The refrigerator. It’s such a small place but it s also a place that deserves a conversation when living with roommates. Try laying down some ground rules and establish refrigerator etiquette sooner than later. Putting off this conversation may lead to frustration, fights and miscommunication. Good fridge etiquette can be simply and easy, because it’s just a basic conversation on how you and your roommate want to live in regards to the fridge. Here are a few items to think about when talking to your roommate:
To Share or Not
Deciding whether or not you are going to share food, condiments or beverages upfront may prevent problems. First, think about each other’s eating habits and decide if it will be a fair split. It may be that your roommate travels and the other one is home all of the time, so one person may get short changed. A good rule of thumb is to share items that take a long time to be used. Condiments such as a bottle of ketchup or relish can take over a year to finish and may be good items to split. Other staples that need to be replenished often, like milk or orange juice, may be items that are bought individually.
Being open and honest about fridge rules will be helpful in the long run. It may be better to say something like, “lets buy our own items, but if you ever need anything, please ask and I’m sure it will be fine to use.” This way, your roommate knows that your items are not open to use at anytime, but it’s not set in stone. For you, you’ve been clear with your roommate and expectations have been set.
How Will You Clean?
Refrigerators can get dirty quickly and easily. With traffic, and everyday dust and grime, it’s important to establish regular cleaning patterns. Try to decide how often the fridge should be cleaned and how it will be cleaned. It’s good to get on the same page with your roommate to know each other’s expectations when it comes to cleaning. It also may be easier to buy all the supplies such as baking soda, sponges, anti bacterial cleaners upfront and split it between each other.
How to Prevent Smells
It’s important to lay some food ground rules as spoiled food can lead to smells and mold. For example, a good rule may be that food needs to be covered so it won’t smell. Or, maybe you need to decide if the fridge needs a good clean out one a week to prevent rotting fruits and vegetables. These may seem like small, insignificant rules, but it’s better to be specific than regret it at a later date when something is rotting in the fridge!
Establishing fridge etiquette upfront will save a lot of frustration and potential arguments upfront. Try being open, honest and clear so both you and your roommate understand each other’s rules so you can respect one another so you can have fun in other areas of the house!