Re: Seeking information about work commitments
From: S. Kashdan (
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2019 22:48:48 -0800 (PST)
Hi all,

At Jackson Place Cohousing in Seattle Washington we have a chores system 
which has been working fairly well for about ten years. It does not involve 
any money. But it does involve public announcements about plans for doing 
chores together or coordinated with each other and report-backs of chores 

The chores that need to be done every week, such as taking the yard waste to 
the curb for collection, or need to be done less frequently than once a 
month, such as replacing burnt-out lightbulbs in common areas, or taking 
care of the laundry room and equipment, are taken on by individuals on an 
ongoing basis. When an individual can no longer do the task they volunteered 
for, they announce that both at a community business meeting and on our 
internal e-mail list, and another person will take it on.

The meals program is not included in the chores arrangement either. All 
adults who participate in the meals program are asked to cook and/or clean. 
But elders and others who can't do either for whatever reason are still 
welcome at meals. Everyone also pays $4 for adult servings for meals they 

We have an operations team that takes care of maintaining and replacing, 
etc. our buildings and appliances in them.

Our landscape team takes care of the property outside the buildings, 
including organizing work days when they feel it is appropriate.

For cleaning in common areas, we have three main chore groups, the A, B, and 
C chore groups.  Each chore group is scheduled to clean during four months 
of the year. Chore group A cleans during January, April, July, and October. 
Chore group B is scheduled to clean during February, May, August, and 
November. Chore group C cleans during March, June, September, and December.

All adults are encouraged to join a chore group, and children are also 

During a break in our monthly community Business meeting the chore group 
that will be doing chores in the upcoming month agrees on a work day or days 
that they will work together during their designated month. So, during the 
January community business meeting chore group C gets together to discuss 
when they will work together during February.

The chore group's designated day to work together is announced after the 
break, and later posted on our internal e-mail list so chore group members 
who were not at the monthly community business meeting will be informed and 
encouraged to participate.

Those who are not available on the designated work day can agree to do some 
cleaning on their own at another time during the month.

After the break in our monthly community Business meeting the chore group 
that did chores in the previous month gives a summary of what they did and 
how it worked out.

So, during the January community business meeting chore group C tells 
everyone how their cleaning activities in December went.

Those who may not be able to work directly on the chores for some reason can 
assist by providing snacks or childcare of some other support.

Including the chore group announcements of plans and report-backs at the 
monthly community business meetings encourages many people to participate in 
the cleaning activities. Also having chore groups meet together to do the 
chores helps. No money is involved. The motivation is social and personal 
responsibility. So people with more limited financial means don't feel put 
upon either.

Not everyone participates. But enough people do to get most of the cleaning 
done. And, sometimes, if there are some outstanding chores that need doing, 
someone will put out a special call for doing what is necessary.


Sylvie Kashdan
Community Outreach Liaison
Jackson Place Cohousing
800 Hiawatha Place South
Seattle, WA 98144
info [at]

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