Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen: Roommates and Kitchenettes

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Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen: Roommates and Kitchenettes

Staff Writer · Oct 28, 2010

Kitchenettes make it possible for people who live in small apartments to make meals at home and they’re the perfect size for an apartment dweller living alone. However, many small apartments are shared by two or more people. When you’ve got to share a tiny cooking area with someone else, practice the following so you won’t have a conflict over the food area:

Scheduling Use—or Eating Together

Kitchenettes are designed so that more than one person cannot comfortably stand in them for long periods of time, let alone coordinate cooking separate meals at the same time. The best way for you and your roommate not to get on one another’s nerves is to either work out a schedule for use of the kitchenette or decide to share meals and take turns cooking. Schedule a half hour to an hour for each of you to cook two to three times a day or make up a schedule of taking turns cooking a meal you share together if you’re able to eat at the same time.

Sharing the Fridge and Cabinets

Besides having your roommate in the kitchen at the same time as you, another concern for apartment dwellers with kitchenettes is the limited storage space. The fridge can especially prove an issue because you’ll most likely have a mini-fridge in lieu of a full-size one. As far as cabinets go, divide them evenly. Likewise, with the fridge, you can split the shelves straightway down in halves (or thirds, however many you need) or let each roommate have a shelf. Instead of this arrangement, you can also agree to split the cost of groceries and eat together for the majority of the time, but you will all need at least a little storage space for personal snacks and drinks.

Sharing the Counter Space

Perhaps even more difficult than sharing storage space in kitchenettes is sharing counter space because you’ll have so little space to work with. Counter space can house your:

  • hot plate
  • slow cooker
  • vegetable steamer
  • toaster oven
  • microwave
  • coffee maker
  • any other appliance you have to make cooking easier in the confinements of a small space

It’s best to agree to keep your counter space for appliances only. You should keep ones you use every day (coffee maker, microwave, etc.) out on the counter space and then store the appliances you only sometimes use away, either in the cabinet or in a closet off to the side of the kitchenette.

Sharing Cleaning Duties

It’s especially important to keep a kitchenette clean because chances are your kitchenette may not even have the kitchen area separated from your living area or bed area. You don’t want mold, bacteria and odors to spread throughout your apartment. When it comes to cleaning, then, agree with your roommate to either clean after yourselves without exception or schedule a rotating cleaning routine, perhaps one that coincides with your shared cooking routine. (One roommate cooks the same day the other cleans.)

Abiding by a plan to share kitchenettes makes those who share small apartments less likely to argue. Living in such small quarters together, the only way to be fair is to compromise.

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