Cleaning the kitchen - maintenance

Here are my top tips for cleaning the kitchen in order to maintain a tidy kitchen. If you have missed the information on the yearly / big clean for the kitchen click here.

After both decluttering and organizing our kitchen we need to have a regular cleaning routine in the kitchen to maintain its nice looks.

Cleaning the kitchen - Yearly

Once a year you can take everything out of your cupboards and do a quick wipe and straighten of your cupboards. If things are organised it takes very little time. You can also do this in the time frame of say one week. Breaking it down with 1 cupboard a day, so the task is manageable and in a week you have a very shinny kitchen. For more information on cleaning the kitchen once a year, click here.

Cleaning the kitchen - Monthly

If you maintain the kitchen you can quickly wipe spots, do the stove, the microwave, a quick wipe over the benches and regularly put homeless items away. This all means you will be good to go for several days. Or even better, you might maintain this fantastically clean, decluttered and organized kitchen (which means all your efforts have become a habit). Another benefit is that if you maintain your kitchen, you will not have to do a big yearly clean (although checking for unused items that have developed into clutter, might still be advisable yearly).

Yearly and monthly cleaning is good but easy, fast maintenance on a weekly and daily basis is really the secret to organizing the kitchen (and anything else for that matter).



Cleaning the Kitchen - Weekly

Every week I quickly wipe down dusty and obvious things, I wipe down the finger marks, the top of the stove and it suction device (as it is very prone to dust). A quick wipe of the microwave - I don’t need to tell you the longer you wait the less fun this is to do.

All this won’t take me longer than 15 minutes. I put the timer on to not spend too long on this. Improvement is good, perfection is never ending and exhausting don’t worry about having it perfect.

Weekly I also do the floors of my home including the kitchen.

Cleaning the Kitchen - Daily

Here are some ideas to help you keep your kitchen clear and clutter free on a daily basis, without putting much effort into it (gotta love that ;-)

Wipe as you go

If you see some crumbs or a mark, wipe it as you are doing something else, like making breakfast, coffee or getting a pan for food preparation. It is a great little trick that really makes you feel good instead of seeing those crumbs again and again, you wipe it away there and then. Next time you are in that area you will get a smile on your face as there are no crumbs and nothing to annoy you. There will also not be a thought like: ‘I really need to clean this whole kitchen up’. Which saves incredible energy in the long term, it is amazing how often we have internal dialogs about how we really need to clean this up…..someday…..

The whole process of wipe as you go takes less than 30 seconds.

Put items away while you wait

We wait quite a bit in the kitchen. We wait; for the kettle to boil, our coffee machine to heat up, the microwave to finish or the potatoes to boil. This is hidden time in the kitchen to quickly wipe items, or to put clean items away from the dishwasher whilst your coffee is brewing.  When you put items away while you wait, it in turn means that you don’t have a stack of dirty dishes on the counter as they can now be placed in an empty the dishwasher ready for a new load.

While you wait, you can also run around the house and put homeless items back in their spot. I love this trick as you haven’t allocated time for this, but suddenly your house cleans itself (almost ;-).
Don’t spend too much time on this, you can put a timer for 2, 3 or 5 minutes but you can also use the kitchen as a timing tool.

Examples are;

  • I will undo the dishwasher until the kettle has boiled.
  • I will put items away from the kitchen bench until the rice or potatoes have become.

You will be amazed what you can do in a few minutes.

Hotspots*

* Flylady has termed a tendency in all homes to have messy areas; Hotspots. Hotspots mean that random items gathered from being out and about end up on certain places. These places,  are often flat surfaces and areas close to the entry, which is clearly not the place they belong.  An example of a kitchen bench hotspot could contain; a school note, candy from a birthday party, un emptied lunchboxes etc.  

The idea of clearing hotspots is that we spend very little time putting items away to their appropriate spots.

This means if you do this daily you spend 10 to 14 minutes in one area and it will either dissolve or significantly reduce the messy area in your kitchen.

Have a regular routine for your kitchen

Say in the morning the dishwasher is emptied, no questions asked. You wash up after each meal, you put items away as you finish eating and weekly (e.g. on the Wednesday) you wipe down the kitchen. These are all habits and routines that will really help you keep the kitchen clean and well organized. After practising these routine actions it will be a no-brainer and you feel funny not doing it. 

Cleaning the Kitchen in my place

Like any other household I presume my kitchen goes through ups and downs depending on the amount of socialising we do, as well as how much time we spend in and out of the house. Mostly the kitchen is very good and you can enjoy both preparing as well as eating food in there. It is however a busy area in any household especially with a family.

So don’t be too hard on yourself if it is nice and clean, with very little stray items you are doing well. Perfection is close to impossible in the kitchen as we are using the area so often.

Other topics; Declutter kitchen part 1, part 2, Clean the kitchen

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