Re: Does your community clean all the common areas yourselves?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2018 11:55:05 -0700 (PDT)
> On Oct 2, 2018, at 12:17 PM, Susan Green < [at]> wrote:
> Our cohousing community is a 4 story building that is cleaned by a
> maintenance company twice a week. We are talking about doing the work
> ourselves.

We’ve always cleaned ourselves. Almost the same group of 4-5 people cleans 
every 2 weeks on Saturday at 10. When we were trying to get our meal program to 
be more robust, some of us suggested that we could hire cleaners but not cooks. 
What if the cleaners would cook instead. They objected that they liked cleaning 
as a group. The team has now been together for 18 years and has a routine and 

We do have a company come twice a year to polish the linoleum in the kitchen 
and hallways.

We set a standard of clean and orderly for the CH from the beginning. I and 
others checked everyday to be sure things were in order. I stopped at anything 
requiring a broom or water, but picked up stuff and reminded residents about 
the kitchen left not clean, spilled coffee, things dumped in rooms, etc. 

Each room also has a point-person who sees that it is supplied and in order, 
even the kids room.

We have a guest room pod that does a monthly (?) cleaning of the guest rooms 
but cleaning is the responsibility of each host. We’ve talked about having a 
cleaner that hosts could arrange cleaning witth but stronger and more 
coordinated action by the pod, I think, has taken care of that.

We also have workdays, 6 or so a year, and some deeper cleaning and organizing 
happens then. We’ve talked about having a company come and clean steam the tile 
in all the bathrooms. 

It works very well. I’m never afraid that the CH will be a mess. Even after 
large parties. I think expectations make a big difference. In the beginning a 
number of people had more “relaxed” standards but just keeping it clean and 
picked up gradually house-broke them. I can’t imagine why anyone would spill a 
cup of coffee by the mailboxes and not clean it up, but in the beginning, some 

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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