Getting an all-company email that there is free cake in the kitchen is great; not so much when the email is asking for your help in keeping your office kitchen clean. The office kitchen, otherwise known as that no-man’s land, is a strange corner of your office that belongs to everyone and yet no one. But if nobody cleans it regularly, messes often wait until the weekly cleaning crew visits.
You may enjoy a pretty clean kitchen if you have a small staff, but offices with larger staff may commonly find dirty dishes and counters. Perhaps some spoiled food in the fridge? Maybe some unsightly countertop appliances? Leftover party cake on the counter…from three days ago? Sharing a kitchen can quickly become a chore that no one wants. Here are some ways to keep your kitchen in shape and develop some good kitchen etiquette.
First and foremost, help keep your office kitchen clean. If you make a mess, clean it up. Offer to help clean up after parties. If something spills in the fridge, grab a paper towel. If your officemates are not doing their fair share, it can feel like you’ve become the office cleaning person. You could try to form a kitchen care club that designates everyone a role or day to tidy up if others are not following your good manners.
Have you ever had your tasty leftovers disappear from the fridge just before your lunch? Perhaps you are tempted by your officemates’ lovely lunches? Labeling can help save everyone time finding a backup lunch or drooling over someone else’s. Put your name on your food and even label community food – like that yummy party cake – so your treat-yourself-Tuesday soda never disappears again. Labeling including dates also helps to know what food to throw out at the end of the week.
COLD FOOD ONLY
There might not be enough space in your office fridge for EVERYTHING. You can respect this precious real estate by only refrigerating your foods that need to be cold. Throwing your entire lunch bag in the fridge may take up more room than necessary. Cold foods can be in the fridge while foods that don’t need to be refrigerated to keep you from getting sick can live comfortably by your desk.
Remember your treat-yourself-Tuesday soda that disappeared? Everyone in the office should all come to an agreement that no one will take food that is not theirs or marked community. But spending time cleaning your office kitchen, labeling your food and keeping non-perishables at your desk should help deter stealing.