I just love walking in the door after a long day’s work to a clean kitchen. Imagine it. The counter tops are clutter free. There are no dirty dishes anywhere. You can hang up your coat and get busy preparing the evening meal with a beautifully clear work-space. And, after dinner, it is so easy to clean up because you have been rinsing the cookware, utensils and dinner dishes – putting them into the dishwasher – as you go. Perfect!
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So, why has it been so seldom that I have enjoyed that scenario? Most of the time, keeping the kitchen really clean has been a daunting task. For instance, I would go to the grocery store, only to bring bags of groceries home to cluttered counters. By the time I got the groceries out of the car and into the house, it was almost time to cook. I would do my best to put them away but there was always something that has no where to be! So the cluttered counter gained a little more clutter with some of my groceries having no place to put them. And there were still unwashed dishes in the sink and a full dishwasher. Who can work in that? Well, I did but I was really tired of it.
That is when I made the best discovery that IS working for me. It is all about planning. I have changed my dinner making process. Now, 30 minutes BEFORE the time that I would actually start cooking, I clean my kitchen. Yes, I added “clean the kitchen” to the FRONT of the operation. It looks something like this:
Timeline For Keeping The Kitchen Clean Every Day*
*Whatever time you serve dinner, just add a 30 minute kitchen prep [cleanup] time before you START to cook!
3:00 pm – clear and clean kitchen counters, put away clean dishes from dishwasher. If there are any, load dirty dishes into the dishwasher.
3:30 pm – prepare dinner [cooking and setting the table] and rinse pans and utensils as you go. Put them into the dishwasher, as well.
4:30 pm – dinner is on the table. Eat dinner.
5:00 pm – clear table and put the dinner dishes in the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher.
It is up to you when this load of dishes will be emptied and put away. I usually put a few things away, as the evening goes on, each time I that I am in the kitchen. By bedtime, the clean dishes are all put away.
Does this happen to you? My dishwasher does NOT DRY the dishes. Oh, it isn’t broken. It is one of those energy-savers that runs forever and pools of water are still left on top of the glassware when it is finished. Ugh! I use a drying mat on the counter to let those wet glasses dry before putting them in the cupboard. But it is frustrating!
Have you found a way to keep your kitchen clean all the time? Share your tips with us!