If you’re REALLY using your Food Storage, then you’re probably cooking a lot and getting your kitchen dirty. Cooking from scratch requires so many ingredients and steps, that it can really turn your kitchen upside down. When I think about days where I don’t feel like cooking, more often than not its more that I don’t feel like cleaning up after. Here is a picture I texted Jodi awhile back and the caption was: “THIS is why I hate cooking today”. This was the less embarrassing then the other side of the counter.
Here are some tips to keeping your kitchen organized, and clean to make cooking more enjoyable:
Keep your kitchen sink clean (and empty):
While you’re cooking, if you quickly wash dishes as you use them, you’ll end up with a much easier mess to clean. If you don’t do them one by one, try getting the bulk of the cooking dishes done before dinner. That way, after you’ve eaten, you don’t look over at the sink and think – oh great! I remember as a little girl right after we ate, was right when the family fight about whose turn it was would start! Have your kids help clean along the way if you’ve got them.
Get Tupperware/containers that stack:
Do your kids hate the job of putting Tupperware away because they’re worried they’ll get attacked by flying containers as soon as they open the cupboard. It’s worth investing in good containers that stack together so that you can save space in cupboards and feel organized about putting dishes away. Rubbermaid makes an easy find solution you can check out here.
Move appliances/dishes you don’t use OUT:
Often times cleaning can feel annoying because things don’t seem to fit anywhere. If every thing in your kitchen has it’s own place, cleaning up is much simpler. Move dishes you don’t use often out of the main areas of your kitchen. You can also move bigger appliances you don’t use regularly (like canning appliances) out so that everything else fits nicely in your kitchen. I have a shelf in my basement for things I don’t use that often, and it has really helped my kitchen feel cleaner and more organized.
Use kneading/mixing time:
When the recipe you are making calls for kneading or mixing, use those precious minutes and challenge yourself. Every time I make bread and it needs to sit for 10 minutes, then knead for 8 minutes later in the process, I get little organizing projects done. You can rearrange and tidy up pantries in 10 minutes. You’re going to be in there anyways. Make a list of all the little things that need de-cluttering or fixing in your cupboards and use that kneading time!
Get a spice rack/spice containers:
Cooking can feel so frustrating when you are digging through a cupboard trying to find the right spices. Half the time it takes a few minutes looking for a spice before you can find it, while you spend the whole time swearing you thought you had it wondering if you were going crazy. Getting your spices, and baking supplies cupboards organized makes cooking much more pleasant. This spice rack from Amazon.com would be so great to have inside any cupboard.
Clean out your fridge every grocery shop:
Every time your come home with groceries, get in the habit of cleaning out your fridge. Putting groceries away is a good time for you to inventory what is in your fridge, make sure things aren’t rotting, and make plans for meals based on what food you may have that are starting to lose their freshness. Cleaning out fridges more often is a lot less yucky, than finding mystery tupperware meals later.
Get good cleaning supplies:
If you don’t have the right cleaning supplies and scrubbers, cleaning can be more of a chore. I was a MAJOR paper towel user before I discovered some good cleaning rags. Have you heard of Norwex yet? Well regular cleaning rags always bothered me because of how much they stink, and how yucky they feel. Norwex rags, have special antibacterial agents IN them to kill off bacteria. You can clean counters and even windows using only water. You don’t have to worry about the stink. And you can store way less cleaning agents like windex, and other soaps. Norwex even has travel pack rags for your 72 hour kits. Use these rags with only water to disinfect and clean down any surface. I just have to show you a little video about how awesome the Norwex rags are. The beginning of the video explains how they work, but if you want to skip right to 2:00 mins in, you can see Andrea take BUTTER right off the mirror using only water. You may not have butter on your mirrrors, but I’m sure you have greasy areas around. Cleaning up the pam spray mess after I make bread has always annoyed me. Now I just wipe my counters clean using only water. Watch the video- it’s nuts! Andrea has started a fun blog where you can buy the rags and sign up for her helpful newsletter and receive a FREE basic cleaning schedule to download right away. This may help you stay on top of your cleaning.
-Jodi Weiss Schroeder