, 2013 3:28 AM Subscribe
My roommate is currently a lot busier than me. I'm unsure if it's fair to ask her to do more of the housework than she's currently doing.
posted by colfax to human relations (25 answers total)
My roommate is younger than me and at her first year of university. We're both women. She's busy and stressed a lot of the time because her program is a rigorous one, and she has some long days because she's taking classes with lab sections. I'm working from home, and I've got a couple of big projects I'm working on at the moment, but my schedule is much more flexible. We've been living together for about 9 months and get along pretty well.
When I moved in, she told me that she and her last roommate had cleaned the apartment--mainly the bathroom and kitchen--every Sunday, or every other Sunday, depending on how dirty things were, and she'd like to keep doing that. I agreed that that sounded like a good idea.
The problem is that my messiness-threshold is a lot lower than hers, and since I'm home a lot, I end puttering around the apartment and tidying up a lot. I lived by myself for a long time, and I guess I got into the habit of cleaning things when they got dirty, rather than cleaning on a specific schedule, because it ends up being less work that way. That is only relevant because due to my daily puttering around, I think our apartment doesn't every reach the point where her brain registers it as "dirty." Which means that she never mentions the weekly cleaning thing anymore; I have to bring it up and if I don't, and sometimes even if I do, things don't get cleaned unless I clean them myself.
This makes me feel like her mom, or like she expects me to be her mom and to clean up after her (she does do her own dishes, however). Would it be fair for me to push a little harder on this issue? I don't care about some big weekly apartment-wide clean-up, but I would like it if we started alternating cleaning the bathroom once a week. Is that a reasonable request even though our schedules are so different? I'm genuinely asking, not trying to set up a leading question, because it's been so long since I've lived with someone I genuinely don't know.