Takoma Village Has a Clean Commonhouse!
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 08:06:01 -0700 (MST)
Question One (following my last post ):

How do you keep the commonhouse clean????

Yes, I'm answering it before anyone asks but I know the questions are out
there and I have more time at the moment than later.

We have a drill sergeant who has taken on the task of organizing cleanings
every other Saturday morning. A group of people show up at 10:00 and take on
tasks. Some take the same task each time so they know how to do it. They
work in teams -- washing windows in and out -- folding up the tables and
chairs for mopping -- straightening -- dusting -- cleaning bathrooms. We
have a wood floor that is cleaned with a special wood floor cleaner and

It takes about 2 hours with 8-10 people but not all work for the same 2
hours. They come and go. Some finish early and some don't get off work until

Jim has insisted from the start that the cleaning would take place at 10:00
on Saturday and everyone would show up at the same time to work. There was
great, great, great resistance to this --- Why can' t I clean the bathrooms
on Sunday? Why can't I dust anytime I want to? But he was the only one to
take on task so things were done his way.

But in the end it works. People work happily together (busy bee time) and
nothing is forgotten. If not enough people show up they go light on
something. Jim is the drill sergeant with instructions, cautions, and
reminders. He seems to be the most frazzled, actually. Things did not go
well the morning he organized things and didn't attend himself. Too much
time spent trying to find out who has this and who was doing that and who
can help me  lift this. Lots of furniture moving goes on.

Our next foray is to have tea, coffee, and hot chocolate available in the
commonhouse 24/7. The test will be not the expense but whether people clean
up after themselves!

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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