Today I want to share 11 ways to clean, organize and maintain a tidy kitchen. I know January is a big month for “all things organization” but if you’ve gotten out of some of your routines after a relaxing summer, now, is a great time to get back on track.
The start of the fall season and the kids going back to school always feels like the perfect time to recommit to the things that are important to you and your family. Things like clearing out clutter, establishing new routines, getting back into the old routines that worked, revisiting cleaning checklists and slowly preparing for the upcoming holidays. These tips can not only help you make the transition from summer to fall but will also help you to maintain a tidy kitchen into the busy holiday season as well. Here’s a look at 11 ways to clean, organize and maintain your kitchen…
Organize Your Kitchen into Zones – A few years ago we organized our kitchen into zones and it made a huge difference in the way the kitchen functions. It took a few days to get used to everything being in a different place but having all the pots and pans near the stove, the glasses next to the refrigerator where the drinks and ice are, the garbage bags in the drawer next to the garbage cans, the eating utensils and dishes next to the dishwasher, and all the baking supplies and accessories in the kitchen island by the stand mixer not only saved us time but also made our entire kitchen more efficient.
Before you start pulling everything out of the cabinets take a step back and really think about how your kitchen functions. Taking just a few minutes to map out a plan on how you can streamline your meal prep, cooking and cleaning process will go a long way in helping to bring order to the heart of your home.
Use Baskets, Clear Containers and Labels to Keep the Pantry & Refrigerator Tidy – I’m excited to say both our pantry and our refrigerator have been tidy like this for YEARS. The baskets and clear containers were an investment at first but in the end having an organized pantry and refrigerator made the investment worth it every single day.
We know exactly what we have which makes meal prep easier, we can immediately tell what we’re running low on which makes meal planning easier and groceries are a cinch to put away because each item has a designated home.
Declutter & Use Dividers to Keep Kitchen Drawers Organized – It can be tough sometimes to keep kitchen drawers organized because utensils and gadgets come in so many different shapes and sizes. Declutter the drawers by purging/donating the utensils/gadgets you haven’t used in 6 months. Then gather and organize the items you use on a regular basis by placing like items together in each drawer.
Spice Up Your Spice Drawer – Spice drawers are one of the easiest places in the kitchen to organize. You just need a few containers which can easily be found at the dollar store, pretty labels which you can purchase or make at home and some time to sort through and throw away any spices that have expired.
Clean as You go – Use a compost and/or garbage bowl when you’re making dinner. Place a big bowl (or two) on the counter while you’re cooking and throw all your trash or scraps (obviously you will not be mixing the trash and scraps together if you compost) in the bowl. This will save you trips to the garbage and will also help minimize the kitchen mess too.
Don’t wait until you’ve finished cooking to clean everything at once. Clean as you go and save time!
Empty the Dishwasher Every Morning – One of the very first things I do every morning is to put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher. This simple step keeps the dishes from piling up in the sink throughout the day.
It also means your sink will be empty when you get home and you’ll be ready to handle the dishes that come with making dinner. Use this tip on how to clean the dishwasher every other month from Farmhouse 1820 if your dishwasher would use a little freshening up too.
Empty & Scrub the Sink Every Night – Do yourself a huge favor and wash your dirty dishes every single night either by hand or by placing them in the dishwasher.
I know you’re tired after dinner, you’re probably fighting the kids to take a bath, you still have to pack lunches and your dogs need a long walk before you go to sleep, I totally get it. Emptying the sink before you go to bed every.single.night will ensure you wake up to a clean and tidy kitchen the next morning.
I’m totally obsessed with this Lemongrass & Lavender Sink Scrub. It makes the entire kitchen smell so good. It also makes the sink shiny, which feels like giving your kitchen a high five each night.
Take Care of Spills in the Microwave Immediately – Spills in the microwave are a common occurrence around here and thankfully they can be easily cleaned up as soon as the messes happen.
I know there’s not always time to get spills immediately though so if you find you have a mess in the microwave fill a large Pyrex measuring cup or small bowl with water and sliced lemons. Then turn the microwave on for 4 minutes or until the water is boiling. Do not touch the boiling water as it will be hot and will burn. Instead, start cleaning other things in the kitchen, let the steam sit for about 15 minutes and then wipe the microwave clean.
Make Countertop Spray, Dishwashing Liquid & Hand Soap Easily Accessible – We go between using this granite countertop cleaner and the Windex Vinegar Multipurpose Spray and so far, we love them both. Keeping a vintage tool caddy or even a basket next to the sink with all your daily supplies will help to keep them at the ready without cluttering your kitchen counters.
In this caddy you’ll find hand soap, dishwashing liquid, countertop spray, cleaning brushes, cleaning cloths, gardener’s scrub and monogrammed a ring dish.
Those are things we use every day but you use different items if you like. That’s the great part about creating a countertop cleaning caddy like this – it’s completely customizable based on your needs.
Tackle Fingerprints on Stainless Steel – We have all stainless-steel appliances and fingerprints seem to show up with each use. I generally use a mix plain distilled white vinegar to clean the fingerprints off, followed by a small amount of coconut oil to polish the stainless steel about once a week.
Find the Right Stovetop Cleaner – The ladies at 2 Bees in a Pod turned me on to this stovetop cleaner and I’ve been using it ever since. I like the recipe uses natural ingredients and the lemon makes it smell fresh.
If the burned bits are really bad, I add one cup of hot water to the mix, a teaspoon of mild dish detergent and allow the mixture to sit about 20 minutes before wiping clean.
I hope these tips have helped! Some of these things you’ll probably be able to do in less than 10 minutes but there are other tips on this list that will take thoughtful planning. It may seem like a lot of work or possibly even a bit overwhelming but I promise it can be done. Once you have a solid system in place it just takes a few minutes each week to maintain and that’s definitely something worth celebrating.Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.