You spend hours, days, even weeks battling to get your kitchen back to ‘normal’ and all you can feel now is fear that it will slip out of control again. I know how you feel. I also know that it takes very little neglect for that to happen. After all, it got that way in the first place and unless you have changed your habits there is very little stopping it from becoming a disaster zone all over again.
Just as it is with many habits maintenance is the key. People who have lost significant amounts of weight often are stumped when they reach their goal weight. Why? Because they don’t know the next step. That next step is what it takes to keep the weight off.
For hoarders and chronic clutterers, the same confusion is present after they have reached their goal. They will often second guess themselves and fall prey to the fear that all of their hard work will be undone within days. It definitely doesn’t have to be that way. All it takes is vigilance and a maintenance routine.
Today I am going to share my personal 15-minute kitchen cleanup routine that allows me to keep my kitchen looking fantastic day after day. Of course, there are additional things that need to be done that won’t fit into the 15 minutes and we will discuss those in another post.
Hot water runs in the sink with a squirt dish soap. While the water is running I have time to begin swiping over benches.
Dipping my cleaning cloth into the hot, soapy water I wring out the excess water and begin swiping. Because of the way my kitchen is set up I start with the fridge. I wipe the door handles and around them because that is the area that gets dirty the quickest. The front surface gets a quick wipe over without being too fussy.
I remove everything from the bench between stove and fridge and wipe the surface along with the side of the fridge. Then I quickly swish the cloth over the 3 items that normally sit on that bench before putting them back. By this time your sink should be full of hot, soapy water and you can put glassware in to soak.
Next, I wipe down the oven over the stove top. Door handle, control panel, and door glass. Again, we are not doing a deep clean here. Just giving everything a once over. The stove top gets a wipe over making sure to wipe the backsplash area and sides.
The long bench between the stove and the microwave gets wiped down and the metal container with the kitchen tools in it gets wiped also. The microwave gets wiped all over the front with special attention to the handle and control panel.
Once I have completed all of that I put away any dry dishes from the dish drainer and then wash the dirty dishes. After the dishes are finished I wipe down the bench to the right of the sink, thoroughly rinse out the cloth and wipe out the two sinks.
No more than 15 minutes
If this sounds like it would take more than 15 minutes I can assure you most days I can do it in less. It has become such a routine/habit now that I can almost do it on auto-pilot. It can be that way for you too. You just have to figure out the quickest and most effective way to work on your kitchen surfaces until they are all wiped down and tidy.
I admit that I have very little on my benches now. I also tend to wash dishes as they are used because we have been having ant problems. Keeping all foodstuffs and dirty dishes off the benches has stopped them from coming around. Even a water glass gets washed immediately. It is easier to wash dishes as they are dirtied than it is to chase ants all across the benches. I used to keep bread on the bench but that is now in the fridge. The Pepsi bottle is kept in the fridge now too.
Every time I walk into the kitchen I assess it. I live with two other people so I cannot be certain that the kitchen is clean all the time. If someone else has been in there preparing food I tend to give the benches a wipe down again. If a dish is left to be washed I wash it. Because of these measures my kitchen is clean pretty much all the time. Believe me, being constantly vigilant and doing my 15-minute routine every day is worth the effort. It is also preferable to having to try and declutter, clean and organize a cluttered kitchen again from scratch. Before I go to bed at night I do check the kitchen over once more to be sure there is nothing to attract ants.