Every time I write a column for Homemakers Challenge, I have to giggle at the irony. You see, I hate to clean. Luckily, being a homemaker is so much more than cleaning. After 6 years of staying at home, I have finally nailed down the most elusive task in my house — the clean kitchen. Incidentally, it’s also the one my husband gets the most peeved about. Good thing he’s patient!
35 Minutes to a Clean Kitchen . . . Every Day!
0:00-5:00 Put away clean dishes
Every morning, the first thing I do is put away clean dishes. I empty the dishwasher & put away any dishes that were washed by hand the previous day.
5:00-10:00 Load the dishwasher
If you don’t have a dishwasher, you have my sympathy. If you do, load any dishes that didn’t fit when you ran it last night, breakfast dishes and every other dish you use as you go. Run it when full or after dinner, whichever comes first.
10:00-15:00 Hand wash dishes
Even though we have a dishwasher, not everything goes into it. Certain cups, measuring cups and all pots & pans are done by hand. I clean up in the morning (after rinsing & setting pans to soak overnight) because by the time we are finished eating, my son wants to nurse & sleep. He’s more amiable in the morning. Do what works for you.
When you are done, wipe out the sink if its not clean after washing.
15:00-20:00 Wash the counters & table
I love microfiber & your cleaner of choice. If you stay on them each day, it’s easier to do. If you are on them after each meal (you know, before the oatmeal turns to cement), its even quicker. I have a long counter and it still doesn’t take that long. If you have extra time, add a chair or two!
20:00-25:00 Clean the appliances
If you have a microwave, start by boiling a bowl of water & baking soda in the microwave — 4 minutes should do it, I think, but I always put mine in for 5-10, just to make sure it was steamy & hot in there :).
If you’ve dripped pancake batter on the stove, clean it up. Stirred your burger too vigorously? Sweep it off. In fact, if you keep up on it daily, cleaning your stove top takes a minute, tops. Swipe the front of your dishwasher & fridge.
25:00-30:00 Sweep the floor
I never sweep until after I’ve cleaned the counter & table. I invariably have to redo it if I don’t wait. If you are in a hurry or have a large room, spot sweep. I know in MY house, food collects under my 2 youngest kids chairs as well as the counter where I do most of my food prep. If you have time, you could even move chairs and things, but I save that for days I mop.
Then go back to the microwave & use oven mitts to take out the water & wipe out the inside.
30:00-35:00 Pick Your Task
Is there something that you should to do regularly that I didn’t mention? Maybe clean & prep the coffee pot? Or put away/clean small appliances?
If there is nothing you can think of, set out a new kitchen towel & washcloth and grab a glass of water.
What is essential to consider your kitchen clean?