Brooks Labor System

New system (proposed)

Everyone will be a part of two groups that will provide support and accountability for doing labor: a work group, which does chores together, and a committee, which does organizational work together.

Compared to individually assigned chores, this system offers:

  • week-to-week flexibility for getting the necessities done even when one member can’t join
  • less daunting accountability: one of these three or four people should clean the thing, rather than one of 14
  • easier to make clean-up-after-yourself requests of the house, because three or four people agree that it’s a problem
  • faster learning and longer institutional memory for how to clean our house quickly and thoroughly
  • more opportunities to work together with housemates toward a shared goal

Tracking work group hours

We use the Our Home app. Ask a membership committee member to get added.

Work groups

Kitchen and dining room detailing/deep clean

  • 3 people
  • deep clean the kitchen and dining room weekly, including appliances and behind appliances, and wash/dishwash/dry/put away dishes
  • work together during a single jointly decided work period sometime from Friday night to Sunday morning
  • main page: Brooks kitchen and dining room work group


  • 4 people
  • keep all bathrooms clean, including mirrors, counters, sinks, showers/tubs, toilets, and tubs
  • little upkeep things throughout the week, plus ideally a night when everyone does the big things together
  • main page: Brooks bathrooms work group

Common spaces

  • 4 people
  • keep the living rooms, hallways, laundry room, and basement clean and tidy, and do the house laundry weekly
  • probably better to do it together, such as coordinating sweeping/mopping, but can be done separately
  • main page: Brooks common spaces work group

Nooks and crannies

  • 3 people
  • keep the fridges and cabinets clean and free of old stuff; take care of mail, recycling, and garbage regularly; and keep the yard clean
  • can be done separately here and there, but really nice to do the fridges and other big jobs together
  • main page: Brooks nooks and crannies work group



  • 4 people
  • take care of small jobs, call contractors to take care of big jobs, and coordinate with COUCH-wide maintenance committee
  • main page: Brooks maintenance committee

Finance and food

  • 3 people
  • keep us stocked up on food with twice-weekly shopping trips; organize food; handle house charges, rent charges, and reimbursement
  • main page: Brooks finance and food committee

Labor and social

  • 4 people
  • one member is on each work group:
    • schedule cooking;
    • assign people to work groups and committees;
    • check in with people who aren’t fulfilling house responsibilities;
    • schedule social events like movie nights (including between houses); take care of house social dynamic
  • main page: Brooks labor and social committee

Membership and board

  • 3 people
  • advertise openings; communicate with applicants; schedule house interviews; represent the house at COUCH board meetings; keep Google Groups, chat groups, and Our Home up to date
  • main page: Brooks membership and board committee

House meeting as a check-in time for these groups

In order to facilitate communication and accountability between committees, work groups, and the rest of the house, the house meeting agenda focuses on something different every week.

First Sundays: Maintenance

  • Get updates on what’s being done and what needs to be done
  • Get house opinion on what should be prioritized

Second Sundays: Finance and Food

  • Get monthly financial update after house payments are due
  • Seek feedback on shopping
  • Brainstorm how to best spend our extra cash flow

Third Sundays: Labor and Social

  • Meet in old work groups to discuss what went well and what could be improved
  • Rotate about half of people to new work groups
  • Meet in new work groups to get everyone up to speed

Fourth Sundays: Membership and Board

  • Membership votes (first round is whether to accept, second round is whom to choose)
  • In August, January, and May, probably a good time for onboarding new members

Fifth Sundays: Systems

  • Discuss how house systems are working and make changes/tweaks