Kitchens get used so frequently that it’s almost a no-brainer that it’s a clutter magnet of doom. Even so – what if there was a way to get it all tidied up in just 15 quick minutes?
Thankfully, though, it is possible! First, it takes some re-learning of these tried-and-true techniques. Second, it can take some practice to get it down pat. But then, it’s totally possible to have a clean kitchen fast. Which is good – because then we need to focus on the rest of our home and garden, right?
Plan to Succeed or Fail to Plan: even for a clean kitchen!
To start, you need a plan. Otherwise, you’re just going to wander around tidying bits here and there – like you always do – and then wonder why nothing gets cleaned up properly.
So start by looking around. Make a plan of attack – know what you have out and what needs to be put away. That way, you have a clearly defined beginning, middle, and end.
It’s kind of like a story that way – the best stories all have plots. Your kitchen cleaning tale needs a solid plot – if only so that the horror story can end already!
How to Stay Focused: keep your eye on the prize (of a clean kitchen!)
Have you gone to put away something in another room – only to see another small mess. Then, you can’t help but think, “Oh, I’ll just put this away really quickly, too.” Then, the next thin you know, you’re scrubbing toilets when you meant to be finishing cleaning up the kitchen?
Yeah, that’s common. But it doesn’t have to be. So fight the urge to get distracted.
Stick to your plan – and get that kitchen cleaned up ASAP!
What can help is splitting your kitchen up into sections. If you’re going to get the whole thing tidied in 15 minutes or less, pick 3 sections. And then give yourself a timer for 5 minutes per section.
3 Key Areas to Cover (okay, fine, uncover!)
These 3 areas are always an issue – for all of us.
First: counter tops.
Counter space is the most susceptible to the laws of entropy and chaos. It’s always covered with food, empty containers, spices, appliances, paperwork, mail, things that the kids will “put away later” or that they’ll need “in a second”… the list goes on and on, friend – like that never-ending song of doom.
In any case, this general rule will help you keep counters under control (and uncovered).
If you don’t use it daily, it doesn’t need to be displayed.
Easy peasy, right? If you don’t use it every day, it needs a different home than on the counters. And the same approach applies to the areas next to your sink. If you aren’t using it daily, find a place for it – even if it’s a clean-up bin that you store under the sink.
We try to go paperless as much as we can – and we’re still inundated with paperwork all the time. And somehow, the kitchen seems to be the universal “drop spot” for all of those random pieces of paper.
But paper, no matter how neatly it’s stacked, tends to look like clutter. So instead of letting it pile up over time, make a way to manage your papers immediately. Whether that means a filing cabinet or a filing system or something else.
One friend keeps a bin on top of her washing machine – then, when kids bring home paperwork, it goes in there. If, after a week or so they don’t need those papers anymore, they can get recycled or thrown out as needed. That way, all of those “important papers” that actually aren’t so important aren’t being kept forever.
In other words, take two or three minutes every day to do a quick sort so it doesn’t get out of control. That way, your 15-minute cleaning session isn’t spent with papers every time.
Third: random stuff.
Your kitchen will accumulate all sorts of random things. In the summer, it may be swim goggles, swim suits, and discarded sandals. In the winter, it seems to be socks, school papers, and melted snow.
While you’re waiting to find a better organization pattern, keep a basket or a box on hand – as well as an out-of-the-way spot to hide that basket. That way, you’ve got a predetermined way to hide the clutter when company’s coming over.
Just make sure you’re revisiting that basket on a regular basis – and putting that stuff away. Otherwise, you’ve just created a clutter-attracting black hole.
Once everything has been away, give your kitchen a quick wipe down. Boom! It’s show ready. Or ready for you to cook dinner, whichever it is you’re planning to do.
- This popular post on a real mom’s guide to a clean house takes things to a whole new level of “sorry, not sorry” and sarcasm. In fact, it’s been meme’d a few times over. So if you need a good laugh (and a pick-me-up about how good your cleaning is compared to others) be sure to read this “to-do” list of cleaning.
- Need some motivation to get cleaning? Read this post by Mommy on Purpose and find some motivation to clean and organize – along with strategies that work.
- Oh – and don’t forget to think about how vacuuming ought to be an Olympic sport – and here’s why.