Who Does What?
September 2007

“Who Does What?” Ensign, Sept. 2007, 74

Who Does What?

To avoid roommate conflicts down the road, begin your experience together by deciding how you will coordinate various aspects of the household. I have found that most roommate conflicts are simply due to lack of communication. Following are some helpful items to discuss together to have a smooth-running apartment:


  • Will we rotate turns cooking dinner or other meals? If so, who will cook when, and who will be responsible for cleanup? What if someone cannot take their turn?

  • Will any or all food be community property? Should we initial or mark food items?


• Who will do the dishes, vacuum, sweep and mop, wash windows and mirrors, clean the bathroom(s), take out the trash, and do other necessary tasks on a regular basis? You may want to post a cleaning rotation schedule.

Bathroom Use

• Should we organize a shower schedule to avoid conflicts?


  • How will we keep track of phone or other messages? Using a consistent method, such as a white board with a section for each roommate, can be helpful. (If you have cell phones, this may not be much of an issue.)

  • Will one person be responsible for checking the mail each day, or should everyone have access to the mail key? Where is a safe, consistent place to leave each other’s mail so it doesn’t get misplaced?

  • What will be our guidelines for visitors of the opposite sex?

  • What are the expectations for keeping the doors locked and other security measures?

Taryn Nilsen, Utah

Illustration by Joe Flores