Who Does What?

To avoid roommate conflicts down the road, begin your experience together by deciding how you will coordinate various aspects of the household. I have found that most roommate conflicts are simply due to lack of communication. Following are some helpful items to discuss together to have a smooth-running apartment:


  • Will we rotate turns cooking dinner or other meals? If so, who will cook when, and who will be responsible for cleanup? What if someone cannot take their turn?

  • Will any or all food be community property? Should we initial or mark food items?


• Who will do the dishes, vacuum, sweep and mop, wash windows and mirrors, clean the bathroom(s), take out the trash, and do other necessary tasks on a regular basis? You may want to post a cleaning rotation schedule.

Bathroom Use

• Should we organize a shower schedule to avoid conflicts?


  • How will we keep track of phone or other messages? Using a consistent method, such as a white board with a section for each roommate, can be helpful. (If you have cell phones, this may not be much of an issue.)

  • Will one person be responsible for checking the mail each day, or should everyone have access to the mail key? Where is a safe, consistent place to leave each other’s mail so it doesn’t get misplaced?

  • What will be our guidelines for visitors of the opposite sex?

  • What are the expectations for keeping the doors locked and other security measures?

Taryn Nilsen, Utah

[illustration] Illustration by Joe Flores

Using Church Magazines

When I was called to teach the Sunbeams, I decided to collect stories, illustrations, and other items found in Church magazines. From the issues, I created a resource file arranged by topic. To protect the collection, I laminated many of the items. You could also use contact paper or archival sheet protectors, or you could adhere them to cardstock. My ever-expanding file has become a treasure trove in helping me enhance my lessons. Young learners (and even the not-so-young) tend to be more attentive when they can both see and hear gospel stories. Dedelyn Hamilton, Colorado

Note: With the magazines available online in PDF format, many illustrations can be printed from the Gospel Library on the Church Web site LDS.org. This way, your magazines can be left intact.

Acid-Free Archiving

Using three-ring binders is a common, inexpensive way to store paper materials. Unfortunately, the oft-used vinyl ones can, over time, damage the contents. Covering the binder with cloth, for example, offers little protection, but you can minimize the damage by using archival sheet protectors. You might also insert archival safe barriers between the documents and vinyl. Or you could use the more flexible binders that are made of polyethylene plastic, which is much safer than vinyl for archival purposes. As an alternative to using binders, you might also store items the way an archivist does: in archival folders within archival boxes. Chris McAfee, senior conservator, LDS Church Archives

Meals and Memorization

If you haven’t studied your teenager’s seminary scripture mastery cards yet, you’re missing out! They can be a wonderful resource for younger children and adults too. We keep ours on the kitchen table and read them aloud at dinnertime. In doing so, we have challenged our family to memorize a scripture a week. While memorizing Moses 7:18, our two-year-old softly echoed “of one heart and one mind.” We were so surprised! After hearing it only a few times, he had that portion memorized. From this experience, we learned that our children are always listening and learning—even when we don’t think they are. Chantelle Adams, British Columbia, Canada

Note: Scripture mastery cards are available in a variety of languages at LDS Distribution Centers or online at www.ldscatalog.com. U.S. and Canadian residents may also call the Salt Lake Distribution Center at 1-800-537-5971.

Family Home Evening Helps:

Butcher Paper and Funny Faces

One of our most memorable family nights occurred when our then six-year-old gave the lesson. We helped her cover the table with butcher paper, tape it in place, and set crayons out. Our daughter started the lesson by drawing simple facial expressions to indicate various feelings like sad, happy, mad, and scared. Then she encouraged us to talk about how we should handle these feelings: by talking nicely and using our words to explain our feelings instead of hitting, for instance. She next asked us to use our imaginations and take turns drawing more faces while the rest guessed what emotions they expressed. We had such a good time laughing at all the funny faces! We left our table art out for several days to encourage more creativity and smiles each time we admired our hands-on lesson. Lea Taylor, Utah

[illustration] Illustration by Beth Whittaker