If you have kids, you may find it almost impossible to have a neat and clean kitchen. Mealtime seems to come round so fast and before you have had the chance to clean up, there is a new mess you need to attend to. I have found myself in this situation and I decided to employ certain measures to keep my kitchen neat and clean which I will share here. I will have to admit that it is not easy, but it is possible and I think I have a neat and clean kitchen that I can be proud of.
Get rid of clutter on the worktops
One of the biggest enemies of a neat kitchen is clutter. There are so many things that just do not need to be on the worktops but you will find them there. Your sunglasses, a kid’s toy, the mail that came in yesterday, a magazine you were reading before the phone rang and so on. Such things need to be put away, in their right place. Clutter makes it seem like the task of cleaning up is much harder than it really is so always put things where they need to be and have only the essentials on the boards.
Clean out the fridge before you go grocery shopping
I find that there is a lot that has to be thrown out of the fridge but sometimes it just doesn’t. Empty milk cartons, rotten tomatoes, leftover food that can no longer be eaten and so on. So many of these things are just going to take up space when the new groceries arrive because you may not have the time to clean up the fridge and then put the new and fresh things in there. My solution is to clean out the fridge before the groceries arrive so that it is a lot easier to empty the grocery bag instead of leaving it sitting on the board and creating clutter.
Wash as you cook
I have recently gotten into the habit of washing as I cook and I would strongly recommend this to everyone. As you cook, there are usually moments when you have nothing to do and sometimes you may take the time to sip some wine or to sit down and watch something on the TV. I will not claim not to do that at times, but before I do that I take the time to wash up the different things I have used like chopping boards, spoons, measuring cups and so on. By doing this, I will ensure that after the meal, there are fewer things to wash and the kitchen is less crowded when I am serving the meals. Washing as you cook also gives you a kitchen with more space to work in and the sink will have fewer dishes so collecting water to add to the meal is a lot easier.
Empty the dishwasher after a cycle
It is very tempting to turn on the dishwasher and then forget about it even after it has finished the washing cycle. This is not a very smart idea, emptying the washer after a cycle is a better way to go since it means the washer will be clear for more dirty dishes after meals. The people in your home are more likely to leave dirty dishes on the boards and in the sink if the dishwasher is full after they have finished meals so try to ensure that it is empty and instruct them to place their dishes in there after the meal is done.
Have a bin nearby
I always ensure the bin is strategically placed near the board where I do most of the chopping and peeling because that way it is a lot easier to throw peels straight away into this bin instead of leaving them lying on the board creating a mess that could have been easily dealt with. But it is also important that the bin is emptied periodically so that there is never a time when you want to throw stuff in there and it is full.
Treat spills with urgency
As you cook or even serve food, spills are always likely to occur, it is best to attend to them as soon as possible. Do not allow a spill to dry up because it will only become a stain that it harder to clean. Have some wipes handy in your kitchen so that once there is a spill on the boards, you can wipe it off. You should also instruct everyone in the home to do the same as long as they are old enough to serve themselves drinks. Spills on the floor too should be treated with urgency or they can also become stains or worse, you could slip and fall.
Have the right vacuum cleaner handy
Most kitchens are hard floors so I recommend finding a vacuum that will work well on the particular floor type you have. I have tiles in my kitchen so I had to buy a vacuum for tile floors that is really helpful. Having the right vacuum handy means you can easily pick it up and get rid of any mess on the floors. You do not need to wait for the time when you are vacuuming the entire house in order to vacuum a mess in your kitchen. I have also had to ensure that the socket that I use it on is always free so that no time is wasted unplugging other appliances to plug in the vacuum. But remember it should be the right vacuum for the type of floor you have.
Once again though I will mention that when you have kids, it is always going to be hard to have a completely neat and clean kitchen as they will always come in to eat and they may forget your instructions about cleaning up after themselves. This, however, does not mean you should give up. The best thing is never to wait for dirt and dishes to pile up before you do some cleaning. Personally, at the end of the day I do a quick clean of the kitchen before I go to bed so that I do not have to wake up to a dirty kitchen.
Carol has a passion for all things clean, neat, and tidy. When she is not maintaining her home, she writes for VacuumKoo.com, a resource website on vacuuming.