You can spend most of your life in the kitchen. It is, in many households, a focal point. It's where we gather to prepare and eat food and, when visitors drop by, often a cup of tea in the kitchen is the first port of call.
With this in mind we want our kitchen to be welcoming, presentable and a comfortable place to sit. I know in my home that the everyday evening routine of cooking and cleaning means that often I don't leave the kitchen until it's time to go to bed (sad life!) so my kitchen is my living area and it needs to feel like that. Here are a few suggestions on the best ways to keep your main family room in tip top shape!
- To make this daily routine less stressful you want to start with a clean kitchen before doing any cooking (means we only have to clean up our own little mess!) Not only is it easier to cook and bake in a clean kitchen, but clean surfaces and storage will keep your family healthier and safer.
- For upkeep of your kitchen a deep clean is what I'd recommend. As I have said before, save your Saturdays to spend with the family and get some help in to do a deep clean. A quarterly full service of your kitchen keeps the upkeep down to minimum. A deep clean includes clean out of your shelves and cupboards, deep clean of your oven and cooker to degrease both areas, scrubbing of your floor and deep wash down of all surface areas. All of the above will aid the cleanliness of your kitchen and keep maintenance simple.
To preserve this sparkling social space here are a few simple things we can do.
- Have a place for everything. It's much easier to work in a kitchen when each appliance or utensil has a designated home. After use, simply clean it and put it away. In my home for example I have an array of small drawers near my cooker that I use for my cooking utensils - one space for large knives, another for wooden spoons and another for all other utensils i.e. large spoons, egg slicer, spatula and so on. I order them according to what I use most so it's going to be different for everyone. Foil, cling film, lunch bags etc should all live together, saving wear and tear on the feet and the nerves!. There are many more examples of organisation and de-cluttering that will ultimately save you hours in the kitchen. An organised kitchen leads to organised cooking and a quick clean up at the end.
- Clean out your fridge regularly. There's nothing worse than opening that place where we keep all our cakes and goodies and seeing mould on the shelf! Take out all the food and bin everything that's out of date. Remove all shelves and drawers and wash in warm water. Be careful not to use any harsh chemicals as food is stored in a very confined space in the fridge. To be totally safe use something like vinegar to cut through any grease or food residues. Wipe down the inside and outside of your fridge with a light cloth and a warm water/vinegar mix. Rinse with warm water and return all shelving, drawers and food, making sure everything is dry before putting it back in. Give a final wipe to any jars you are replacing to help keep your shelves free of marks. A clean fridge is a healthy storage unit for your family.
- Leave an empty clean kitchen at night. Try to avoid leaving dirty dishes or pans soak overnight and put the dishwasher on before the end of the day. Arriving to a clean space for breakfast will boost your spirits for the day ahead.
Some quick tips:
- Identify spots in your kitchen that gather clutter and take a few minutes every day to clear these spaces – it will pay dividends by the end of the week.
- Heavily soiled pans – forget the elbow grease simply add washing up liquid and some hot water and leave to soak. Most food residue should simply lift off.
- Line your grill pan with aluminium to save time on scrubbing after cooking.
- Use a toothbrush to reach behind taps that are very close to the wall. You can leave the toothbrush under the sink for regular use.