7 Steps to a Permanently Clean Kitchen

Here is a great article by Jeff over at TheCleanTeam.com. Pop over to their website for some of the great tools he mentions here.
I am going to share a secret with you:

The longer you spend thinking about cleaning your kitchen, the less time you spend actually cleaning it.

Until suddenly the task has become so insurmountable that when you finally do dig in, it will take you hours of back-breaking, toothbrush-wielding work. On the other hand, follow a few simple tips, you will never have more than a 15 or 20-minute clean-up in front of you. And even deep cleaning will be a easier, since the daily chores will be done and out of the way.

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiating-Angsulee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Get The Edge on Discouragement

So, how do you maintain this perfect kitchen situation, without giving up all your free time? The answer is simple: Make it a habit to clean as you go. You’ve no doubt heard this advice before — and perhaps you’ve made a valiant effort to implement it. Maybe you’ve kept the kitchen clean for a few days or even a few weeks. But then life got hectic and your kids got sick and the next thing you knew, all your momentum was gone and your kitchen sink was once again full of three-day old dishes.

The discouragement of that overflowing sink is quite powerful: It makes it seem like your kitchen will never be clean again. Or worse, that the whole process of cleaning is totally futile, since even if you do spend an hour cleaning now, it will just be like this again tomorrow.
The truth is that maintaining a clean kitchen — just like keeping up with the laundry or any other home maintenance task — is a bit redundant. You do it, it’s clean for an hour or for a day, and then it gets messy and you have to do it again. The key to not getting discouraged by the repetitive nature of cleaning your kitchen is to accept that messes happen, especially when you have young kids. A mess is not a sign that you have failed as a home manager; it is a sign that vibrant life is happening in your home, which is as it should be. Once you accept — and embrace — the mess, it will seem a lot less daunting to dig in and keep up with it.

Let Go of Perfectionism

Another thing holding many of you back from having a clean kitchen is your own perfectionism. What’s that, you wonder? Wouldn’t a perfectionist have a perfectly clean kitchen?
The answer is no — and here’s why: A perfectionist starts by washing the dishes. But as she is soaking a particularly greasy pan, she notices some hard water stains on the faucet. So she grabs a toothbrush and some hard water stain remover and begins to furiously scrub her entire sink. Next thing she knows, she is using a toothpick to remove build-up from under the calking. Pretty soon, she is on her hands and knees, scouring the oven, bleaching the garbage pail and rearranging the fridge. All of this activity is caused by perfection-itis. This is an incredibly common condition that causes people to avoid doing tasks they can’t do perfectly. And of course, the perfectionist’s definition of perfect is a whole lot more exacting than that of the non-perfectionist.
The good news is that there is a cure for perfection-itis: Limit yourself to no more than 20 minutes of daily kitchen cleaning. Set a timer if you have to. It may seem impossible at first, but you will get used to it.

Make a List and Check it Twice

Make a master list that tells you everything you have to do each day to keep your kitchen clean. Below is a basic outline with the seven essential chores, but you may need to tweak it for your personal set-up. These tasks should take you no longer than 20 minutes, and that includes washing the dishes!
If you are a beginner at keeping a clean kitchen, you may want to print out this list and post it on your fridge as a daily reminder. If you are a perfectionist, you may want to print multiple copies, so you can cross off items as you go (perfectionists love checking off lists!).
CLICK HERE to check out the 7 tips.  
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  1. You know, Adrian, I think you opening sentence applies to so many different areas of life. The more we think about doing something, often the less time we actually spend doing it… and as you say, then the task gets larger and frequently overwhelming. This is where you have to just start!!

  2. These are great tips! I need to embrace the mess of laundry 😉 I get so annoyed that it’s never done, but you’re right. If I just accept it, then it’ll be a lot easier (and maybe even more pleasant!) to deal with.

    • Yes, now I just need to teach them to my teenage son! I was SO mad this morning. He ruined a whole package of brand new white Tshirts by putting them in with a load of dark wash jeans and then didn’t bother to put the mess in the dryer. Teens are annoying!

  3. Great tips! I spot clean daily, but I can relate to the perfectionist too, especially if I look to close. Then, it becomes a major cleaning job! 🙂

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