Cohousing Kelly

Kelly is a student at the University of Chicago. She needed to find housing close to school, and instead of living in a dorm chose to enter a cohousing situation.

Kelly and a kitten

Cohousing is not housing provided for by the company you work for. It is a shared living arrangement in which inhabitants of the house or community collaborate in the operation of their house or houses. Residents are committed to living as a community, operating as one big family.
I currently live in a house with seven guys. What makes Kelly’s house different from mine is…well, there are a lot of differences but the main one is the system of cooking and taking care of chores. A large calendar in the kitchen dictates each resident’s bi-monthly cooking night. Every night the residents sit down to a home-cooked meal. When it is time to clean dishes, the dish washers take care of it. Everyone in the house has a job that they take care of. Example roles include floor mopper (Kelly), maintenance man/woman, shopper, and bulk food orderer, whose responsibility is to monitor the abundance of each bulk food and find the best price when it comes to re-filling the bin.
I was thoroughly impressed, the house seemed like a bunch of brothers a sisters…very responsible brothers and sisters who respect each other. It was such a pleasure staying there. Someone baked a loaf of Amish friendship bread, which is like a moist pound cake with chocolate chips. Both Laura and I had to control ourselves from eating too much of the loaf on the kitchen counter, made for anyone to nibble on.

Community Kitchen

Deciding to live in a cohousing unit is a healthy choice. You will be involved with a loving group of people who take care of each other. Everyone depends on each other a little bit, creating a very close knit community and necessitates healthy relationships between residents. Your ecological footprint is rather low too, from sharing so many resources with other people.
During our stay, Laura ended up flooding the kitchen and Kelly had to mop it all up!


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May 2010
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