Sharing a kitchenWatch
Student life, in partnership with UEA
Designate yourself an area of the counter to cook on and make this your little space (I had a corner cupboard and used the part of the workspace above it for all my cooking (knives/cereals etc.).
Get your own shelf in the fridge (freeze what you don’t need and save it for later- will help people not to steal things if things like meat or bread are frozen as you can simply take them out and defrost them- also lasts longer!)
Keep it tidy but inevitably you will be faced with people who don’t clean up and leave the sink horrifically blocked and food scraps everywhere.
Best way is to wash things up once you have finished with them and dry and put them away. I’d say a day is fine but reallly anything After that leaving dishes is pretty grim!
Another tip: some people pile dirty places onto the draining board right on top of my clean and freshly washed dishes! To solve this I used to get a tea towel and out it above my area and place all my wet Curley or plates on it to dry- nobody would touch them or pick them up by accident/purpose and use them!
If there’s lots of you sharing (I had 8 in my first second year and 5 third year) then you may find that it gets quite busy especially around dinner times so the best thing you can do is meal prep on one day of the week and just cook what you need fresh when you need it. No one sets times but make sure when you start to cook you aren’t waiting to use the oven or Hobs!
Most people I know didn’t/don’t steal each other’s food... maybe the odd bit of milk and some spices and herbs salt pepper sugar tea etc. But nothing else really- unless they replaced it without me knowing!
Overall sharing a kitchen is one of those experiences; as long aS you all respect the space and keep it relatively tidy it’ll be fine
In addition to what ClaudiaVan said, I would make sure that if you don't want to share anything with your flatmates, you make it clear from the start. Some people won't mind sharing things like plates, cutlery and pans or milk and sugar but others don't want to at all- both are fine as long as you communicate with your flatmates. Also, I found that if you always clear up after yourself and keep the kitchen tidy then other people will as well, and you can always politely mention it if things get too messy or dishes are left frequently unwashed. If you have a problem with people stealing your food then you could always label it and some uni's have cupboards that you can put padlocks on, so that might be an option.
Let me know if you have any other questions
I've just finished my second year at Uni and I have had three very different experiences with kitchen sharing. In my first year, I started out in a flat where we shared all of our cutlery, pots, pans, etc. We made a meal rota and collectively bought the food for dinner, which meant we could split the costs between the three of us (for lunch we'd eat leftovers or our own personal stash of food). I moved universities, and in my second accommodation of first year it was very different. I was in an 8 person flat, so sharing like I had before wasn't really an option and we all did our own thing. In my second year I was in a 6-bed house and, to begin with, we did do a meal rota and split the cost of food. By halfway through the year, we all branched off and did our own things, but we still communally shared pots, pans, plates, cutlery etc. The only thing I don't really share are my coffee mugs! As long as you set out at the start of the year where you stand on food and equipment sharing, there shouldn't be any problems at all. Even when I was in the first flat where we shared everything, there was an understanding that everything in your personal kitchen cupboard was yours (make sure to claim a cupboard on day one!).
In terms of mess, it is quite common for communal kitchens to get messy at times, especially towards deadlines where people are stressed with their work. It's good to have a rota so that people take it in turns to take the bins out, or hoover etc. I've found that sometimes people can be selfish when it comes to mess and refuse to clean up anything that they weren't personally responsible for. I like to break that attitude and when I'm washing up or wiping down surfaces. If I see someone else's plates, I'll just plop a couple in with my own washing up, and if I am wiping up something I've spilled, then I'll give all the whole surface a wipe. This doesn't mean you have to clean up after everyone else and you shouldn't expect others to clean up for you, but it's good to break the mindset of 'mine' and 'yours' and generally things go much more smoothly when everyone takes ownership of the mess. Sometimes it's good to get everyone together and you all do a deep clean of the kitchen - and put some tunes on!
I hope this helps!
Student Ambassador and Second Year Animation Student
But no, with us and with my flatmates for 2/3rd year we just had a shelf each in the fridge, freezer etc and I think we had a cupboard each because we had 3.With pots and pans we just used our own
This brings back memories of when my first year housemates (I lived with 3 others off campus in a house) used to pee in the sink-I don't know which one it was but yeah -_-
It can be a bit of a nightmare, to be honest. I'd keep in your room any expensive cookware or stuff that you don't want breaking/using by others/going missing. Student kitchens will be quite a bit grubbier than your kitchen at home, but you shouldn't end up with foot and mouth. Hopefully.
i've never had a problem with anyone stealing my food, but i also go shopping regularly and don't keep a lot of stuff in the kitchen at one time, so it's easy to keep track. i suspect tho that if you buy milk and condiments, it's not uncommon for flatmates to take stuff so i guess you have to be a bit flexible or hope you get decent flatmates.