Online resources can help you find an apartment in Phoenix, and they can even help you find a roommate. What a time to be alive! Sometimes, though, it’s harder to live with a roommate than it is to find one. Add the following seven tips to your collection of ideas, and make sure the refrigerator doesn’t become a source of conflict.
1 Take a Proactive Approach
It’s much easier to prevent the refrigerator from becoming a problem than it is to resolve issues once tensions have already developed. Keep things peaceful from the beginning by discussing some rules and regulations. If you’re close with your roommate, the rules can be more informal– discuss the basics then use good judgment and open communication.
If you’re rooming with a relative stranger, you might want to create a written list of rules. You can make this as formal or informal as you think is appropriate. “No uncontained food” is a great rule to start with. Cleaning responsibilities are another key talking point here.
Discuss things like what’s fair game and what’s off limits. For example, condiments and staples (butter, eggs, milk, etc.) are great candidates for communal property because there is no sense in buying duplicates unless you’re going through them rapidly.
2 Tools of the Trade
Once you and your roommate(s) have an idea for acceptable use of the refrigerator, make sure you have what it takes (physically) to stick to your plan. Stackable containers for leftovers, labels, markers, and more can help keep things clean and tidy. You may not need to label things with name and date, but keep that in mind as a way to stay organized and mark your territory.
3 Fair and Separated
For items that aren’t shared between roommates, everyone should have their own space in the refrigerator. Make the areas roughly equal in space, then try to avoid infringing on each other. Divide the refrigerator in half, claim shelves or drawers, or pick something else that makes sense. Don’t forget to designate a common area for shared food– the door is an excellent option for that since it’s convenient for condiments.
4 Plan Roommate Dinners
This is a great bonding experience that will help keep the food dialogue friendly. Plan a dinner where you both contribute equally to all aspects of preparation. If one person buys ingredients, the other roommates should reimburse for their share. One person cooks and the other cleans up, or both cooperate throughout the process. Decide as a group on a meal that everyone likes– that shouldn’t be too hard since you see what kinds of groceries they buy.
5 Equal Shares
If someone stops buying their own food because they’re living completely off of shared items, nip the situation in the bud. For example, it’s not fair if you split the cost of a dozen eggs then one roommate eats 11 of the 12. Maybe that person just needs to contribute more to the communal grocery budget to make it equal with the portion they consume. If you can’t work it out peacefully, you may have to stop sharing items and let everyone fend for themselves completely. Alternatively, divide shared items into equal parts as soon as you get home from the store.
6 Be a Good Roommate
Most people have an innate sense of whether or not they’re doing the right thing. If you make a mess, clean it up. If you have a weak moment and commandeer someone’s frozen pizza, replace it as soon as possible. Don’t take advantage or consume more than your fair share of shared items. If you notice that your roommate is running low on their favorite kind of juice, pick some up while you’re shopping for yourself. Little gestures go a long way, and your roommate is likely to meet you on the high road.
7 Utilize All Your Space
If fridge space starts to become packed, you have some easy options for expansion. Add a mini-fridge, or start storing more things frozen. Having to thaw food in advance isn’t nearly as annoying as having to find a needle in the haystack just to make breakfast. If you’re concerned about food storage capacity, look into apartments with functional kitchens.
Apartments in Phoenix, AZ
It’s easier to share the refrigerator in a happy home. Heers Management has some of the best apartments in Phoenix, and you’ll find an option where you and your roommate(s) can coexist peacefully. Our spacious floor plans get you on the right path toward an organized kitchen, and our state-of-the-art appliances make things easier on everyone. Contact us today, and we’ll set up a showing to make sure all the roommates like what they see.