Re: seeking information about how cohousing communities organize tasks to be done
From: Judy Baxter (
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 10:12:08 -0700 (MST)
From: Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing, Minneapolis, MN

on Th, Mar 29, 
Sylvie Kashdan.  of the Jackson Place Cohousing community, in Seattle, 
Washington, wrote:

<We want to know how folks actually organize and schedule work, what has
proven successful, what challenges folks have found in organizing and
accomplishing cohousing work, how they deal with challenges when they arise,
what processes they have found to be best for overcoming difficult
situations, what challenges remain unresolved, and anything else that might
be useful for us to know.
Wow - a lot of questions.  
a.  I'd suggest you check the archives , using searches on:
the terms in the directory of email I saved (for a while)
on the topic. It is at the end of this post.
  The topic has been extensively discussed

b. I'll tackle a few for now.
        FYI, we are currently 14 participating households, 20 adults and 9
kids, approx (I lose track) , approx 10 - 30 at a meal, 2 days/week

1.What are the specifics of how you organize working on any joint meals?
Check the latest issue of the Cohousing journal.
We have a rotation of cooks who are willing to cook, approx once a month.  They
may recruit co-cooks or not, as they choose. I always do .  The cook shops for
the meal, some staples are kept on hand and one person keeps them stocked
(canned beans, tomatoes, Macaroni and cheese, rice, pasta, beans, spices, etc.

We have a rotation of pairs of people to clean up after meals.  There's a lot
of swapping and switching on the rotations.

2.What are the specifics of how you organize working on cleaning the common
house? How does it get done?  People volunteer for chores, and most do a
significant amoutn (it's called peer pressure + wanting things to get done)

3. What are the specifics of how you organize working on any joint landscaping
and other grounds maintenance?
        As part of signing up for chores, people agreed to shovel certain
sidewalks (snow). Similarly for lawn mowing.  Several dedicated (dare I say
fanatic) gardners have done huge amounts of landscaping/gardening.  Others have
adopted certain areas.

That's all for today.
Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community,(MoCoCo) Twin Cities Area, Mpls.,MN
where, after 8 years in residence, we are finally ready to take on re-doing our
porch  into a 4 season large space for play, dance, . . . 
-- e-mail:      baxter [at]
15 homes - 7 new townhomes plus 
        8 coop apartments       in the Mansion (a rehab Georgian building)
(built as a retirement home in 1924 -) which also serves as our Common House
coops moved in 1993, townhomes in 1996
A studio size home may be for sale in future, we don't know when 
 Voice Mail for Monterey Cohousing - 952-930-7554
 web page: 

    # From                 Date         Subject

    1 IN%"JBoleyn@extensis 13-JAN-1998  RE: work and expectations
    2 IN%"jimsg [at] 14-JAN-1998  RE: work and expectations
    3 IN%"contraj@hevanet. 14-JAN-1998  Re: Work levels
    4 IN%"tylik [at] 14-JAN-1998  Re: Work levels
    5 IN%"Floriferous@clas 14-JAN-1998  RE: Work levels
    6 IN%"scowley [at] 15-JAN-1998  work credits
    7 IN%"BAXTER [at] epivax.ep 16-JAN-1998  Re: work and expectations/paying
    8 IN%"jmccoy [at]"  18-JAN-1998  Re: work and expectations
    9 IN%"Floriferous@clas 22-JUL-1998  Getting the community work done
   10 IN%"debbeh@auto-trol 19-AUG-1998  Community Chore Systems
   11 IN%"Floriferous@clas 30-AUG-1998  RE: Shared Utilities: the fallacy of 
   12 IN%"floriferous@emai  9-JAN-1999  RE: paying $ for sweat equity
   13 IN%"welcome@olympus.  9-JAN-1999  Joint work yes, paid work -caution
   14 IN%"lilbert@concentr  9-JAN-1999  RE: paying $ for sweat equity
   15 IN%"floriferous@emai  9-JAN-1999  Labor systems
   16 IN%"PattyMara [at] 10-JAN-1999  Re: paying $ for sweat equity
   17 IN%"nealc@cphl.minds 26-FEB-1999  Re: what is your vision of community 
   18 IN%"jmccoy [at]"  27-FEB-1999  Re: what is your vision of 
community participation?
   19 IN%"victoria@trilliu  8-SEP-1999  Workfair
   20 IN%"sharonvillines@p  8-SEP-1999  Work Sharing
   21 IN%"brian@trillium-h  8-SEP-1999  RE: Workfair
   22 IN%"robsan@Exchange. 10-SEP-1999  RE: Workfair
   23 IN%"RowenaHC [at]" 10-SEP-1999  Re: Workfair
   24 IN%"jstuart [at] 11-SEP-1999  Re: Workfair
   25 IN%"Berrins [at]"  1-NOV-1999  "Getting the Work Done"
   26 IN%"JCarter12 [at] 31-DEC-1999  seniors in mixed aged cohousing
   27 IN%"lilbert@earthlin  1-JAN-2000  Southside Park Cohousing Web Site, and 
other stuff.
   28 IN%"RowenaHC [at]"  1-JAN-2000  Re: seniors in mixed aged cohousing
   29 IN%"lilbert@earthlin  1-JAN-2000  Re: seniors in mixed aged cohousing
   30 IN%"floriferous@emai  1-JAN-2000  RE: seniors in mixed aged cohousing
   31 IN%"howard [at] poly.poly  1-JAN-2000  "contract it out"
   32 IN%"sharonvillines@p  1-JAN-2000  "contract it out" & diversity
   33 IN%"lilbert@earthlin  2-JAN-2000  Re: "contract it out"
   34 IN%"dmmj@ncal.verio.  2-JAN-2000  Re: "contract it out"
   35 IN%"JCarter12 [at]  2-JAN-2000  seniors/work
   36 IN%"jeblank [at]"   2-JAN-2000  Mantra
   37 IN%"dlmandel [at]  3-JAN-2000  Re: "contract it out"
   38 IN%"lilbert@earthlin  3-JAN-2000  Re: paying for work
   39 IN%"scowley@library.  3-JAN-2000  Re: hiring servants
   40 IN%"hollie@meanderin  3-JAN-2000  Re: hiring servants
   41 IN%"cdm [at] employees.or  3-JAN-2000  Work Requirements: LCD?
   42 IN%"tilstra@smartcha  3-JAN-2000  servants, service & subservience
   43 IN%"sechrest [at] peak.or  3-JAN-2000  Re: servants, service & 
   44 IN%"allenbutcher@jun  3-JAN-2000  Re: COHOUSING-L digest 249
   45 IN%"victoria@trilliu  3-JAN-2000  Work Requirements & Contracting
   46 IN%"howard [at] poly.poly  3-JAN-2000  Re: hiring servants
   47 IN%"lilbert@earthlin  3-JAN-2000  Re: Work Requirements: LCD?
   48 IN%"welcome@olympus.  4-JAN-2000  Voluntary donations vs LCD
   49 IN%"dlmandel [at]  4-JAN-2000  Re: Work Requirements: LCD?
   50 IN%"shamer_@excite.c  4-JAN-2000  Re: hiring servants
   51 IN%"71612.340@compus  4-JAN-2000  seniors/work
   52 IN%"floriferous@emai  4-JAN-2000  Differences in income/work effort are OK
   53 IN%"victoria@trilliu  4-JAN-2000  Work Requirements and Contracting
   54 IN%"coho-L [at]  4-JAN-2000  Attachments - just say no!
   55 IN%"sharonvillines@p  4-JAN-2000  Re: Attachments - just say no!
   56 IN%"sharonvillines@p  4-JAN-2000  Work Requirements---Please Recontact
   57 IN%"scowley@library.  4-JAN-2000  Re: hiring servants
   58 IN%"zabaldo@earthlin  4-JAN-2000  Re: Differences in income/work effort 
are OK
   59 IN%"victoria@trilliu  4-JAN-2000  Work Requirements and Contracting
   60 IN%"victoria@trilliu  5-JAN-2000  Re: Work Requirements and Contracting
   61 IN%"dlmandel [at]  6-JAN-2000  Re: Differences in income/work 
effort are OK
   62 IN%"allenbutcher@jun  7-JAN-2000  Re: Work Fairshare
   63 IN%"ccharis@jeffco.k  7-JAN-2000  Re: Work Fairshare
   64 IN%"allenbutcher@jun  7-JAN-2000  Re: Work Fairshare
   65 IN%"cdm [at] employees.or 13-JAN-2000  Eno Commons's Meal System

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