10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Clean.
A mess in the kitchen can be demoralizing. I can’t cook in a dirty kitchen, and having to clean it up before I can even get started drains my energy. So the kitchen needs to stay in a basic and general state of cleanliness and order. As the hardest-working room in the house, and the place where the messiest messes are often made, this is a feat that’s best accomplished with some principles that are kept firmly in place.
Here are some of the best ways to keep your kitchen in perpetual tip-top shape.
1. Clean as you go.
The concept of cleaning as you go is fundamental to maintaining a clean kitchen. It means that you clean up as you’re cooking or using the kitchen. Examples of this idea in action include wiping up spills on the counter right away, putting ingredients back when you’re done with them, and washing dirty dishes while dinner is in the oven.
2. Never set dirty utensils on the counter.
Don’t create unnecessary messes! Grab a piece of paper towel, a rag, or even a small dish to set down your soup-stirring spoon or the serving fork you used to dish out the leftovers you’re microwaving. A spoon rest that’s always out is also a great option.
3. Do a nightly counter sweep.
Paper and other clutter tends to collect on kitchen counters. When it’s left out, it multiplies. Make sure this doesn’t happen by clearing off your counters and putting things where they belong every night as part of your “kitchen shut down” routine.
4. Wash these three tools immediately after using them.
Don’t let cheese graters, strainers, or chef’s knives sit before being cleaned. Cleaning them right away means you won’t have to deal with the arduous task of scrubbing dried-on food from these tricky items.
5. Organize the cabinet beneath your sink.
Having your cleaning tools and products accessible is key to maintaining a pristine kitchen. You probably store a majority of them in the cabinet under your sink. And that’s great — you just need to make sure it’s organized, so that you can easily grab what you need, when you need it.
6. Create kitchen counter zones.
If you designate counter areas for specific tasks, you prevent all the counters from getting dirty when you’re working in the kitchen. For instance, if you bake only in the corner where your stand mixer lives, you know you only have to wipe down that counter (and the area around the sink) when you’re done whipping up your muffins.
7. Run the dishwasher before it’s too full.
Chances are, you need to run your dishwasher more often than you think you do. If you put it off too long, and you can’t fit anything else in it, it no longer becomes useful and then dirty dishes have to sit (or get hand-washed!). Try to get in the habit of running it every night after dinner.
8. And empty it right away.
If you run the dishwasher at night, you can unload in the morning while you wait for the coffee to brew. This way, you start the day with an empty dishwasher that can be loaded as dishes get dirtied.
9. Strive for an always-empty sink.
It’s subconscious, but even one dirty fork in the sink makes it easier to stack your dirty bowl in there rather than sticking it in the dishwasher or washing it right away. Messes beget messes. But the opposite is also true. An empty sink is more likely to stay that way. Get in the habit of keeping an empty sink (and ask your family members if they could join your efforts).
10. Vacuum, sweep, or Swiffer nightly.
Kitchen floors can get dirty real fast if they aren’t maintained. Add a nightly vacuum or quick sweep to your routine to keep floors from ever getting too bad — and to keep from tracking kitchen crumbs throughout the house.