- Stick to simple meals on as many weeknights as possible. One-dish dinners help keep reduce dirty pots and pans that can eat up post-meal time in the evenings.
- A chore a day spreads out kitchen cleaning tasks so it never all catches up with you at once. It's easy to add one cleaning task each night to the dinner cleanup routine: Try sweeping one night, countertops and sink the next, then appliance fronts, and so on.
- Clean as you go. We employ this as much as possible in an attempt to free up some after-dinner relaxation time. It means washing pots and pans while our husband puts the food on the table. Or wiping down the cutting boards and countertop right before dinner comes out of the oven. This just leaves us with our own plates and utensils to take care of after dinner.
- Use multi-purpose tableware for prep and serving. We love our oven-safe dishes for this purpose and serve from Pyrex bowls when it's just us for weeknight meals. Get a set with snap-on lids and you can even store leftovers without ever transferring containers. Going from kitchen to table in the same dish can greatly reduce dishwashing after dinner.
Let's hear how you keep up with kitchen cleaning on busy weeknights! Related: Weeknight Meal Tip: Clean As You Go (Image: Carlos & Debbie's Ultra Contemporary/Apartment Therapy)