The kitchen: It’s one of the most frequently used rooms in the house and thus, of course, also one of the most messy. Sometimes keeping it spotless can seem like a pipe dream, its use is so frequent, but in reality, there are just a few very simple ways to keep a clean kitchen, and while they take up about twenty minutes total a day, they save you from ever having to do one of those time-consuming deep-cleans ever again. (Who wouldn’t make that tradeoff?)
If you want more tips like these on simple ways to keep your home clean every day, check out this blog post!
Start with a list of daily chores.
The very first thing you need to do on your journey to a perpetually clean kitchen is to establish a list of daily chores. This is actually very simple, short list:
- Make sure all the dishes are done or in the dishwasher, and all clean dishes are put away. (Don’t leave anything in the sink!)
- Put away all ingredients, appliances, or other things that you used that day that don’t normally live on your counter.
- Wipe down the counters, either with a cleaning solution or plain soap and water on a damp rag.
- Sweep the floor.
Simple, right? That’s only four things! Now, here comes the part where you make sure you never have to spend an entire day cleaning your kitchen ever again: Each day, you add one task from this list by Sarah Rae Smith for the blog Kitchn. Each day, on top of your daily, small clean kitchen tasks, you do one big one, like mopping the floors, wiping down the windows, or cleaning out the fridge.
(Note: Sarah’s list has the tasks written in a very particular order, but the order doesn’t really matter. Save big tasks for a day when you have time, and leave smaller, easier ones for days when you’re a little rushed.)
Be choosy about what lives on your counters.
It can be tempting to leave all of your appliances on the counter for easy use, but if you use them less than once a week, I advise finding them a new home in one of your cabinets, or even on top of the fridge. You’ll be amazed what extra space will do for your cooking prep, and wiping down the counters every day becomes much easier if you don’t have to move so many things off of them first.
When you cook, start with a clean kitchen.
When you start with a clean kitchen, you have a clear head and a clear workspace for your cooking, which is already great. Couple that with the fact that this makes cleanup after you create your culinary masterpiece so much easier, and you’ve got a recipe for success. (This will become easier and easier over time, as you develop all the great daily habits we discussed earlier.)
Clean as you go when preparing food.
If you have downtime when you’re working, you should use that time and all the momentum you have to clean up the kitchen. Chances are, when you’re done working you’ll want to sit and take a break, but since you’re already in Work Mode while you’re cooking, it’s much easier to just keep going.
For example: If you’re baking cookies, don’t sit down for ten minutes while you wait for the first couple dozen to bake: Rinse off all your measuring cups and spoons, and all the utensils you used for mixing. While the second batch is in the oven, clean out the mixing bowl.
Additionally, keep a bowl for scraps nearby.
It seems simple, but believe me, it’s life-changing. Going back and forth to the garbage can while you work is annoying, and more often than not it doesn’t end up happening. Instead, we leave wrappers and packaging all over our counters while we work, and we leave food scraps on the edges of our cutting boards. Both of these things take up valuable workspace. Instead, have one bowl for garbage and one for food scraps set off to the side. This maximizes your workspace, and minimizes cleanup effort later!