Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples
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Housekeeping Compatibility Evaluation
© 1999, Demian

If one of you loves the garbage pail detail, and the other loves keeping the toilet bowl lemon fresh, then read no further, this evaluation is not for you. But for most couples — especially those who lead busy lives outside the home — housekeeping can be a challenge. However, with a little planning, partners can jointly tackle the household chores without tackling each other.

This exercise can help you rethink the way you manage your household. A new approach to dividing or sharing chores might better suit you both. A change of routine can also add variety or allow you to learn new skills, such as gardening.

What share of the following tasks would you prefer to handle?
All or most = 1     A roughly equal share = 2     Little or none = 3

Circle those answers that are different from your current routine.
Record your responses independently, then compare.

Housekeeping Chore Partner
Food preparation & cooking    
Bathroom cleaning    
Kitchen cleaning    
General house cleaning    
Laundry washing & dry    
Laundry ironing, mending    
Garbage removal    
Recycle take-out    
Bed making    
Home decorating, arrangement    
Yard work, gardening    
Household repairs & improvements    
Car maintenance    
Provision of family income    
Household bookkeeping    
Financial planning (e.g. insurance & investments)    
Childcare (if applicable)    
Child discipline (if applicable)    
Household bookkeeping    
Pet care (if applicable)    
Planning social engagements & outings    
Vacation planning    

Did any of your partner’s answers surprise you? Discuss those items where you or your partner are looking for a change, or where your preferences don’t mesh.

Where to go from here

Decide on the best chore sharing scheme for your household. Here are some options:

  • Divide all the chores between you, take turns, or perhaps share some.
  • Do some chores together to share special skills, such as car maintenance.
  • Hire outside help or a professional service, if affordable.
  • Plan a regular time when you can do the housework together.

Take notes or keep it informal, but be sure to reevaluate your decisions after a month to make sure they’re working for you.

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