Keeping your kitchen tidy and clean can be a constant challenge! Here are 5 tips to keeping a clean kitchen that will help you and your kitchen stay organized and beautiful.
If you were to stop by my home without the courtesy of a 10 minute warning text, you would probably be greeted with a mess everywhere EXCEPT the kitchen. The kitchen will be clean! I have a pretty high tolerance for mess and clutter in other areas of the house–but not in the kitchen. For some reason as long as my kitchen is tidy, and my bed is made, I feel superficially good about the rest of the house being a mess and therefore feel superficially good about myself! 😉 I think my intolerance for a messy kitchen stems from my sensory issues. I can think of few things I like less than reaching into a sink filled with slimy, cold, filthy dishes. Nope, nope, nope! Here are 5 easy tips on how I keep our kitchen clean and tidy every day.
Clean Kitchen Tip 1: Train kids to load and unload the dishwasher.
Kitchens can get completely gross and out of control if left unattended for even a day. And somehow that one dirty bowl on the counter or sink seems to be an invitation to the entire family that dish anarchy is now tolerated and encouraged. Don’t allow it! If your kids are ages 5 and up, then they are old enough to help you load and unload the dishwasher. Younger kiddos will need strict supervision and help in handling dishes, but do yourself a favor and be patient with them. Teaching them now that they are responsible for their dishes will pay dividends as they get older! Young children can easily put away tupperware and non-sharp silverware. My boys are currently 8 and 11 and can independently load and unload the dishwasher. We keep a small step stool in the kitchen which allows my boys to easily put away all dishes.
Clean Kitchen Tip 2: Keep kitchen cleaning supplies visible and accessible.
On my counter, I keep a kitchen rag, paper towels, kitchen scrubber, dish soap, spray bottle of diluted rubbing alcohol, and hand soap. All of the tools to keep the counters, dishes, and hands clean and tidy are always available!
Corralling everyday kitchen cleaning items on a plate will help keep them organized. I use the diluted rubbing alcohol to keep my granite and stove clean and sparkly. The hand soap is Softsoap Kitchen Citrus Bliss and smells heavenly. A few months ago, I did a fun video and review for Softsoap on the blog and that got me hooked on their soaps. If it smells good and feels good, chances are kids will remember to clean their hands more frequently!
Clean Kitchen Tip 3: Keep needed kitchen items easily accessible yet hidden in pretty containers.
There are no “decorative” baskets in my kitchen. All of the baskets and urns you see in this picture are currently hiding items I use. The 1, 2, 3 baskets on top of the cabinets are filled with items I use infrequently for entertaining or holidays–such as tiered trays and Christmas cookie containers.
Keeping supplements in separate, designated bins is a fantastic way to cut clutter! The two white baskets on the open shelves are jam-packed with supplements, essential oils, and medicines that I use everyday. The basket on the left is mine and the one on the right is my husband’s. The boys’ supplements are stored in a bin in the pantry. Matt & I get these baskets down several times a day and everything we need is so convenient! You can see that my basket is rather full and jumbled, but I know where everything is and love that I don’t have to sort through everyone else’s products to find what I’m looking for.
The decorative white urns in the beverage center are filled with tea, sugar, and k-cups. The extra k-cups and tea bags are stored in the cupboard above. Even though the boxes of k-cups are right above the maker, boxes of k-cups kept ending up on the counter. I found that having a place directly on the counter for the tea bags and coffee helped keep the counter tidy! I just refill them when they get low with k-cups and tea bags from above. (If you’re looking for more creative ways to store your k-cups, you will enjoy this post: Creative K-cup Organizers.)
Clean Kitchen Tip 4: Organize your kitchen with work stations in mind.
Every item in your kitchen should have a permanent home and everyone in the family should be oriented to where this home is located. If your kitchen is out of control most of the time, then chances are good you haven’t assigned a home to all of your items. An “anything goes” approach to kitchen storage will keep you feeling out of control and people will gravitate towards keeping things on the counter simply so they know where things are located. When you organize your cabinets and shelves, keep your kitchen flow in mind. You want to set up work stations so that things are easily accessible.
For example, to the left of my sink, I have our beverage station. All of the tea, hot chocolate, coffee, and protein powder is located in this corner. Mugs, water bottles, smoothie cups, and to-go coffee containers are in the cabinets above the appliances.
To the right of my sink are all of the water glasses, cereal bowls, and fruit/ice cream bowls. The kids use these shelves the most frequently and can easily reach what they need. The top drawer next to the dishwasher contains knives. I can grab a cutting board and a knife in just a few seconds to slice a lemon when needed. The kitchen island is used for most food prep while the bar/peninsula is used for eating. The stove is on the opposite wall next to the refrigerator and all of the pots, pans, flippers, spatulas, and spices are located on this wall. Everything has it’s place and every work station is fairly self-contained–which makes keeping it tidy and clean so much easier!
Clean Kitchen Tip 5: Clean as you go–all day.
Life for all of us is so busy. Getting to work and/or getting the kids off to school every morning combined with trying to get dinner on the table every night can be stressful! It is easier to just plop all the dishes in the sink and worry about them at the end of the day before you go to bed. And if this works for you and your family, go for it! Some sinks are so deep that they hide a multitude of sins and give you an illusion of clean and tidy. 🙂 But if you want a mostly clean kitchen, most of the time, the easiest way to achieve this is to train everyone in the family to clean as you go after every meal. It takes about 15 more seconds to place the dish in the dishwasher as opposed to the sink. Train everyone to do this and your counters AND your sink will stay tidy!
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like my other kitchen-related posts below.