5 Pitfalls of Sharing a Kitchen (and how to avoid them)

Locks on cupboards, names on food in fridges; shared spaces get carved up and people get protective. We’ve put together the top 5 pitfalls of sharing a kitchen and how to avoid them:

  1. Sneaky Brian is stealing your milk
Caught in the act, Brian!

This sucks so to avoid it have some items in common. Good ones to share are milk and teabags. Everyone needs these. Be as formal or as informal as you like, perhaps have a spare change box from which milk can be bought or a rota for buying it.

2. Food lost in fridge

Alright, who got more dog?

Agree on shelf allocation — cold space is at a premium, agree who gets what and stick to it. Any changes or spilling over must be agreed in advance.

3. The kitchen is a mess AGAIN

Guys, I think we need to talk…

Cleaning usually descends into a game of who can stand the most mess. Some mess is inevitable but it is everyone’s responsibility. Avoid the passive aggressive notes. If someone isn’t pulling their weight, rally round your flat mates and have a meeting — peer pressure can work wonders.

4. Your Cutlery is missing

It’s only been in his room for a month…

Everyone brings their own, its hard enough to keep track of lectures let alone teaspoons. So share the cutlery at the start, sort it out at the end.

5. It’s always too busy to cook in the kitchen

This chicken must be punished!

5 people cooking at the same time doesn’t work. Making enough food for just one person is tricky so solve two problems at once by finding people you can share the cooking with.

(Bonus) 6. The kitchen is full of drying racks.

Pic unrelated.

Wait until everyone has moved in before buying kitchen items. People bring all sorts of things, if they’re happy to share then that is one less thing that others may need to buy. Anything that is missing — tea towels, sponges, drying rack can be bought in common.

Pro-tip: Discuss everything at the start. See what people are happy and comfortable doing, don’t just assume that other people think like you do. If in doubt, ask.

Whether you’re in Halls of Residence or sharing a house, learning to live with new people always takes some adjusting. Share your best and worst housemate stories with us!