1. Keep it minimal.
A few years ago, my counters were lined end to end with appliances, jars, utensils, etc. I was perfectly content with that, and felt that my kitchen was tidy.
Someone commented on my blog mentioning that I had SO much stuff on my counters. I didn’t think much of it because I liked my stuff displayed and within easy reach. Then I read an article about how it’s much better to put everything away in a cupboard so your counters are completely clear. That sounded extreme to me. Besides, there was NO way I could fit everything on my counters into my cupboards.
But then I tried it. And it was heavenly.
Without a bunch of junk cluttering up your counters, you have so much more room for prep work. Plus you’re more motivated to actually wipe down your counters if you don’t have to move everything first. And if anything is out of place, it’s super obvious.
I know this isn’t for everyone, but the more things you can put away in your cupboards, the better. If you don’t have room in your cupboards, throw out, donate, or sell things that you never use.
I personally like to keep out appliances that we use every day (for example, we usually use our blender 1-2 times a day), or ones that are so heavy that it would be a major pain to haul out when I need it (like my stand mixer). I also like to keep my cooking utensils (spatulas, whisks, spoons, tongs, etc.) out on my counter because there just isn’t a good spot for them in my cupboards.
Find what works for you!
2. Start with a clean kitchen/clean while you wait.
If at all possible, don’t start cooking until your kitchen is relatively clean. If you start cooking and your kitchen is already a disaster, you’ll just get depressed and throw up your hands in despair after cooking a meal.
If you start with a clean slate, you’ll be more motivated to keep it clean. If you find yourself with some free time in the kitchen, use it wisely! For example, if you’re waiting for a pot of water to come to a boil, instead of standing around, do a bit of cleaning. Start unloading the dishwasher. Put away cooking utensils that you’re done using. Wipe down the counters. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done during the in-between times of cooking.
3. Have a compost/trash bowl.
Instead of throwing your food scraps onto the counter, it’s much more efficient to place them in a dedicated compost bowl. This way you don’t have to wipe up the food juice, and you can quickly dump the scraps all at once. You can even peel carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, etc. directly into the bowl to save time.
4. A place for everything.
Have a place for everything, and everyth–you know what I mean! Instead of having things scattered here and there about your kitchen, it’s much better to have similar things all in one spot. For example, I have a large plate on which I keep all of my non-refrigerated fruit. I also like to keep all of my cooking utensils on one end of my kitchen. That gives me a long expanse of counter with nothing on it. Glorious!
5. Have set days and times for doing things.
I have found that forgetfulness is one of my main reasons for not getting certain chores done. When you have set days for doing certain things, it’s much easier to actually remember to do them!
For example, my stove used to get so grimy because I never remembered to wipe it down. Now that I have a set day for doing it, it’s much more likely to get done. I don’t always get to it on exactly the right day, but just knowing that it needs to be done once a week really helps.
You can also have certain times of the day for specific chores. For example, I like to unload the dishwasher after breakfast. That way, it’s ready to be filled throughout the day. And I like to wash dishes right after supper whenever possible. Then I can wake up to a clean kitchen!
-The Pioneer Woman.