It’s that time of the evening when you have just finished dinner and wanting to relax, but the kitchen is filled with dirty dishes that need cleaning. Do you clean them after dinner, before you go to bed or the next day? We each have our own preference. When the kids were babies I used to do them the next day as I was just so tired after dinner. Now I prefer to do the dishes directly after dinner as I like waking up to a clean kitchen and if I left it any later I know I would have the ‘I can’t feel bothered’ feeling, so for me the best time is as soon as we finish dinner.
I find if I start the day with a messy kitchen, I am starting the day with a messy mindset. Below I have shared my 9 easy steps to maintain a clean kitchen, this may help you to create a new routine to control the mess in your kitchen.
9 easy steps to maintain a clean kitchen
I mentioned above that I prefer to wake up to a clean kitchen, it’s because I am a messy cook and when I make dinner I use every pan and bit of bench space available. You can see why waking up to this mess would drive me a little crazy, no room to make breakfast or prepare lunches.
This is how I maintain a clean kitchen:
- I only do the dishes once a day. Life is too short to be washing dishes more than that, I have better things to do. I don’t mind dirty dishes piling up in the sink through the day, waiting for the evening clean. I do however, pack the dishwasher through the day as dishes are used.
- Straight after dinner I start cleaning the dirty dishes. I wash all pots, pans, cutting boards, Tupperware, lunch boxes and drink bottles. Then place remaining dishes such as crockery, cutlery, cups etc into the dishwasher. I do place casserole dishes in there too if there is room, read more about packing dishwasher here.
- Clear away the clutter left on the kitchen bench. Your bench will not look tidy until all clutter is removed. I have a basket where I place all the clutter like kids toys, books, paper…stuff they leave around the house. The kids clear the basket each night and put their belongings away. I don’t put it away as they need to take responsibility for their own things.
- Wipe over the bench using homemade all purpose cleaner, clean the dining table and every day or second day wipe over stools removing any spills of foods.
- Empty sink. Squirt all purpose cleaner onto sponge and wipe over the sink to make it sparkle clean!
- Turn on dishwasher. Every few days I place all sponges into the dishwasher, this is to clean and disinfect the sponge.
- I don’t dry dishes. I allow them to drip dry overnight and then I put them away in the morning when I am waiting for the kettle to boil for my morning cuppa.
- The kids unpack the dishwasher the next day. They have unpacked the dishwasher since the year they started school, it’s good for them to take responsibility and help around the house.
- Then I place all breakfast and lunch prep items into the empty dishwasher and wipe over kitchen bench.
All done! It only takes 15 minutes in the evening to tidy up after dinner, then I can rest and relax for the remainder of the evening.
A cleaning checklist which includes daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual tasks. This checklist will help you remember cleaning tasks and create a routine to suit the time you have available.
How to clean the Dishwasher
Our dishwasher is used once a day. It usually cleans our breakfast dishes, dinner plates, cups, mugs and cutlery. With all this there isn’t enough room for anything else. However after time the dishwasher itself gets a little grotty and needs a good clean. READ HOW TO HERE.
Tasks to do Chart
My kids have been helping around the house for years. It first started because they wanted to help me unpack the dishwasher and set the table, then there was fighting about who was going to help (lol, I wish that was the case now). So I created a responsibility chart to stop the squabbling and I really enjoyed the kids taking responsibility and helping me around the home.
I write down the tasks, then in the circle I put one of my kids initials under each day of the week. So the tasks are spread out amongst each of the kids. CHART AVAILABLE HERE IN RANGE OF SIZES AND COLOURS.
CREATE A NEW HABIT AND ROUTINE FOR YOURSELF
Make your benches and sink sparkle EVERY NIGHT before you go to bed so you rise to a beautiful clean kitchen, your day will be so much better for it.
This post was originally published 24th August 2010, it has since been updated and republished.