How To Keep Your Kitchen Clean & Tidy

I don't know about you, but in recent years I've found the kitchen has increasingly become the heart of the home. When friends or family come to visit they will often follow me into the kitchen to chat whilst I make drinks etc, so it's important to me that this room stays clean, tidy and visitor ready at the very least most of the time. 

Keeping my kitchen this way didn't always come easily, but in recent times I've found a way to maintain it without spending hours tied to a mop and dishcloth! Today I'll be sharing my simple tips and tricks with you on how to keep your kitchen clean and tidy.

DECLUTTER

First of all I highly recommend a big declutter of all those drawers and cupboards. Most of us keep a ton of stuff we simply don't need or even use. How many pots, pans crockery etc you need will of course depend on your lifestyle and the size of your family, but storing items we never use is rather pointless. Our houses are meant to be a home, not a storage facility.

Go through each cupboard and with each item ask yourself:

When did I last use this (if ever!)?

Does this work? (for any small appliances and gadgets etc)

Do I like this?  

How many of these do I need? (If multiples - when I first did this process I had accumulated 8 refillable drinks bottles just for me, far too many!) 

Which items you keep and which you let go is pretty personal, but for those interested in my thought process; if I haven't used something for 6 months (12 months for seasonal items) then I seriously question if I will ever use that item. If something doesn't work then I make a commitment to getting it fixed or I have to let it go. I'm not so minimalist in that I never have multiples of anything in my home (I totally do), but I try to be realistic on how many I will use.

Even if you find there isn't that much you want to part with, take it as an opportunity to do a bit of a spring clean, reorganise or rearrange your cupboards to make the best use of the availabe space. The decluttering process can also be helpful to take stock of how much you have of things like cleaning products. In the past when I'd pop to the supermarket I would often pick up multiples of whatever cleaning product was on offer, only to get home and discover I still had plenty of the same item lurking at the back of the cupboard! Although this will all get used eventually, this takes up valuable space - these days I try to only purchase items I am likely to need in the next week or so and to not buy in large quantities from the supermarket as there's always something on offer!

Having a good declutter of your cupboards also helps with the next step....

CLEAR THE COUNTERTOPS

This is without a doubt the one thing that has made the biggest difference to not only how tidy my kitchen looks, but also in how quickly I can clean my kitchen. 

Over the years, most of us have collected multiple kitchen related appliances and gadgets. These can be really helpful but when kept on the countertops they can also really make your kitchen look cluttered and overcrowded.

My really simple rule when it comes to gadgets and countertop appliances is that if you don't use it on a very regular basis then pop it away in a cupboard. This will vary from household to household. For example; I rarely eat bread so I probably use a toaster just a couple of times a year, so I keep it stored away in a cupboard. Yet my brother has toast several times a week so I would never recommend that he stored his away as it just wouldn't be practical. It can also be seasonal too, for example my slow cooker is often used in the cold months but not in the summer, so in the summer it's simply popped away in a cupboard.

It really doesn't take much effort to take something out of a cupboard or pop it back when it's not used regularly, most are made predominantly of plastic and not too heavy. However, If I had one of those beautiful Kitchenaid Artisan Mixers I would probably leave that out, even though it wouldn't be used daily as they look so lovely and are super heavy!!

I would also recommend really thinking about how many decor items you have on the countertops or on open shelves and trimming these down to just things you really like and letting these shine, rather than having lots and lots of these items that have often been collected over the years and no real thought about if you really like each item for some time.

Reducing the amount of countertop appliances and decorations you have out will make your kitchen look less cluttered but also makes cleaning much simpler. Every item on the countertops will still collect dust and need cleaning regularly, and need moving to clean the surface underneath. Since I have gone through this process myself my cleaning time has at least cut in half if not more!

DAILY ROUTINE

It might seem an odd way to describe it but the routine for me really starts in the evening. Each night, 10-15 minutes before I go to bed I do a 'sweep' of the house. In terms of the kitchen this includes:

  • Collecting up any cups or crockery that may have been left in the sitting room and taking to the kitchen.
  • Loading any dirty crockery and cutlery into the dishwasher and turning it on if full enough. (if you don't have a dishwasher I would recommend to quickly do any dishes, even if just a cup of so, so that they can be left to dry ready for the morning)
  • Clearing the kitchen countertops, putting anything away that may have been left out from dinner. 
  • Wipe all the countertops along with the sink and cooker top.

I promise you the night routine is well worth it, I feel so much better when I come downstairs, all bleary eyed in the morning to a clean and tidy kitchen.

In the morning, I empty the clean dishes from the dishwasher (this takes all of five minutes and can be done whilst making a cuppa) and quickly sweep the floors. As I have dogs, I like to quickly mop the floors most days too (try a straight to floor cleaner with a microfibre head mop - no need for a mop bucket and super quick to do). I also make sure to wipe the counters after making breakfast; just like the mornings, I enjoy coming home after work to a clean and tidy kitchen.

Throughout the day I also aim to clean up spills as they happen as it's so much easier to clean rather than allowing food spills to dry and then trying to clean them. I also try to put dishes straight into the dishwasher rather than leaving them on the sides or in the sink.

That's pretty much it! Once a week I will do extra cleaning jobs like wiping the cupboard doors and so on, but day to day really doesn't take long at all. Once once you get used to it, it honestly becomes almost second nature.

P.S: Whilst I really enjoy keeping my kitchen (and the rest of my home) clean and tidy, I'm far from perfect. Just like most of us, occasionally life gets in the way and my kitchen and the rest of the house looks like a bomb has hit it!