The following post is from Christine of i Dream of Clean:
If you’re like me, there’s a good chance you spend a lot of time in the kitchen. You cook, and cook, and cook. Which means you clean, and clean, and clean. If you aren’t deliberate, you could spend way too much time cleaning cleaning the kitchen. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way.
Just by implementing a few tricks, you can learn to to clean your kitchen in record time!
Try these 6 steps:
1. Set a timer.
Have you ever noticed that when you have limited time to clean, you can whip your house into shape at warp speed? When you have all day to clean, it will usually take ALL day to clean. But if you only have a few minutes, you focus on the task at hand and get it done.
The same is true for daily cleaning tasks like cleaning the kitchen. By doing something as simple as setting a timer, you will almost always clean at a faster pace.
My goal for cleaning the kitchen is 5 minutes. Sometimes I beat the clock, and sometimes I don’t. But anytime I physically set a timer, I clean the kitchen in record time.
Try it for yourself. Start with ten or fifteen minutes and adjust every day. You’ll get in a groove and find the perfect amount of time that motivates you to clean your kitchen quickly.
2. Do the prep work first.
Before you wash a single plate or cup, you’ll want to do a little prep work first. Put away things that are cluttering up your kitchen like those items that belong in the fridge and pantry. The best plan of attack is to focus on similar items all at once:
- Trash the trash. Move from one side of the kitchen to the other, picking up trash along the way. You’ll save some time if you pick it up as you see it and take it all to trash can in one trip.
- Put away pantry items. Make a second trip around the kitchen to pick up everything that belongs in the pantry. Pick up each item until your arms are full, walk to the pantry and put items on the correct shelf.
- Fill the fridge. On your third round around the kitchen, pick up items that go in the refrigerator. Then put them in the fridge with one trip, if possible.
If there are items that belong in another room, put those in a pile to deal with after your kitchen is clean. Once there’s only dishes to deal with, you can get to the nitty-gritty!
3. Focus on groupings.
Just like the key to clearing clutter in your kitchen is to focus on like items, the same is true for washing dishes. I have a dishwasher, so I apply this method to loading the dishwasher. But if you don’t use a dishwasher, this tip also applies to hand washing dishes.
When washing dishes or loading the dishwasher, I work my way around the kitchen and use both hands to pick up every single cup or glass to clean or load on the top shelf of the dishwasher. Then pick up all the bowls on the counter and in the sink. Then all the utensils. You get the idea.
The order in which you pick up each grouping isn’t the most important part of this process. FOCUS is the most important part. But, for the sake of giving an example, this is the order I usually load items into the dishwasher:
- cups and glasses
- small bowls and small containers
- large bowls
Loading like items together in the dishwasher or washing them together in the sink will help you focus on the task at hand. It will also help you stack better in the drying rack and help your put away clean dishes faster.
4. Hand wash large items.
After small items are loaded in the dishwasher, you can focus on washing large items by hand. Washing pots and pans all together saves time because you don’t pick up and put down the scrub brush or soap multiple times. Saving seconds count. More importantly, keeping your focus saves minutes.
After all your pots, pans and other large items are clean, dry them all at one time and put them away once dry.
5. Clean the actual kitchen.
After everything is cleared from the counters and sink, you can focus on the actual kitchen; you know, the counters, cabinets, floors, etc.
Wipe down the cabinets if needed. Then clean the counters, microwave, and sink. Sweep the floor. Replace the dishcloths and take the old ones to the laundry basket.
6. Enlist help.
You can absolutely clean your kitchen in record time all by yourself. In fact, I created a video to show you how I clean my kitchen in 5 minutes.
Cleaning the kitchen is often a one person job, but it goes without saying that working with others will make the job faster and easier:
- You can put away everything that belongs in the fridge while your spouse takes care of items that belong in the pantry.
- You can wash the dishes while your teenager dries them.
- You can wipe the counters while your older child sweeps the floor.
When family members understand their responsibility and know they are working with you to beat the clock, it makes cleaning fun and builds a bond between you when you both set a goal and crush it!
Toddlers, of course, are a different story. I have two of them so I know first hand! They are often the ones under your feet slowing you down. But they are also the ones most willing to help. I like to let mine “help” by giving them a dishcloth to clean the cabinets while I’m working. It gives us a little bit of quality time and lets them know they are a valuable part of keeping the household running.
So, those are my 6 steps for cleaning the kitchen in record time.
There are other habits that make cleaning the kitchen easier: things like unloading the dishwasher every morning so everyone can load dishes as they’re using them; washing pots and pans while they are still hot (or warm); deep cleaning the kitchen on a regular basis; streamlining the amount of gadgets stored in the kitchen.
But even if don’t do anything but use these 6 tips when cleaning the kitchen, you are sure to clean your kitchen in record time.
Try it and let us know in the comments how fast you cleaned your kitchen!
|Christine is the author of Create Your Perfect Cleaning Schedule, i Dream of Clean, and Spring Cleaning 365. Although she shares cleaning tips on a daily basis, she’d rather do just about anything than clean. That’s why she speed cleans her way through the house…so she can spend less time cleaning and more time with her husband, kids, friends and family!|