When you own your place, or you live alone, it is pretty easy to regulate the cleaning to your own timetable, but what if you live with others? Obviously you are in charge of your own room, and will keep that you you like, but communal areas like sitting rooms, kitchens and even corridors are subject to use by the whole flat, so who should clean what and when? The subject can be up for debate in many houses, as there are many issues with responsibility that seem to become the basis for arguments. Many flats rely on a rota of sorts, or a trusting policy of tidying up and cleaning after yourself. These methods can work, but they rely on a lot of will power and self motivation, which can be absent in certain individuals at times. Sometimes these situations need a bit of management, so this article aims to deal with the issues that may arise with the cleaning of a flat that is shared.
The rota system is good in principal, but it does not leave a lot of flexibility on time. If you have to clean the bathroom every other wednesday, but are away on one of those wednesdays, then the bathroom is unlikely to get cleaned, as no one wants to feel like they are doing more housework than the others. This is where all of the trouble starts; the desire to keep everything equal in terms of effort. The reasons for this mindset are totally legitimate; no one wants to find themselves in a subservient position where they are cleaning up after the rest of the flat, but at the same time, if people are so opposed to doing anything but the bare minimum, then the house is generally not going to be a particularly nice place to live. A little give and take is what this situation needs, so if someone forgets to clean the kitchen on their day, and it gets disgusting, then someone else should clean it, and let the person who was meant to do so know, and they can swap jobs that week. It should be worked out in a civil manner and should be calm and to the point. If you let things brew under the surface then the tension that this creates will only lead to arguments that do not reach the bottom of the issue at hand. If you feel like a flat mate should be cleaning up after themselves in a better way then it is worth saying, as it is clearly unfair to whoever has to sort the mess out because of this.
The main thing to ensure is that everything is out in the open, and the conversations that you have.