7 Tips For Cleaning Your Kitchen As You Go
Does this sound like you? You’ve just got dinner started and now it’s on to dessert. There’s about a square foot of counter space left to even begin and so it’s full steam ahead. Then you sit down to dinner and when done you think wow that was nice only to take the dishes to the kitchen where it now looks like someone has removed each and every dish from your cupboards and put them on the counter, on the stove or in the sink…UGH!
I used to cook this way and always dreaded returning to the kitchen to clean it after our meal was done. Adopting the “clean as you go” approach to cooking has been fabulous. Here are some tips to keep in mind tonight as you cook your family’s meal.
Clean as you go
1. A bowl for waste. This is my favorite clean as you go tip. Set a large empty bowl on the counter near your prep area and use it for all garbage. As you peel potatoes or carrots put the peels right in the bowl. As you chop onions or celery put the end bits in the bowl. Paper towel, plastic produce bags–all in the bowl. If you compost consider 2 bowls one for regular waste and another for organic waste. When you’re done take the bowl to the bin or compost pile and voila!
2. Warm soapy water. Fill your sink with warm soapy water. As you finish using something, a knife or measuring spoon for example, wash it immediately. Leave it on a drip tray to dry or on a clean tea towel. This way if you need another knife you don’t need to reach in the drawer and dirty another one, it’s already out and ready to go.
3. Dishwasher. If you have the luxury of a dishwasher, start your cooking expedition by making sure it’s clear of clean dishes. If you don’t have little ones about, leave the door down during prep and as you’re done with an item pop it directly in the dishwasher. As soon as it’s full and can’t take any more start it up. Done.
4. Wipe down. Use a damp soapy cloth to wipe down your work area periodically. Wipe up spills, crumbs and other bits and pieces so you stay on top of it. This is particularly important after you’ve been working with meat. Prevent contamination and possible food poisoning by cleaning the counter, cutting boards and utensils well after handling meat.
5. Shine your sink. This is a great habit to get into. If you are at all familiar with Flylady you’ll know that this is the first household chore you will do and the one you will return to daily! Cleaning as you go in the kitchen helps you get to shining your sink without dreading it or thinking…”Oh I’ll just do it tomorrow”. Don’t procrastinate on this one, do it! When I wake up in the morning if I have a shiny sparkling sink I feel great!
6. Sweep. As food bounces, rolls or squirts onto the floor pick it up immediately–don’t think “oh I’ll get that later”. Inevitably you end up stepping on it, squashing it into the floor and your sock. Pick it up as soon as you notice it and wipe up any spills immediately so they don’t have time to dry and become really difficult to clean up.
7. Purge the fridge. As you’re cooking and you reach into the fridge have a quick look around for anything you know has been in there a while or you think might be past due. Take action throw it out. Also have a quick look for crumbs or spills and do a bit of a spot clean. If you do this everytime you open your fridge when it comes to doing a thorough clean next month it’ll go a lot quicker!
So next time you’re in the kitchen prepping a meal and you’re waiting for the water to boil do something that gets you a little closer to the clean kitchen state you started with. I’m a sucker for new ideas on cleaning as you go in the kitchen so if you have any other tips please share! Happy cooking!
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Photo courtesy of: chotda