College dorm life is great while it lasts. It’s some of our first experiences living away from our parents, and we get the opportunity to meet and live with a bunch of different people. But after a while we all start to crave a different kind of living experience, which is when the apartment hunting starts.
Living in your own apartment for the first time is a whole new experience. Unlike the dorms, it feels like a space that you can really call your own. But a lot of the time, we have to live with roommates, and when that happens, there tends to be some clashes. Even if you’re living with your best friend, arguments will happen, especially when it comes to the kitchen. The kitchen is a hectic, communal space, and you and your roommates have to be respectful of that, but it’s hard to figure out exactly how to please everyone. Whether you have a small kitchen or a huge one, these helpful tips will help you and your roommates share it seamlessly.
Just like you picked out which rooms you wanted, you and your roommates are going to have to pick out space in the kitchen. The key is to make sure that everyone has more or less equal space. Designate who gets which cabinet, which shelf in the refrigerator, and how much space in the freezer, and stick to it. Don’t let your groceries stray from your area, especially if your roommates have dietary restrictions. You don’t want them accidentally eating something of yours that may cause them discomfort or even be fatal.
Decide What Is Communal
After you all pick out your own spaces, then you have to decide what space is communal. And it’s not just space. Are you all going to share standard cooking ingredients like olive oil and seasonings, and if you are, how are you going to split up the costs of those? Kitchen cleaning products like paper towels and dish soap should always be communal because hopefully everyone will be using them.
Make a Cleaning Schedule
A pro-tip for a sharing a kitchen is to clean as you go. After you eat a meal, immediately wash the dishes you used and set them out to dry. Before you make another meal, put those dishes away, but for big kitchen cleaning you and your roommates should come up with a schedule for who cleans what and when. This way, the kitchen stays sparkling and you all are doing your fair shares.
Get a Whiteboard
This may seem silly, but trust us, it will come in handy. Stick it on one of the walls in your kitchen where it’s easily accessible and use it to write down what communal items are running low and need to be bought. You can also use it for more fun things like writing your roommates encouraging notes or suggesting menus for dinner together. Another useful way to use the whiteboard is to write down cooking schedules. It’s a hassle for everyone to be cooking all at once, especially when you have a small kitchen. Just make sure the schedules rotate so everyone gets to cook what they want when they want.