Couples With And Without Kids Are Revealing How They Split Chores, And It's Fascinating To See How Responsibilities Are Divided

When you live with a partner, it's normal to have arguments, especially when it comes to figuring out who does what chores in the house.

Gordan Ramsey saying "I'm done with excuses"
Gordan Ramsey saying "I'm done with excuses"

Fox / Via

So to get an idea of how couples across the world manage household duties, we asked the BuzzFeed Community: "People who live with their partners, tell us how you split chores and if you think it's fair." Here's what they had to say:

1."The first five years of our marriage, chores were easy to split. He took out the garbage, did the dishes, and did the grocery shopping. I did the laundry, did the general wipe-downs and vacuuming, and did any other little things we might’ve missed. But now that we have kids in the mix (three kids in four years), it’s a lot more work and takes a lot more communication between the two of us to keep our home afloat. He still does the dishes and I still do the laundry, but everything else, we either split (like taking out the garbage, cleaning up the kids' toys, and wiping down surfaces) or switch off (like vacuuming, grocery shopping, and yard work). Again, it takes a lot of communication to see what each of us can carry that day or week and how we’re feeling, and ensure that everything gets taken care of."

A couple cleaning the dishes and cooking with a kid

—Anonymous, 30, United States

Solstock / Getty Images

2."We use one of those randomized wheel spinners online where you can input different things. Every Sunday, we get coffee and breakfast before sitting down to make that week's menu and spin the wheel. It has cut arguments down and helped make it less 'You always make me do ____' and more like a game."

—Anonymous, 21, Washington

3."We’ve lived together since college and have been married for 15 years. He grew up in another country with maids who ironed his underwear, so it’s been a learning curve! We both work full time and have a teenage child and a million animals on our small farm. For the most part, we play to our strengths: I’m in charge of most of the inside part of the house (including cooking, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, laundry), and he’s in charge of most outdoor stuff (that is, cars, garage, lawn care, trash/recycling, house repairs). Of course, it’s not black and white. For example, he empties the trash in the house and I take care of the flower beds. We share the 'farm chores.' When it feels like too much, I remind myself how much I wanted what we have now and how hard we’ve worked for it. I now find joy in feeding the animals, collecting eggs, and making my beautiful house clean."

A couple feeding chickens on a farm

—Anonymous, 38, Texas

Pixdeluxe / Getty Images

4."This year, we started following Eve Rodsky's Fair Play system to divide chores. In the beginning, we identified which tasks are relevant and important to us and set expectations for a minimum standard of care. Now we meet each week and divide up the chores and talk through any big things coming up that week (like the taxes being due, a late night at work, or an upcoming trip) so that we both know our responsibilities for that week. We've been doing this for three to four months now, and it is a game changer!"

—Anonymous, 34, United States

5."After trying a couple of different ways of going about doing chores, we decided that having assigned weekly chores was too much like parenting each other. It put weird pressure and stress on doing the chores. Now we do 15-minute cleans every day after work. It can be anytime after work, as long as we do it before bed. We set a timer and put on music and go to whatever room we want to clean and get as much done as we can. Honestly, we always end up doing more than 15 minutes because we can’t stop halfway through a chore. I’m sure if you have a bigger house, it would need to be a longer time (we live in a 720-square-foot apartment). When it comes to dishes and cooking, we rotate every other day. It works out great for us!"

A person putting folded laundry away

—Haley, 26

Peopleimages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

6."With a calendar and pen in the laundry room. We are not a romantic couple, but we keep track of who's going to sweep, mop, and/or clean the kitty's litter box by using the calendar. We also write chores like refilling the cat's water fountain and cleaning the microwave, which aren't done as often, but it keeps us current on whose turn it is. The kitchen chores are decided according to the meal plans. If we cook together, each of us takes a turn cleaning as we go. Otherwise, we clean and wash our own dishes."

—D, 25, Illinois

7."We have a three-page documented chore accord. It splits our house into zones and defines what needs to be completed in each zone. For example, if the kitchen is your zone, you are required to do the dishes, clean the sink and run the weekly garbage disposal cleaner, clean the counters and stove top, etc. Each zone has a pair that is roughly equivalent in time/effort to clean. Each week, I do one zone in the pair and my spouse does the other. For example, if I choose to clean the bathroom, my spouse has to clean the cat box. There are periodic extra tasks, such as cleaning the basement or garage. Those are divided up when they are due. Your tasks for the accord are to be completed before bed on Sunday. The penalty for not finishing is that you have to do both the bathroom and cat box for a month."

A person looking at a calendar

8."My boyfriend and I alternate days when we cook dinner and the other person does dishes so each of us gets a chance to relax that night. For other chores, we split them up naturally to play to our strengths. I make sure we get time-sensitive things done (e.g., grocery ordering, insurance payments), and he cleans the bathrooms and other bigger, less frequent cleaning tasks. It’s not for everyone, but it works for us, and we always talk about it if the workload begins to feel unbalanced."

—Anonymous, 26, Virginia

9."Badly (in my view). We bought a house 10 years ago but have only lived here full time together for four years (he used to work away from home during the week). I run the house, and he thinks a lot of what I do isn’t necessary, like paying for a cleaner. If I don’t plan meals, shop, cook, etc., we’ll probably end up having takeout. He lived with his parents while he was away for work for all those years, and I think that only ingrained his complete blindness to what it takes to run a home."

Cleaning supplies on top of a couch

—Anonymous, 42, United Kingdom

Sinenkiy / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10."I take care of the daily needs, such as doing the dishes and laundry, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, and taking care of the dog. He will help with the invisible chores, the stuff I don’t think about, like cleaning sink drains and the laundry machine, changing filters, fixing things, taking care of car things, and doing the late-night dog walks. I work part time and he works full time. I don’t mind doing 'more.' My personality requires that I take care of the daily tasks (I'm type A), and he provides a home for us. It works out."

—Alli, 33, Virginia

11."The only things that we have specifically split up are cooking and laundry. I do 99% of the cooking (and, in turn, the dishes), and she does most of the laundry. I'm a much better cook, and she is picky about the way her clothes are washed. Outside of that, we just do what is needed as we see it. We don't keep score or nag each other. During different points throughout the year, I end up doing a lot more of the work, and at other points, she does more (mainly due to her work schedule)."

A person doing laundry inside their home
Tetra Images / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

12."When we first moved in together, we had an issue because while we split tasks, I was the one managing and delegating. We had an epiphany when we realized we could split entire domains of the house. For instance, food is now under his domain, which means cooking, grocery shopping, and meal planning, as well as keeping an eye on the stock. I like organization, so I clean the house, do the laundry, and ensure that our space is livable and functional. He might ask me to chop something for dinner one night, or I might ask him to vacuum on occasion, but ultimately, we both play the role of project manager over separate spheres, and that allows us to work to our strengths."

—Tay, 27, New Jersey

13."My partner and I both work, but he works at a retail chain for 50-plus hours a week, while I work from home 20–25 hours a week. I try to do the laundry and keep up with the house, since he works more, but it's rough because we have three dogs. It feels like the laundry mountain never stops growing. My partner does the dishes because I can't handle touching wet food, but I have to remind him a lot or he complains about not having any forks. Otherwise, everything we do is split 50-50: I clean a lot of the tables and counters, while he does the sinks and cabinets. He does the vacuuming and I come behind with the mop. It works, but that freaking laundry pile and the dishes are driving us crazy!!"

Three dogs inside a tub

—Anonymous, 22 and 25, Georgia

Aleksandr Zotov / Getty Images/EyeEm

14."Before kids, he usually cooked, I usually cleaned, and we both cleaned up after ourselves, but I did the 'deep' cleaning. He's always done the garbages and mowed the grass, but I do other yard work too. We do our own laundry, and one of us will wash the towels and sheets. Since we had a kid, he still does more of the cooking, although I have started doing meal kits sometimes. He does more cleaning than I do now because if I do it, our daughter will interrupt me. If he does it, she'll leave him alone. Plus, we kinda got used to him doing more cleaning when our daughter was born because I physically couldn't at first, and later, I'd have to just be with her all the time. Honestly, I don't know how women did it all back in the day. The kids must have just gotten used to being ignored a lot of the time — and I guess they'd have siblings to play with."


15."I’m a PhD student and instructor at my school, and my husband has a full-time consulting job. We didn’t really have a formal sit-down, but we picked two days for me to do laundry that worked with my schedule. I cook, so he cleans the kitchen, and we trade off on vacuuming. For the most part, I do it, but it makes sense with my schedule and flexibility. However, my husband is much more of a clean freak than I am, so even after I clean, he usually still does his own little clean sweep and touch-ups afterward. I find it cute and endearing."

A man folding laundry with his partner looking at him

—Lisa, 31, Illinois

Richard Drury / Getty Images

16."My husband and I have been married 10 years and have two boys (3 and 6 years old). My husband works a full-time job, plus works part time as a real estate broker, so he’s pretty busy out of the house and brings in most of our family’s income. I stay home with the 3-year-old and drive our 6-year-old to and from school every day, plus work part time from home. Since I’m home pretty much all the time, I do most of the housework (such as daily tidying, laundry, cooking, and dishes). I do almost all of the household shopping because I enjoy the errands, and when things break, he’s always the one to fix them because he enjoys that type of task. On weekends when we are both home, we usually divide and conquer for a weekly deep clean. We work together to get yard work done and sit down together every Sunday afternoon to meal-plan for the week. We kind of follow more 'traditional' roles, but I love the system we’ve come up with, and it works really well for our family."

—Anonymous, 39, Michigan

17."Mostly, everything falls on me. I'm a stay-at-home mom to two kids who are 2 years old and 9 months old. My husband will cut the grass and fix things around the house, but that's about it!"

A woman with a baby on her hip

—Anonymous, 29, Canada

Maskot / Getty Images/Maskot

18."I have a 2-month-old son and a 7-year-old stepdaughter (part time). I'm off on maternity leave, so I manage the cleaning. Cooking is about 75% on me, but he does do the baking. We also have three dogs. He takes the dogs and the kids out every day so I have time to get a workout in. Exercise is so important for my mental health, but I'd love it if he could at least pick up his socks."

—Tara, 31, Canada

19."My husband and I have always seen everything as a team effort and definitely have inseparable BFF vibes. We basically do all the chores together: We load the washing machine and fold the laundry together, we grocery-shop together, one will wash dishes while the other cleans the counters and kitchen, etc. If the house requires a full cleaning, we usually pick a room and work our way toward the other, cleaning, until everything is done. It helps that we are both neat freaks and are always tidying. If one of us starts cleaning, the other will join without having to be asked. We often just put on music and dance and do the bulk of the chores together on Saturday morning so we can then enjoy our weekend together. We are both willing to do all of the chores so it never becomes a barter or tallying system of who has done what. I'm very thankful!"

A man sweeping under the couch

—Ana, 28, Rhode Island

Juanma Hache / Getty Images

20."My boyfriend and I have lived together for about two years, and we split household duties. He takes all our clothes to the laundromat; I fold them and put them away. He makes dinner and I wash up. I maintain the yard and garden, and he takes care of paying the bills and grocery shopping. I like living with him because it's way easier to be direct about this stuff compared with having a roommate, at least for me, anyway."


21."We have a cleaner who does the worst parts of the house, and we keep it cleanish in between. I cook most meals, my husband cleans up after. I do the floors, he does the toilets and the shower. I do the outdoor spaces, he takes care of the cat boxes. He would definitely do almost nothing except the kitchen if he could, but there isn’t an argument about cleanliness standards."

A person cleaning the litter box as a cat watches
Mila Naumova / Getty Images/iStockphoto

22."I’m actually a nursing student while also being employed full time nights in a hospital. Literally, nothing would get done in our house if it weren’t for my husband. He makes sure dishes and laundry are done, dinner is made, you name it. Before I went back to school, things were split pretty evenly — but now that I barely have time to breathe between classes, clinical, studying, and working, he’s picked up what I can’t do. When I DO actually have a free day and I'm not catching up on sleep or work, I’ll do the stuff he kinda sees as the bottom of the barrel (like cleaning rooms) or I’ll cook dinner."

"He knows once I’ve graduated, things will go back to an even split. It works out beautifully for us, and I’m incredibly lucky to have a partner who wasn’t even asked to pick up the slack — he just did it without question."



23."I’m a lawyer with the standard crazy hours, and he’s a stay-at-home dog dad, so he does most of the chores, except I do my own laundry and we both tackle deep cleans. It works most of the time, but occasionally he’s not thrilled with the arrangement. Whenever I mention hiring a housecleaning service, he says that’s a waste because he can do it himself."

A man doing the dishes

—Anonymous, 29, California

Louise Beaumont / Getty Images

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Is there a particular way that you and your partner split house chores? If so, tell us how and why that works (or doesn't work) for your family in the comments.