When living with roommates, sharing kitchen space can be difficult. Every individual has their own habits and being able to mesh those behaviors together can go a long way towards a positive roommate relationship.

Moving into your first apartment is an exciting time. Unfortunately, cooking your first meal in a kitchen shared by a roommate or two can really put a damper on things.

Stolen ingredients, dishes left in the sink and conflicting cooking schedules can all be huge nuisances. However, most of these conflicts can be easily avoided with a bit of planning and forethought.

Here are a few methods for effectively sharing kitchen space with others.

Invest in Food Bins

Opening the pantry to find your box of popcorn missing is frustrating, to say the least. For this reason, we highly suggest a food bin solution. For this trick, you will need two bins for each member of the household. One of those bins will live in the fridge, the other will live in the freezer. Additionally, a community bin should be added to each location.

The rules are simple: Keep anything you don’t want to share in your personal bins and put everything else in the community bin. When it comes time to eat, pick foods from your personal bins or the community bins only. Everything else is off-limits.

Set a Schedule

If you find yourself constantly stepping on your roommate’s toes in the kitchen, consider setting a cooking schedule. This should include one time slot per person at the beginning of the week for prepping lunches. It should also include who is cooking dinner each evening of the week and what times they will be using the kitchen for that meal. If a person is cooking for everyone, don’t forget to split the cost!

Make Dishwashing Rules

Washing dishes is a horrible chore, but somebody has to do it. If you and your roommates don’t agree on who that person should be, it might be time to set some rules.

A good rule of thumb is: If you use it, you wash it. Stick to this rule, and nobody will ever be left with too many dishes piled in the sink to cook.

With these simple tips, you will be well on your way to a peaceful kitchen. Have a good idea for keeping peace with roommates when it comes to cooking? Let us know about your kitchen sharing experiences in the comment section below.

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