A couple of days ago my housemate told me that she had used my oven tray. Later that same day a friend of mine was complaining that she had resorted to asking one of her housemates to wash up the bowl of hers that he had used. Now while I had no idea that my oven tray had been used, my friend was all too aware that hers had.


I’m not someone who misses the obvious. If something’s out of place or has been used, I would notice. However the reason I didn’t notice while my friend did, was because my tray had been washed up and put back, whilst her bowl had been left on the side in their kitchen.


I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use your housemates cooking or eating utensils. Sometimes you want to cook something and realize you don’t own an oven tray, or a frying pan, or a wok. And sometimes you might have finished cooking and find your bowl is buried under a pile of washing up. It’s perfectly fine to borrow your housemate’s possessions. But ask them first. And if they aren’t around or are in lectures then wash it up and put it back once you have used it.  Then tell them when you next see them.


This is not an unacceptable request. It is simply house etiquette.  Your housemate shouldn’t have to wash up your dirty dishes in order to cook their own food. It’s really not fair. And it’s not that hard to put on some marigolds, turn on a tap, and wash up.


Just remember that you are living with these people for the rest of the year, so you don’t want to get the reputation of being the house slob. And if this has happened to you, don’t be rude about it, just ask them to wash things up in future.


By Laura Howe