The Struggle Is Real: Chores

The North Hollywood XPLOR House chores rotation
The North Hollywood XPLOR House chores rotation


It’s everyone’s favorite pastime. Right? I mean, who doesn’t love spending an hour at the sink washing others’ dishes?

Well, the North Hollywood NBA XPLOR house hates it. It is the most talked about, most heated topic in our weekly house meetings. (Yes, we do intentionally meet once a week.)

When you put three vastly different people in an apartment together to live, they will all do dishes differently. Some hand wash, and others use the dishwasher. Some make dishwater, and others let the faucet run. Some want the dishes in the sink, others on the counter. And that is just the “how.” There is also the problem of the “who” and the “when.”

The problem of “who” was the first issue we tackled.

Originally, the house just went with “you use it, you wash it” and “if you cook for everyone, you don’t clean.” As you can imagine, this didn’t really work for us. Dishes would pile up. The cook was cleaning. One person washed more than the others. It was a big disaster and always cause for an argument. The house spirit was dropping.

Around the holidays, we looked for a solution during our house meeting. The idea of dividing up the chores was the first to pop up. We all thought this was a good way to make sure everyone was doing the same amount of work. The only problem was that no one wanted to get stuck on dish duty for the next six months. So, as a house, we brainstormed a bit more and came up with rotations. We took the chores we had divided and placed them into three rotations. Every Sunday, we switch rotations and take on our new jobs for the week.

Once the “who” was settled, we were doing good…until the “when” became a problem.

Even after we settled into our new chores rotation, it was always a hot topic in our meetings. The “when” was starting to become a problem. With the different ways we did things (mainly the dishes), our timelines didn’t mesh well. Some did the dishes every night by hand, and others did the dishes when the dishwasher was full.

Originally, we thought this was a “how” problem. Makes sense, right? It gets done every night when it is done by hand. It doesn’t always get done every night when it’s done in the dishwasher.

We were wrong. It was a “when” problem with an easy solution (that we still struggle with). “Do it however you want…just do it every day,” became the dish motto of sorts.

We have less than two months left in NBA XPLOR, and though we will still be struggling with chores until the end….

“If chores are our biggest problems…we’re doing good.”

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NBA XPLOR is a 10-month service residency opportunity for young adults ages 21-30, with the purpose of empowering young adults to discern and develop a “heart for care” as they live together in simple community, engage in direct service and justice work, engage in leadership development, and discern their vocational calls to honor the various communities they are called to serve. Learn more and apply at