8 Lazy-but-Foolproof Ways to Clean Your Kitchen This Fall
There are a few reasons why fall cooking is the best time to be in the kitchen. The weather has cooled to comfortable temps, it’s comfort-food season (think: hearty chili and cornbread), and, yes, you aren’t yet burnt out on standing over the stove like you will be after the upcoming holidays come and go.
But along with more time creating in the kitchen comes more time cleaning it up. To spend less time dealing with kitchen messes and more time cuddling on the couch with a warm mug of apple cider, it’s important to incorporate kitchen-cleaning strategies that leave you with enough time to savor the best parts of the season.
Here are eight low-stress, foolproof ways to keep up with your kitchen this fall.
1. Implement a nightly kitchen shut-down routine.
Shutting down your kitchen every night will save you so much cleaning time and energy down the road. Remember, starting with a clean kitchen every day means keeping it clean (rather than having to clean it), which is far more efficient.
Need easy ideas to get your routine started? Tackle a load in the dishwasher, spray down the counters, and vacuum or sweep the floor.
2. Clear leftovers out of the fridge every time you take out the trash.
Before tying up that garbage bag and taking out the trash, make it a habit to check the fridge for leftovers that have expired or food that may have gone bad. This simple habit keeps your fridge organized without having to rely on a big, time-consuming clean-out (and reminds you of what still needs to be consumed).
3. Straighten up the pantry before you shop.
Before you go out to pick up your groceries, give your pantry a quick tidying up. You may discover that you already have some items that are on your list. Or you might be able to declutter expired or stale items.
If nothing else, you’ll have made space and order in the pantry before bringing new groceries in. These mini organization sessions will go a long way in keeping your pantry functional and neat throughout this busy season.
4. Use up freezer food.
If your freezer is chock-full, how are you going to store those casseroles you doubled up on or that extra soup, not to mention Thanksgiving leftovers? Start planning meals now to use up meat, frozen veggies, and other items that are occupying precious space in your freezer.
5. Check the oven every morning for spills and splatters.
Don’t procrastinate with oven messes. It’s too easy to forget to clean it until the next time you’re confronted with streaks of grease on the oven door.
Make it a habit to wipe out the oven when you’re waiting for your coffee to brew. That way you’ll attack dirt and crumbs while they are relatively fresh, and your oven will be easily maintained.
6. Keep a small basket on the counter to corral clutter.
Create a place to store all of the things that end up on the kitchen counter that really belong in other rooms. This system will help you keep things under control, so that you can take the time to put everything back in one shot.
Trust us. It’s not giving up — it’s embracing what it is, and it’ll keep your counters looking and feeling clear.
7. Maintain a kitchen chore schedule.
Regularly doing kitchen chores and accomplishing them at roughly the same time every day is the best way to avoid getting overwhelmed by a messy kitchen or having to do a big cleanup.
8. Use a soapy water bin to clean as you go.
When you’re cooking or baking, fill a dish or a bowl with hot, soapy water. Every time you’re done using a cooking tool or utensil, toss it into the sudsy bath. This way, food won’t become dry and crusted, and cleaning will be quick and easy.
Which simple kitchen chores are on your cleaning list this fall? Tell us your routine in the comments below.