Roommate Living: Your Food, Kitchen, and Sanity

It was first published in April 2010.

Ever since freshman year of school, I have had approximately 15,000 roommates. Some are favourite people, my best friends, and lifetime partners. Things were smoked by others too late. One stays at. (Surprise! It was over the dishes)

Whether you are fresh out of college or shacking up with your significant other for the first time, living with other people has multitudinous advantages. It may save anyone involved a whole lot of money. It is sometimes education , cultural expertise, and a social possibility. It can keep you from being alone.

However, if you’re not careful, it can also be a frightening descent into a cohabitational hell, where anger and distress become reality of everyday life. Living with the dishes guy? Was like this.

The center of roommate karma is the kitchen. Keep a equilibrium there, and your time is going to be peaceful and harmonious. Forget to purchase paper towels to the next week in a row, and you may get a severed goldfish mind.

That is why it’s very important to talk about food, money, and galley-related issues up front. It prevents misunderstanding the line down, sets a precedent for the future, and sets you on precisely exactly the exact same page. Thus, be open with your own wants and requirements. Ask lots of questions. And recall the two most essential things about living with anybody fresh:

  • Do not be afraid to speak up. If your roommate is not doing her dishes or owes you cash for olive oil, then inform her. It’s possible for you to maintain yourself and be regarded as a great person.
  • Don’t be a jerk. You’re sharing this room with other people, and should take their feelings under consideration. Fine, do your part, and don’t make fun of Bob’s vegan macaroni and cheese.

With these thoughts in the back of your mind, the ensuing discussion ought to be easy. As an example, here are a couple of areas to touch on, together with a great deal of questions that are pertinent.


First and foremost, you and your roommate(s) have to feed yourselves using actual food. Broaching the topic that was edibles could set the tone for the remainder of the remainder of your lease, not to mention your talk. Tread carefully, be thorough and kind, and inquire:

  • are you going to talk about food? Will you discuss everything or just staples? Which principles?
  • Will you share cooking duties? How will you divide the project?
  • When are you going to cook? In case you set up a program? What foods will you eat in your home?
  • Does anybody have dietary restrictions, allergiesor ethical difficulties?
  • Will any food be off limits? (ex: If there is a peanut allergy in the house, it may be best to prevent’em completely.)


Once you have meals, you need ways to serve it. Your requirements could change wildly, dependent on your daily diet plan and/or affinity for cooking. Plan ahead, use this checklist for advice, and ask:

  • What kitchen gear do you own? Is it in good form?
  • What do you need to purchase? Where should you get it?
  • Have you got some doubles (ex: two toasters)? Would you will need the extra? If not, what can you really do with it?
  • Who’ll stay new purchases (dishwasher, dishwasher, etc.. ) if/when you move out?
  • Can there be room to match everything? (View: Storage.)


This comes the hard part. On kitchen and food supplies, you are probably going to spend most of your own money beyond lease. Splitting the bills payment itself harder, and also can be tricky. Stay positive and ask:

  • How can you cover the food that you buy together? Will the bills or alternate months split?
  • How will you cover the kitchen requirements (tin foil( dish soap, paper towels, etc.)? What falls under that umbrella expression?
  • Who can do the actual purchasing? Will you take turns?
  • Will you join a bulk store or CSA? Cultural markets, what markets, and farmer’s markets are you going to shop at?
  • How are you going to manage coupons, sales, or memberships?
  • How will you handle restaurants and take out? Does that go in your budget?


Pots, pans, silverware, dishes, and appliances do much more than look pretty: they occupy space. And if feet are obtaining a storage strategy is essential. Think about your cabinets and inquire:

  • Where are you going to store the meals? Think about the dishes? And cleaning gear?
  • Will you split storage? Who gets which fridge shelf? What about the freezer and pantry?
  • Can you have sufficient space for bulk purchases?
  • Will there be a method it is simple to add extra shelves, cabinets, or marijuana racks?
  • Are you allowed to throw out things without consent, if it looks like it went bad? (Note: This comes up more than you believe. It is like a science experiment in there occasionally.)


Although dishes are 90% of the matter, cleaning goes deeper than washing your coffee cup. There are counters floors to mop, and microwaves to liberate of skillet that is caked. If that is left to a individual – or worse, not completed at all — matters will very messy, either relationship-wise and dirt-wise.

  • How fast will you get your dishes ? Will you split the duty? How?
  • How frequently will you light wash (counters, sweeping, etc.) the kitchen? Who will take care of this?
  • How frequently will you deep clean (oven, fridge, etc.) the kitchen? Who will take care of this?
  • Who will take out the litter? How will you manage recycling?
  • Who would look after fix issues as they come up? Are you easy? Are you going to be the point man for the landlord?
  • Who will keep track of and replace cleaning tools (Lysol, sponges, etc.)?
  • If you produce a cleaning program?

If you address each one of these questions up front and periodically revisit them through the duration of your cohabitation, you and your roommates/loved ones can enjoy a sparkling, comparatively stress-free household. What is more, you can apply the concepts to every room in the house, whether it’s the den or the shed you use to create moonshine that is illegal.

Readers, what about you? Have you got some rhyme principles to follow in the kitchen? How about horror stories? You understand we loves us some o’ these men.

(Great letter photograph from Passive Aggressive Notes.)


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