We followed up with Jolie Kerr to see if it's possible to make a chore wheel that actually works. Well guess what? It's possible! Here are three easy steps to get the chore wheels in motion.—Katie
Chore wheels always end up being an exercise in passive-aggressiveness. Is it possible to make a chore wheel fun AND useful?
Sure it is! Here are a few tips that will make your chore wheel experience more productive and easier to stick with.
1. Think monthly, not weekly
It's too easy, when chores switch each week, for someone to sneak by without having done theirs. If you move to a monthly schedule this is much less likely to happen. It also allows you to build in, if you choose to, some deep cleaning tasks that needn't be done every week, like washing the floors.
2. Clearly define the expectations of what "clean the [blank]" means
Instead of putting someone on kitchen cleaning duty and expecting that all the roommates will interpret that in the same way, define what each role entails. In the case of the kitchen it may look like this:
Weekly chores: Wipe down countertops and stovetop; remove old or spoiled food from the fridge; take out trash; replace dirty dish towels with clean ones
Monthly chores: Wipe out refrigerator; mop floors; launder all dish towels; clean oven and microwave
3. Build in a system of accountability
When assigning chores, create one that appoints someone the monthly taskmaster. So let's say that Mandy, Sandy, Andy and Bob are roommates. Their chore wheel might look like this:
Mandy - Kitchen Duty
Sandy - Bathroom Duty
Andy - Living Room Duty
Bob - Taskmaster
The taskmaster's role for the month is to ensure that everyone is doing their job, and enforcing the second part of the accountability equasion: money. People are more likely to follow through on their chores if there's money involved, so consider implementing a system by which if one roommate doesn't want to do a weekly task, he/she can put $20 in a communal pot, or pay one of the others that money to do it for them. Same with the monthly task, but up the ante to $50. (These can be adjusted, of course, to fit whatever budget is realistic.)