How would you like to wake up, walk into your kitchen, and feel happy to be there? It doesn't matter if your kitchen is big or small, designer or DIY, these five little tasks, done the night before, are my secret to starting the day out right. I promise — they really make all the difference in my mood and cooking life!
5 Things to Do in the Kitchen Before You Go to Bed
1. Wash and put away the dishes. (It's a 2-part thing!)
From the title of this post, I'm sure you guessed that cleaning the kitchen before you go to bed would be one of my tips, and you're not wrong. Waking up to a clean kitchen is the mood-boosting equivalent of a stranger stopping you in the street to tell you how great you look: it sends a warm feeling rushing through your body from the top of your head down to your toes. It makes you think you can do anything, cook anything, because you clearly have some awesome vibes going on.
So, yes. Clean the kitchen. This includes all standard fare like putting away food, washing the dishes, and wiping down the counters and stovetop. It also means loading and starting your dishwasher, if you have one.
But if you really want to treat yourself to a morning high, dry and put away all the dishes you just washed, even the ones in the dishwasher if you can manage to stay awake through the wash cycle. I'm telling you: you will love not seeing a mound of dishes, even clean ones, when you walk into the kitchen the next morning. And an empty dishwasher is one key way to cut down on dish duty drudgery.
2. Sweep the floor.
Don't forget to sweep the floor! For some of you, sweeping may be swept up (pun intended) into your regular kitchen cleaning tasks, but for others it may not be a part of your routine. It wasn't a part of mine for a long time. I focused on the dishes and countertop, and ignored the floor.
But, without getting too philosophical, there is something very therapeutic about sweeping up all the crumbs and messes from that day, and dumping them in the trash. I know I'll make more the next day, but that's the next day. Don't let them, like your problems, accumulate. Take control! Whip that broom out and sweep your cares away! (Ok, I may not be talking about crumbs anymore.)
3. Empty the trash, compost, or recycling bin.
If sweeping is therapeutic and cause for life reflection, just imagine what I'm going to say about emptying the trash! That's right. Just imagine it. I'm not going to say anything else about it.
4. Put out a new tea towel and clean dish cloth.
If you've had a busy day in the kitchen (or dried all the dishes — see #1), your dish towels are probably wet and your dish cloth may be starting to get that sour smell. Throw them into the dirty laundry and set out a fresh, clean tea towel and dish cloth for the next day.
A new towel every day, you're thinking? That means you should have seven towels for a weekly rotation. I've just given you an excuse to buy one of these. You're welcome.
5. Set up your breakfast.
The only thing better than walking into a clean, swept, de-trashed, and re-toweled kitchen in the morning? Walking in to a breakfast that's only minutes away from being in your mouth. Before you go to bed, prep steel-cut oats for overnight oatmeal, make this yeasted waffle batter, or get your coffee or tea ready for a quick brew the next day. Think about your breakfast of choice, and set up or arrange what you can to make it a breakfast of champions — the champion, in this case, being someone who's taken the time to set up and arrange their breakfast the night before. You. You are the champion.
Do you have any evening kitchen routines that make for a warm, welcoming start to your day?
(Image credits: Leela Cyd; Rachel Joy Photos; Anna Joyce Designs)