Shared Kitchen Etiquette

The kitchen is a beloved oasis in any home, yet in a shared space, the kitchen has the explosive potential of a minefield to blow relationships asunder. A grimy, funky, kitchen can divide even the closest of roomies, so it’s important to follow a few general rules of thumb when it comes to caring for shared rooms in a home. Check out a few of the suggestions below and it may just save your friendship!

The Dreaded Dirty Dishes
Mother Goose must’ve been inspired by someone like my old roommate because the pots and pans that accrued in our old sink could’ve grown legs and run off with the dish and the spoon. That is to say, unless your roommate is a mycologist, the sink is no place for experimental growth.

To address such a problem with your own housemate, it’s best to talk things out. Try to work out a schedule to share responsibility. If you prefer each roommate wash their own dishes, set a time limit of one or two hours after each meal that dishes can remain in the sink.

If problems with dishes persist, biodegradable, single-use cutlery and plates are available at just about any grocery store.

Counter Space
In most apartments, kitchen counter space is at a premium. For this reason it’s important to respectfully share space. Save space by keeping cookbooks on a separate bookshelf and keep appliance cords tucked out of the way. Lingering grocery bags and food items also take up valuable space, so put items in drawers or cupboards as soon as you get home from the store.

Odor vs. Aroma
Like so many rooms, the kitchen can smell delightful or appalling. A weekly cleaning will keep general scum at bay and will prevent creepy crawlers from foraging for leftovers in your kitchen.

Food odors are a little trickier. Badly burnt food items, for example, have a terrible odor and should be removed from the kitchen immediately after you ensure the item is not on fire. This might sound silly, but often an item can continue smoldering after it hits the trash. This is especially true of grease fires – don’t douse these in water, as it might spread the flames. Instead use baking soda to extinguish the flames.

The odor of burnt food isn’t the only off-putting kitchen smell, however. Some individuals have strong aversions to scents such as grease, popcorn, or curry; if your housemate has a sensitive nose, be considerate of their opinion. Cook the offending item when your roommate isn’t home and turn on kitchen fans to ensure plenty of ventilation.

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