One of the most difficult situations roommates face is deciding who will take care of what chores. Obviously, each roommate is in charge of keeping his or her bedroom and bathroom clean, but what about common areas? Who does the dishes and who vacuums? Before you and your roommate resort to fisticuffs over who will take out the trash, consider an easier, more peaceful solution: A chore wheel. This simple DIY project will take you less than 10 minutes to create, and when it’s done, you’ll have an easy way to divide up household chores. You and your roommate(s) will trade off tasks so everyone does their part and no one is stuck with the chore they hate for very long.
Ready to pitch the pigsty? Download and assemble our free chore wheel to restore order to your apartment.
What you’ll need:
- Chore wheel templates (download links are below)
- Permanent marker
- Hole punch
- Paper fastener
Making the Wheel
Step 1: Download one of the following chore wheel templates, depending on how many people live in your apartment.
- Two people: If your household consists of you and just one roommate, download this template. Your wheel will contain either six or eight chores – your choice.
- Three people: If your household is you and two roommates, download this template. Your wheel will contain six chores.
- Four people: If your household is you and three roommates, download this template. Your wheel will contain eight chores.
Step 2: Print out the chore wheel template you downloaded. You don’t have to print in color, but doing so will make your chore wheel a lot prettier.
Step 3: Cut out each circle.
Step 4: Glue each circle to a piece of cardboard.
Step 5: Cut the cardboard to match the circle. Now you should have two circles with cardboard backing.
Step 6: On the bigger circle, write your name and the names of your roommate(s) in each section. On the smaller circle, assign each section to a different household chore. You might label it like this:
(Betty is my fictional roommate.)
The exact labels are up to you, and they depend on what sorts of cleaning your apartment needs. For example, if your apartment has stairs, you might put “vacuum stairs” in one section, but if not, you might use that section for “dust bookshelves” or something else.
Try to keep big chores on opposite sides of the chore wheel. For example, doing the dishes can be a big task, but taking out the trash only takes a few minutes. Try to make sure each roommate will take on a similar workload each week.
Step 7: When both circles are labeled, punch a hole in the center of each one. You can use a hole punch or bore a hole in each circle with the pointy end of a sharp knife. (Just remember to place a cutting board underneath, and be careful!)
Step 8: Push the paper fastener through the hole to join the two circles together.
Your chore wheel is complete!
Using the Chore Wheel
To use it, just twist the top wheel so certain sections line up with each roommate’s name. That person will be in charge of those chores for the amount of time you choose together. For example, this week I’ll be in charge of taking out the trash, vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom, while Fictional Roommate Betty will clean the kitchen, dust and pick up the living room.
You can switch it up every week, every other week, or as often as you like. Now our responsibilities are reversed.
You could also move the top wheel one wedge at a time instead of flipping it 180 degrees. You and your roommate(s) can decide what works best for your household.
More advice on the Apartment Guide Blog:
How is your chore wheel working out in your apartment?