The kitchen is the place where you prepare what your family eats…but is also where you work with raw meat and easily perishable food items – which is why I am a BIG proponent of going the extra mile in cleaning this most wonderful of rooms!
I have recently made some changes in this area and thought I would share some things that I have learned and how I have applied them to my routine.
Too little or too infrequent
Just like most of the folks reading this post, I am in the habit of wiping down my counters and washing my dishes at least once a day (usually 3-4 times!). The dishes, sink, and countertop are definitely the quickest things to get messy and can make your kitchen look dirty. This makes this daily routine is absolutely vital.
My other “kitchen routine” is to do a DEEP clean every 9-10 weeks when I do my kitchen “zone” (mentioned in this post). This is also a very important routine to commit to and, if done properly, will transform your kitchen top to bottom.
But I felt like the daily routine was too light of a cleaning to last 9-10 weeks, and that it was too much to try to do the zone more often…soooooo…it was time for a NEW ROUTINE!
I did quite a bit of research and gave this a lot of thought.
This routine needed to be a gentle combination of appearances and cleanliness. I wanted to narrow in on the areas that catch the most splatters/germs, yet the cleaning could be completed in 1.5ish hours. I needed it to be a manageable task every month.
The order that these tasks are completed in are also very important if you want to be as efficient as possible.
- Make sure all dishes have already been washed and dishwasher unloaded (I try to do this first thing in the morning so that I can tackle the rest during their first nap)
- Load dishwasher with items listed below and begin running
- Pour ½ cup Baking Soda down each side of the drain and let sit for one hour (steps #3 and #8 are cleaning and deodorizing the drains)
- Move everything from the counters to the dining room table and wipe off thoroughly
- Clean microwave inside and out
- Wipe down outside of dishwasher, refrigerator, and oven
- Organize food inside of refrigerator and make sure nothing is out of date (I don’t actually clean the inside during this routine, just a basic clear-out)
- Boil 3 cups of vinegar and pour down both sinks
- Spray down counters, sink, and top of stove with all-purpose cleaner
- Sprinkle baking soda over entire sink and let sit
- Wipe off counters and spray with disinfectant
- Re-spray sink and scrub with cleaning sponge (The baking soda acts as an exfoliation leaves your sink shining!)
- Rinse/wipe off sink and then spray with disinfectant
- Thoroughly dry counters and put items back
- Re-spray sink with disinfectant (so alcohol in the disinfectant can give it the final level of shine) and buff it dry
- Mop/spot clean floor and disinfect
****This next section is designed to get the items in your kitchen that you might not normally clean regularly clean. Items like a fruit holder, utensil holder, etc.
To be loaded in the dishwasher (pick/add whatever dishwasher safe items are applicable to you)–
- Dish rack
- Big utensil holder
- Small utensil holder
- Spoon rest
- All coasters
- Baby food placemat
- Fruit holder
- Spoon rests
Since I decided that the right time to do this routine was once a month, and was going to put a reminder in my phone to pop up every month, I decided to add just a couple more things that would benefit from being done monthly also.
For me, this is the list that works:
– Deep kitchen cleaning
– Clear out/organize pantry
– Update kids clothes (make sure they are fully stocked in the size they currently fit)
– Wipe down/disinfect car seats
– Clean dishwasher filter
Basically, anything that needs to be done on a semi-regular basis but not necessarily on a weekly one.
As you can probably see, I am slowly identifying every possible cleaning/organizing task in our house and finding a timeframe that it needs to be done in and a routine/schedule it can fit in to. I’m realizing that if I don’t put everything in a routine or on my calendar some things just won’t get done…
So here is another step towards a well-run kitchen and a leap forward in my “Pursuit of Homemaking”.