It is a hard task, I know. My kitchen is the most used room in the house and it’s the hardest to keep clean. Keeping your kitchen clean while you cook doesn’t have to be difficult. It is so much easier to clean while the mess is fresh.
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Here are some tips to help you keep your kitchen clean while you cook:
Start with a clean kitchen- Empty the dishwasher, clean the sink, clean the stove, clear and wash counters, and empty the trash, if necessary, before you begin. You will have more room to work and it will be easier to keep clean.
Keep your kitchen organized- Pantry, refrigerator, cabinets, etc. Have a place for everything and put everything in its place.
Think ahead- Read your recipe ahead of time and have a plan of action. Use fewer dishes by combining jobs: rinse knives, bowls, and other utensils and use them again. Put things away or gather like things together (e.g. refrigerator items, pantry items, spice rack items, dishes) as soon as you are finished using them.
Prep ahead of Time- Keep pre-made spice mixes, cut up meat, chop vegetables. Keep staples in easy to access containers.
Gather your waste in one place- Keep trash, recycling, and compost together and throw it away as you go along. I keep the trashcan nearby and my compost crock on the counter and toss my waste as I go.
Clean up as you cook– Wipe up spills as soon as they happen so you don’t end up with a sticky, stinky mess. It’s so much easier to wipe up a fresh mess now than to scrub off a crusty one later.
Wash as you go- Wash pots, pans, utensils, bowls, plates, knives, etc. when you get a break while waiting for something to simmer, pasta to boil or a roast to cook.
Change your attitude toward cleaning up- Pretend you are in your friend’s kitchen and you need to clean it up before you leave. Don’t think of it as “someone else’s job.” A clean kitchen is lovely to look at and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Cook together- Cook with a friend or family member, and have a Prep-Cook. Having a cooking buddy makes cooking fun and clean-up easier; it just does.
Make a Kitchen Cleaning Checklist- If it helps, make a kitchen clean-up check list and check off tasks as you go. Let’s face it, checking things off a list makes you feel good.
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