There's something special about Sunday habits. While the morning and evening rituals that make up the rest of the week keep our kitchen lives sane and steady, it's what we do on Sunday that sets the tone. Good Sunday habits should both close off the week prior, and send you prepped and cheered into the week ahead.
While there are many ways to spend a Sunday in the kitchen, here are five small things we like to do before the night is over.
1. Take a quick look through the fridge.
Sunday night is the perfect time to go through the fridge and make sure it's relatively clean and organized before the new week begins. Move leftovers and ingredients that need to be used up to the front so they're the first thing you see in the coming week. Throw out or compost food past its prime, then take a dish cloth and wipe away any crumbs, spills, or sticky spots.
This isn't meant to be a deep-clean and reorganization project (if you're like Cook's Country editor Eva Katz, you do that every two weeks!); this is just a quick assessment and clean so you can start the week feeling on top of it.
2. Prep our lunches.
If there's one habit we hear about over and over again, it's how well worth one's time it is to prep lunch ingredients on a Sunday night. Think about your lunches for the week: What could you make ahead that would save you time later? We like to wash and portion salad greens, make a big batch of grains or a hearty soup, or roast a pan of vegetables or a whole chicken. Even just prepping one or two things makes a big difference!
More lunch prep tips
3. Wipe down the kitchen hot zones.
Ideally every night you clean the kitchen before you head off to bed, but Sunday is a good time to pay extra attention to your kitchen's hot zones. These are the areas prone to gathering grease and grime — anything near the stove, your cabinet fronts, the refrigerator handle, and the area around the sink. Squirt a little extra soap and up the elbow grease when you clean those areas on Sunday!
4. Throw all kitchen linens into the washer.
You might do kitchen laundry throughout the week, but Sunday is always a good day to reset. No matter where you've ended up in the laundry cycle in the week prior, go through the kitchen again on Sunday night and throw all soiled or sour tea towels, dishcloths, potholders, and cloth napkins into the hamper. Then set out fresh replacements for Monday morning!
5. Indulge in something small.
Monday always seems to come like one of New York's subway trains: You've barely boarded before it's speeding off into the week. Before life picks up and gets all crazy again, treat yourself to something small on Sunday night. Enjoy a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie and a cup of tea at the counter. Pour yourself a glass of wine and read a magazine at the kitchen table. We spend so much time in the kitchen when it's a bustle of activity — all steam, scraps, and sudsy water — that it's nice to steal a quiet moment after all is done and before it begins again.
What are your Sunday night habits?