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16 Easy Hacks For Your Shared Kitchen

It doesn't have to be The Hunger Games.

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1. Designate a "free shelf".

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Redditor Liquid_Sky recommends keeping a free shelf, basket, or corner for any food that will expire before you can finish it, or anything you simply don't like or want to share. It's a great way to keep waste low, and keep up a sense of good will within the house.

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2. Share the basics.

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Instead of having three or four half-empty egg cartons fighting for space in the fridge, share the foods you all use regularly, and take turns replacing them. This is great for foods that expire quickly, are only used rarely, or take up a lot of space. Think milk cartons, condiments, and spices.

3. Assign areas to everyone and everything.

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If you can, designate spaces in the kitchen for storage for each housemate. Everyone should have a clear shelf, cupboard, and/or drawer for their private food and kitchen tools. In addition, make sure you all agree on where shared food, appliances, and dishware should be stored.

4. Label your stuff.

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To avoid confusion and to make sure there's always milk for your breakfast, label what's yours clearly in shared spaces. The rudest housemates will still ignore it, but it should cut down on honest mistakes.

5. Don't forget to use the freezer.

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Make use of the forgotten space in your freezer by prepping meals and freezing them until they're ready to cook, or freeze fruit, vegetables, and bread to make buying in bulk more manageable with sparse fridge and shelf space.

6. Purge your expired foods weekly.

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Set aside 20 minutes once a week to go through all the food in the kitchen with your housemates. Throw out anything that's past the expiry, and also consider any food that might not be expired, but isn't being eaten.

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7. Put a Lazy Susan in the fridge.

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Avoid a mess by making every item in the fridge easy to reach with a turntable. Buy a simple one-tier Lazy Susan, or learn to make your own.

8. Hang a dry erase board in the kitchen.

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Make messages, deadlines, task, and grocery lists easy to leave and read by mounting a memo board on the kitchen wall or door. If you're really short on space or can't drill into the walls, try sticking a decal white board to your fridge. Make sure to keep it a positive and productive space so that it stays an effective organisation method!

9. Plan vertical spacing.

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Make sure everyone has room to store items of various sizes. Assigning all housemates a horizontal shelf is impractical since some shelves have less vertical space, making it difficult to store taller items. Assign bits of every shelf to each house mate so that everyone has a variety of spaces available to store their food.

11. Get more space with a shoe organiser.

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An over-the-door shoe organiser can turn your kitchen door into a whole new area of extra storage on the cheap and without crowding the kitchen. Use it to make snacks and to-go breakfasts readily at hand, or to store cleaning supplies.

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14. Keep your tea towels hanging.

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Use velcro to keep your tea towels off the floor and clean for more uses. Attach to the ends and loop around the oven handle or curtain rack.

15. Keep cleaning supplies in sight.

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Make tidying up a no-brainer by keeping cleaning supplies in an easily accessible location. Displaying all the things needed to tidy up will remind and encourage you and your housemates to do a quick tidy up, and has the added benefit of making it easier to tell when a cleaning product needs replaced.

16. Keep it tidy and keep it minimal.

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Picking up as you go is the best way to manage a shared kitchen, so that everything is always available for use by everyone. Improve the space further by ditching or storing away all unnecessary items. You don't need two can openers and you probably don't need two pans of the same size. Reducing the bulk in your kitchen will make it easier (and more essential) to clean as you go.

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