Stop the arguments ⁠— we’ve created a roommate cleaning schedule that actually works

You will be... popular, you're gonna be popular

A colorful graphic that says 'To do list: Clean the apartment'
(Image credit: Future)

Looking to create a cleaning schedule for you and your roommate? Trust me, it’s a smart move. I’ve lived in numerous apartments and have my fair share of horror stories to tell about living with roommates (leaving moldy dishes to "soak" for days, vacuuming up maggots). The point I'm making is that you think everyone will be willing to clean up and put in the hard work, but no. Eventually, wherever I’ve lived, we’ve all ended up settling on a cleaning schedule which has then made life so much better. And since putting one in place, I realized arguments became few and far between. Finally.

Whether you’re living with your best friend or paired with a stranger, this is never an easy convo to have. But by having a schedule in place (and having some top quality cleaning supplies at the ready) you all know what you have to do, and there’s no wiggle room to get away with not doing it. How to come up with a roommate cleaning schedule? Now, that's the hard part, which is why I am here. This week-long checklist is broken up into simple tasks that can be completed within 15 to 20 minutes a day so that none of you have to spend hours doing it. That way, you won’t be left with a gross kitchen or bathroom that you have to spend hours and hours cleaning. Although you'll have to clean Monday to Thursday, you can choose between Friday and Saturday to fit in with your weekend plans.

I’ve designed this schedule for two, but these tasks can be easily divided between more roommates. Don't forget to think about deep cleaning duties either after this list gets checked off. Thanks to this cleaning rotation, your apartment or home will look so much cleaner.

A weekly cleaning schedule for you and your roommate

There are some things that aren't listed in this schedule, that I imagine you and your roommates would do automatically ⁠— such as taking the trash out on the day it's getting collected, or wiping down your kitchen cabinets when they look dirty.

For specific room cleaning, see:

How to clean a bathroom
How to clean a kitchen


Roommate 1:
Kitchen sink: Properly clean your sink or basin, clean the taps, and scrub your drying board.
Appliances: Clean and de-scale the kettle if it needs it, wipe down the exterior of your appliances.

Roommate 2:
Bathroom sink:
Clean your bathroom sink and remove any limescale from your taps.
Shower (and bath if you have one): Wipe your surfaces with a spray and cloth, clean glass and mirrors, make the rest of your taps shine, and clean your shower head.


Roommate 1:
Living room
Use your handheld vacuum or a crevice tool to clean your couch cushions and underneath them. Then, clean your couch covers if they need it (try this TikTok hack!)
Coffee table: Remove any decor that sits on top, and then spray and wipe clean with a cloth. Remove any coffee stains on wood (it is possible!).

Roommate 2:
Fridge: Remove food and drinks (chuck any old stuff out!) and wipe down all shelves and drawers. If it's really dirty in there, they might have to fully clean the fridge.
Oven: Scrub your stovetop and wipe down the inside of the oven.


Roomate 1:
Living room
TV stand:
Clean with a duster, then cloth and spray. Clean your TV screen.
Floor: Use your cordless vacuum to clean under your couch, coffee table, and any other furniture, before vacuuming the rest of the floor. If you have carpet, use an upholstery cleaner to banish any stains, or if you have a wooden floor use a mop.

Roommate two:
Surfaces: Wipe down surfaces with a kitchen towel to remove crumbs, then again with cloth and spray.
Floor: Vacuum and then mop.
Welcome mat: Shake out your welcome mat and then vacuum over it.
Floor: Vacuum and then mop (if applicable).


Roommate 1:
Kitchen towels: Put the used ones in the washing machine, and hang the fresh ones up.
Floor: Throw your bath mat in the wash.
Living room
Shelves: Remove any books and decor from shelves, and wipe them down with a duster, then clean with a cloth and spray.

Roommate 2:
Floor: Vacuum and mop.
Toilet: Wipe down and clean your toilet bowl.


Clean your own bedrooms/bedroom areas:
Bed sheets: Swap your sheets for fresh ones, and put the dirty sheets in the wash.
Floor: Pick up clutter, vacuum, then mop if you have hard floors.
Corners and surfaces: Dust and clean with a cloth.
Desk: Wipe it down, then re-organize your desk so everything is where it belongs.
Laundry: Put clothes away and do any loads that have piled up.
Nightstand: Clean and re-organize your nightstand.


Chill out ⁠— you've earned it!

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.