Keys to a Clean & Orderly Kitchen

Photo Credit: Theresa Thompson

I’m still trying to keep my kitchen clutter under control… so Becci of Bedrest & Beyond is guest-posting today, sharing her favorite kitchen tips!

_______________________________

Few things in my home bother me as much as a dirty kitchen, which is probably because as a mother, I spend so much time there. I find that if my kitchen is clean, my day goes better, but it took me a while to get a good routine down in the kitchen.

Oh, I still have days where it gets away from me. You know, the days where all three kids are crying and I’m lucky if we all eat and get dressed. But for the most part, I have some relatively simple things that make a big difference in keeping things tidy and running smoothly.

Do Your Best to Declutter.

It’s hard to keep an orderly kitchen when you have too much stuff. Look through your cupboards and see where you have too many of a particular item, then decide to bless someone by giving the extras away. You’ll have an easier time keeping track of things and someone else will have something they’ve been needing. The trick is to move quickly, though. If you think about it too long, you’ll end up keeping everything.

Organize and then Organize Some More!

Photo Credit: BFS Man

Group like items together in the same cupboard and make sure to designate a specific place for everything. Try using containers for baked goods. Instead of leaving things like baking soda, salt, and cocoa in their original containers, I like to use a series of containers that stack easily, labeling each one on the front. I do the same for each type of dried beans or rice.

Since we don’t have a pantry in our smaller home, I use a tall bookshelf in the garage for anything that is still sealed, such as canned goods, baby food, cereal boxes, snacks, drinks, pasta, beans, and rice.

Clean as You Go.

This is one of the things that helps me the most. Did you just finish using that mixing bowl and spoon? Do a quick rinse in the sink and throw it in the dishwasher if it fits. I like to keep one side of the sink designated for the hand-washing items that have already been rinsed. That way, nothing sits around getting food dried on it and I can just wash it all quickly when I’m done with my meal prep.

Same goes for clearing the table after a meal. Scrape and rinse those dishes right away and you’ll save yourself time and elbow grease later. If they go straight into the dishwasher after a meal, you’ll thank yourself when there are no overwhelming piles of dishes laying around. I also try to do a quick daily wipe-down and sweep.

Photo Credit: {| h.e.a.t.h.e.r |}

Create a Menu Plan.

There are a variety of ways to do this, but having a plan is essential. It eliminates waste and keeps your budget on track as well. Planning a menu of healthy, made from scratch foods will keep your family and your pocketbook healthy.

Cooking from scratch is not as hard as you might think, and the taste and health benefits are worth the small bit of extra effort. Start with several meals you know your family likes and build from there.

I like to do seasonal menu plans when I can, cooking the same rotation of foods for three months at a time.  I do a lot more stews and soups in the winter and a lot more fresh salads in the summer.

But don’t make menu planning a chore. Add recipes as you find things you like and keep them all in a binder for easy reference so that when it’s time to plan, you can just thumb through it and pick what sounds good. (If you need some weekly plans to get started, Michele posts her healthy & seasonal weekly menu plans (all three meals a day!) for free each Sunday here at Frugal Granola!)

Make a List or Two.

Lastly, lists keep me on track. One of my favorite things I have is my master grocery list. I have compiled and printed a list of everything I like to keep on hand as well as everything I stock up on for particular meals. I have also made a weekly shopping list for each season of meals (4 shopping trips a month).

On my master list I have check boxes beside each item. Right before I go shopping, I go through my house with both lists and check the items on my master list that I don’t have enough of on hand for the month. The weekly list has specific amounts for each item as well as general size/weight that is needed. If I need multiples of an item, I put the proper number of roman numerals to the side of the check box.

For the household items that run out, I keep a running list on the fridge. When one is getting low or runs out, I write it on the list. On shopping day, I check those items off on my master list as well. I always write those check marks with a pencil because as I shop, I simply erase each check mark (and corresponding roman numerals) as I pick up the item(s). When there are no more check marks on my list, I know I’m done!

This helps me keep my kitchen and household well stocked as well as completely eliminates my impulse purchases.

There you have it! This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are some of the things that help keep my kitchen looking clean and my heart a little more peaceful. I hope they help you do the same.

What are your favorite tips for managing the kitchen?

This post is part of Kitchen Tip Tuesdays at Tammy’s Recipes.

Would you like to stay updated with new posts delivered daily directly to your inbox? You can subscribe to Frugal Granola for free!

Becci is a stay-at-home mom from Portland, Oregon. She loves the Lord and enjoys spending time with her husband David and their three children; Dorothy (4), Charlotte (2), and William (6 months). In her spare time she likes to read, write, sing, cook, and craft. You can visit her blog at: Bedrest & Beyond.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print Friendly
Share

8 comments to Keys to a Clean & Orderly Kitchen

  • I am wondering if there is a specific type of container for your food storage that you have found that work well. I have been looking for some that are easy to store, easy to open and close and durable.

    I have found that managing my kitchen is very difficult because we cook everything from scratch and we have special dietary needs that vary by person. However, a few things have helped. One is to cook extra of everything every time. Cleanup is minimized in this way. Also, I try to leave measuring spoons and cups in containers with either messy ingredients (like carob powder) or things that I use frequently. That way I save having to wash and rewash. Hope that helps someone else! :)

    [Reply]

  • At my house, as the kitchen goes, so goes the rest of the house! I feel like I live in the kitchen…I started completely cooking from scratch about a year ago, and while I enjoy it, it seems like I never get to live in any other room in my house. I have struggled with routines in general, and feel overwhelmed trying to find the time to come up with things like Master Lists and To Do Lists and also to organize and declutter. Some weeks I do well, other weeks, not so much.

    One thing that has helped is that packed up all the extra dishes and gave everyone one dinner plate, one salad plate, one soup bowl, one set of silverware and one drinking glass. If they use it between meal times and I don’t get a chance to wash it, then they can wash it themselves. I think I need to review our dish inventory as I think some packed-away items have found their way back out into the kitchen, but over all, this has helped keep Mt Dishmore under control. My kids think I’m crazy, but then they’re not the ones doing most of the dishes so I really don’t care!

    Thanks for the tips, I am going to really try to carve out some time to do some of these suggestions!

    [Reply]

  • I also spend most of my time in the kitchen. My compromise “clean as you go” strategy is to keep half the sink full of hot soap water while I’m working. Everything goes in there when I’m done with it and at the end it’s all easy to rinse off and put in the washer. Also, anything that needs to be reused is easy to clean by hand.

    [Reply]

  • Adrienne, that’s a good question! I have switched things up recently, and love the results. I bought some glass mason jars of varying sizes and attach a simple label on the front. They seal well and take up much less space than the tupperware-style containers I was previously using. I’m still searching for some larger glass jars for flours and grains, but I was so surprised at how much extra space was in my baking cupboard after I made the switch!

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Reply:

    @Becci, I am really curious now! You said in your post to get stacking containers, but obiously mason jars do not stack — or at least not safely. So how did this save space? I also have always thought that circular containers took up more space than square so I am truly puzzled now :-).

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    I keep spices in pint-sized mason jars, and they do stack nicely on a shelf in my pantry. I also have some good large stainless steel canisters for some of my bulk containers. :)

    Blessings,
    Michele

    [Reply]

  • It’s funny, because when I wrote this post, it was right before I made the switch, so I was still using the stacking containers. Perhaps it is because they are taller and skinnier, but they really do take up less space than my square plastic ones did. You can stack two smaller ones in a cupboard if need be, but I’ve not had the need to yet since they fit quite nicely with room to spare.

    [Reply]

  • The kitchen is by far the hardest room for me to keep clean. I think it’s because it is tiny and there is no way I can clean it while anyone else is in it which makes the time I can clean more limited. I find myself cleaning it super late when everyone is asleep and I want to be in bed as well lol.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>