I'm having a hard time sharing a fridge with my roommate? What are some tips?

Photo of Aero on 24th ApartmentsThe Aero on 24th is a student apartment complex that offers a full-sized fridge, big enough for you and your roommates to share.

As cabin fever sneaks upon us because of quarantine, you'll start to notice the little irritating things about roommates. Roommates will steal your food, create messes, and overall drive you to insanity. Some are blessed with harmonious roommates who don't test the boundaries. However, for others, the roommate matching applications didn't quite work out as well as they hoped.  

It's tricky to solve fridge sharing issues because ultimately, both parties have to compromise. Consider some of the tips below on fridge sharing tips if you're trying to salvage that relationship with your roommate before it's too late.

Separate spaces 

Assigning separate fridge shelves is considerably the easiest fix to storage issues. Each roommate theoretically gets their own space for all their groceries. It may seem like something easy to implement but getting your roommates on board can be challenging. Try to consider your roommate's perspective before making a rash decision as this can increase tensions. 

Ultimately, if you can't decide who gets the top shelf, leave it up to chance and flip a coin. 

If assigning separate shelves doesn't seem like the best option for you and your roommate, consider fridge dividers and labels. Fridge dividers make the separation between you and your roommate's groceries clear with no room for error. Labeling strengthens that separation and avoids confusion with commonly repeated groceries like milk, eggs, and vegetables.

The Kitchn, an online blog, compiled a useful guide detailing how to organize a fridge when dealing with roommates, linked here. Check it out for a more in-depth look at the organizational things that can help divide fridge spaces fairly.

Roommate agreements 

Roommate agreements tackle most roommate problems headfirst. Have and create a roommate compromise discussing boundaries, annoyances, and habits. Be sure to hear out your roommate instead of plowing over their limits. It would be best if you considered them because it will result in a better roommate relationship down the road. Take this time to attack communal fridge spaces terms like the freezer and the usually forgotten fridge door.

Don't stop there either; begin setting rules for cleanliness. If necessary, alternate who gets to deep clean the fridge every once in a while. Even better, schedule days of the month where both of you will dedicate yourself to cleaning the refrigerator. There comes a time where someone's expired milk has to go into the garbage disposal, and it's always best to share your disgust with someone else. 

Personal fridge 

Personally, my roommates and I decided to get mini-fridges for our rooms to have our snacks and personal groceries. A mini-fridge for your bedroom is an easy fix, mostly if roommate discussions and fridge separations don't work. It has been an overall plus in helping the fridge capacity because we have our yogurts, snacks, and water bottles in our fridges.  

While it may be reminiscent of a dorm room, often getting a mini-fridge eases the problem of fridge sharing because if the fridge is full of fresh groceries, you always have a backup for those midnight snacks.  

Ultimately, solving the issues presented when fridge sharing comes down to communication. Talk to your roommate about the small annoyances to fix them together; it's more than likely they have a couple of irritations themselves about you. Breaking the ice, especially if this is the first few months you and your roommate live together, is key to creating a blossoming friendship.

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of SwampRentals.com or any of our advertising partners.