Every time I live in a small apartment, my kitchen ends up being messy all the time. What can I do to avoid a dirty kitchen?

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A beautiful kitchen at Arive 850.

Many young people who live in student apartments near Florida State University run into the problem of messy roommates- or messiness in general. Having a messy kitchen can make you feel less at home in your apartment, and can cause problems with flies and other insects. Luckily, keeping a neat kitchen is relatively simple if you remember to follow a few simple rules. 

Prioritize Storage

Every kitchen needs ample storage to ensure tight organization of pots, pans, dishes, and pantry items. If you have an apartment with plenty of built-in storage, make sure to discuss with your roommates where everything belongs. Knowing where to go for any given item can save a lot of hassle in the long term. Unfortunately, not all kitchens have a large enough pantry to hold food for all the occupants in the apartment. If you find yourself in a small kitchen, consider investing in a storage rack to hold your food items. Storage racks can easily blend into any apartment's decor and will ensure better kitchen organization for you and your roommates. For more information on kitchen storage and organization, check out this article for ideas.

Regularly Clean Your Refrigerator

Apartments with refrigerators are vital for anyone who aims to stay long-term in Tallahassee or at FSU. The food that you put in a refrigerator is generally more prone to spoiling than food in your pantry. For this reason, it's easy to forget about unused produce and leave it in the back of your refrigerator for a few weeks. Choosing to regularly clean out any unused food items can prove extremely helpful when aiming to keep a clean kitchen. My roommates and I do a deep clean of ours every other week. This includes taking out old food as well as wiping down all surfaces. This process also helps us to organize things, so we never lose anything or mix up each other's food. 

Always Do Your Dishes

This one may seem a bit obvious, but you'd be surprised to see how quickly your dishes can get away from you. It's best to make a habit of cleaning up all of your dishes after every meal. Leaving dishes in the sink is a habit that festers amongst roommates, and it's usually best to lead by example and do your dishes as soon as you can. With this simple habit in mind, all other pieces of your apartment will fall into place and you will find yourself cooking more often. 

As a former FSU student who lived in multiple student apartments, I know how common it is to simply stay content with a messy kitchen. Alternatively, disputes over kitchen cleanliness can lead to roommate tensions that last for years and can even ruin lifelong friendships. Follow these three simple steps to ensure a clean kitchen, and a happy roommate relationship.

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