A man loading a washing machine while a pregnant woman stands close.
How to split the chores with your partner

We all want our homes to be clean and tidy. However, achieving this goal may often seem like a daunting task. It is especially challenging when you have to balance so many things – your work, kids, and house chores. Not to mention seeing friends or pursuing hobbies you love. What can additionally complicate the matters is a disagreement with your partner. If you both love doing chores and have the same standards for cleanliness, that’s great! Unfortunately, this often isn’t the case. Usually, one person takes more than their fair share of work, while the other is a bit on a messier side. Be that as it may, to maintain a healthy and happy relationship as well as a clean home, you need to share the load equally and make compromises. With that in mind, we’ve prepared some valuable tips on how to split the chores with your partner.

Start with an honest discussion

First things first, open communication is the key to a successful relationship. You probably know this already and talk to your partner about other aspects of your relationship. Now it’s time to discuss splitting household responsibilities, too.

Stay calm

To get yourself and your significant other on the same page when it comes to cleaning duties, you need to discuss household chores together. And what is essential is to choose the time when both of you are calm. Lashing out because of all the mess in the home won’t help anyone. Neither will it help you solve the problem. On the contrary, it’s vital that you listen to each other and appreciate what your partner is saying.

Use I statements

A trap many couples fall into is accusing each other. Additionally, when we’re angry and upset, we often tend to speak in absolutes. This type of conversation is likely to upset both of you further instead of helping you achieve your goals.  For example, starting with “You never do anything!” will probably make your partner be on the defensive and not truly listening. Instead, it will be more productive to take a different approach – tell your partner how you feel (I feel overwhelmed with…etc.) and look for the solution together.

Consider each other’s views and experiences

Additionally, you should consider each other’s backgrounds. We often think the right way to do things is the way they were done in our childhood home. However, we all have different experiences and values. For example, maybe there are no places you forget to clean in your home. On the other hand, your partner isn’t even aware that door handles should be wiped clean from time to time!

A couple making a list of chores and talking.

Make a list of chores that need to be done

Once you have a common goal (to share the chores and make your home tidy), it’s time to make a thorough list of all the chores and make a plan. Don’t take things for granted – cleaning the windows once a week might not mean the same thing to both of you. Instead, focus on details and follow these steps:

  • make a comprehensive list of chores
  • decide how often you need to do what (wash the dishes every day, do the laundry once a week, etc.)
  • agree on what it means that the chore is well done (for example, doing laundry includes collecting the dirty clothes but also washing, folding, and putting them in a closet)
A young couple with a kid moving into their new home and doing chores.

Value each other’s time and split the chores with your partner accordingly

Assign the amount of time for each chore- that way, you can split the chores with your partner equally. For example, you can perform three tasks that take an hour to do, while your partner gets one job that requires the same amount of time or vice versa.

Additionally, take into account each other’s timetables. Organizing the chores will depend on your work hours and other responsibilities as well. If you have free time in the morning, you can take charge of breakfast, and your partner can prepare dinner. Plan your tasks so that they suit your daily schedule.

Time organization can be especially difficult for young couples just starting to live together. However, the first task after acquiring a new home is a move-in cleaning. If you want to have a spotless home from the start, you need to work together. Although it might be difficult initially, if you’re honest and open in your communication, you’ll soon find the solution that works best for both of you.

Swap the chores from time to time

Doing any unpleasant chore time and time again can be quite dull. The best way to avoid monotony is to occasionally swap the chores. For example, you can alternate washing the dishes every week, so neither of you becomes fed up.

Also, find opportunities to work together. Sharing the task neither of you enjoys doing on your own will strengthen your relationship. It will show you both care about each other’s feelings and you’re willing to make an effort. After all, you can make it fun! Play your favorite music or simply talk and laugh together!

Reassess your chores schedule

Don’t forget that your schedule is not set in stone. Make time to go over your plan and adjust it if necessary. For example, every two weeks, sit down together and revisit a plan you’ve made. Discuss the possible issues with the plan, what is working and what isn’t. This will prevent resentment from piling up and help you work better as a team.

A professional cleaner cleaning the bathroom.

Include a third party

Another way to deal with unpleasant household chores is to hire professional cleaners to help you. As long as it doesn’t harm your budget, it’s an excellent way to make your home spick and span. Not to mention it gives you precious free time to spend together doing things you enjoy. Even if you can’t afford cleaning service on a daily basis, hiring professional domestic cleaners to do the spring for you (or move-in cleaning) can be a perfect way to take a break from time to time.

Show your love for each other

Last but not least, give each other an occasional free pass. None of us is a robot that can be perfect all the time. Sometimes you or your partner will have a bad day or additional, unplanned responsibilities. Skipping chores for a day or to won’t make your home a complete mess. After all, the best way to split the chores with your partner is to be open to each other about your thoughts and feelings as well as to show love and appreciation.

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