Here are some easy strategies that will help your kitchen clean-up be a breeze.
1. Start with a clean kitchen. If you have cleaned your kitchen the night before, you'll find it much easier to keep it cleaner. Remember that clutter breeds more clutter.
2. Clean up as you go. Run a sink full of warm soapy water before you start cooking. As you finish using each pan and pot, slip it into the soapy water to soak until the meal is complete. Keep a clean dishcloth handy to wipe up any spills as they happen.
3. Use the one-touch method. If you take out a spice, don't set it back on the counter. Pick up the spice, use it, and put it straight back in the cupboard. This tip alone will be a big help to you and you'll have a lot less clutter.
4. Take a minute before you serve the meal to transfer the empty pots and pans to the dishwasher. Just takes a second and it will make clean-up that much easier.
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5. Train your family to put their dishes directly into the dishwasher. I sometimes leave large notes on the counter to remind them not to place their dishes there. Even young children can do this if you take a few minutes to show them how and it will give them a sense of accomplishment.
6. If possible, try to get the whole family involved in the evening tidy-up process. If everyone helps, you can have the kitchen sparkling clean in just a few minutes. It's building good habits for everyone and if you try to make it fun, it can be a nice family time. Feel free to splash a little water on each other, snap your husband with a towel, challenge your kids to see who can wipe their half of the table the fastest. If you make it fun, it will get done!
7. Start the dishwasher immediately after dinner. Then you can empty the dishwasher before bed and the dishwasher will be ready for the next day's dishes. One of the key components to keeping a kitchen clean is to have somewhere to put the dirty dishes throughout the day.