A blog about spending wisely in your twenties, with advice on everything from cooking to saving money on gas; how to teach yourself to save money instead of spending it, traveling without breaking the bank, and much more.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Where Even Roaches Fear to Tread

Here's a bit of advice you won't find in too many finance blogs; What do you do when the kitchen in your communal apartment (or house) is far too filthy to cook in? I consider myself very lucky- our kitchen is so huge that even when the dishes pile up a bit, there's still room to make dinner. And even when the dishes pile up, you'll never find actual food still stuck to them. But we're in the very lucky minority. Most twentysomethings living in apartments (or houses) with more than one roommate have kitchens a Hazmat team would balk at, and it's not just about who left their plate & spoon in the sink for a week.

Four week old leftovers rotting in the fridge. Some of the dirtiest stovetops known to man. Pots and pans and baking sheets that would be better suited to a scrap metal shop (or a landfill). The list goes on. Not to mention the fact that most apartment kitchens are more like the tiny galleys you might find on a submarine. And just as amazingly, it's never anyone's fault, even though the filthiness of communal kitchens is generally everyone's fault, whether they realize it or not.

So what do you do? Grumble to yourself a bit, and then clean it yourself. The half hour to hour a week you'll spend cleaning your kitchen is worth it. If you spend an hour a week cleaning your kitchen so that you can prepare meals in advance, you won't have to go out and drop $5-$10 (or more) every time you walk into the kitchen and sigh at the filth. Just pull out the pasta you made on Tuesday while the kitchen was clean for 24 hours, warm it up, and wash your spoon and bowl when you're done.

One hour of your time to clean up a mess that is at least partially yours is certainly worth not spending $40 or more a week on fast food. Right? Cleaning up after someone else might suck (and most of us have been on both sides of this equation, I think), but in the long run isn't your financial bottom line more important than the injustice of washing out your roommate's girlfriend's cereal bowl?


Brendan K. said...

That's a really thoughtful, useful tip. I'm really impressed by how well written and updated this blog has been, and my girlfriend is all over it too. Good job!

Mandy said...

An hour a week. Lord, I WISH! I spend an hour every morning cleaning, and then an additional half hour BEFORE dinner at night.