Use a timer. If you’re like me, cleaning for a long period of time gets boring & wears you out fast. Instead of taking on the entire kitchen at once, set a timer for 5 minute intervals throughout the day. Use those minutes to focus on nothing but one task at time. When the timer goes off, you’re done. Sweeping, cleaning a counter, or even washing a few dishes can be done quickly, and often more efficiently than without a timer. That tick-tick-tick in the background keeps me motivated & moving fast! If you’re not confident you can really accomplish something in only 5 minutes, check out our list of Things You Can Do In Five Minutes or Less.
Involve the whole family. I’m not the only one that uses the kitchen, so I refuse to clean it alone. My entire family passes through the kitchen, sitting for a meal, pouring a cup of coffee or grabbing a snack. Enlist others to help with daily chores. Kids can sweep, clean counters and tables, wash dishes and more. Enforce rules such as requiring everyone to clear their own place after a meal or washing their own dishes after each meal.
Adopt the cup-a-day rule. Glasses used at mealtime or for drinks throughout the day can really add up. Instead of washing dozens of cups a day, have each member of the family select one cup for the entire day. Make it even easier by asking everyone to wash their own cup at the end of the day.
Be a minimalist. If I’m cleaning, I’d rather be ________ (you can pretty much insert anything here – I hate cleaning). To make things easier, I’ve ditched the excess. I don’t need dozens of decorations in the kitchen to dust around or wipe off after a cooking spill. I also don’t need seven different serving spoons that are pretty much the same or 35 coffee cups. Store extra and duplicate items until needed. Invest in kitchen items that have multiple uses. Décor can be functional and eye-catching. In my kitchen, I’ve rounded up some things I found for storage and décor. A pie safe turned dry good storage looks great with all the colors of the foods, displayed in clear, glass mason jars. An old binocular case, hung over an open door, offers a hiding spot for small snacks and goodies. Baskets, holding fruits and veggies, are displayed on a stool and old rocking chair and are great for grabbing to go pick fresh produce from the garden. These items not only add a touch of country personality to the space, but they also serve as extra seating when company stops by. My old nightstand from my teen years stores rags, teas and other items out of site.
Clean as you go. Instead of taking on the task of cleaning everything at the end of a meal, try cleaning as you go. It’s a lot less of a job to wipe spills as they occur or put away ingredients as you’re done with them. Washing a dish or a couple utensils as you go can feel like a lot less work than taking on an entire evening’s dishes in one washing.
Soak up spills before they have a chance to occur. This is probably one of my biggest time savers when it comes to kitchen cleaning. Just placing a folded paper towel or washcloth under items that are likely to spill, drip, leak or cause a sticky, gooey mess saves me a lot of time in cleaning, scrubbing and cursing things like honey, jelly and oil. Now, if an item oozes or leaks, it’s caught by the towel. Just toss it or wash it and put a new one down as needed!