The 35 Best Ways to Spend 2 Minutes in the Kitchen

updated Apr 9, 2021
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Credit: Studio Firma/Stocksy

Two is the magic number. No, you can’t scrub your kitchen, top to bottom, in just two minutes, but you can easily maintain it or tackle a highly impactful chore in that amount of time. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram while you wait for the microwave to beep, why not put that time to good use? Two minutes worth of effort now, plus two more minutes later, and you’ll eventually end up with either a perfectly clean kitchen or one that seemingly runs itself.

By investing two minutes here and there, you chip away at the time required for larger kitchen cleaning sessions and give yourself the joy of a cleaner kitchen in the meantime. How to spend those two minutes? Here are the best ways to maximize your two-minute cleaning interludes to keep your kitchen in order.

  1. Clear off the counters of items that don’t belong. 
  2. Wipe down the counters.
  3. Dust the appliances you keep on the counter. 
  4. Declutter one drawer. 
  5. Find at least three duplicate kitchen tools to donate or give away. 
  6. Sort through your produce and bring items that are close to being past their prime to the front or eye-level, so you don’t waste them. 
  7. Straighten up boxes and containers in the pantry. 
  8. Pull out any food containers that don’t have matching lids, and vice versa.
  9. Make an inventory of your spices. Or take a picture to save on your phone.
  10. Run a credit card between your countertop and the oven to dislodge crumbs. 
  11. Wipe down your stovetop.
  12. Gather anything that belongs in another room and put it in a basket to be dealt with later.
  13. Scrub your sink with a powdered cleanser. 
  14. Wipe down your backsplash. At the very least, wipe down the backsplash around the stove.
  15. Descale your kitchen faucet
  16. Empty the filter in your dishwasher.
  17. Empty the crumb tray under your toaster.
  18. Clean and polish the outside of your fridge. 
  19. Steam the inside of your microwave and wipe it down. 
  20. Sweep your toe-kick areas. 
  21. Vacuum and wipe down your kitchen mat. 
  22. Toss takeout menus, condiment packets, promotional magnets, disposable chopsticks, etc. 
  23. Wipe down your chairs and chair legs. 
  24. Wipe down your table pedestal. 
  25. Wipe down the walls around your table. 
  26. Dust and wipe down the baseboards.  
  27. Remove floor items from your pantry, sweep or vacuum, and replace items. 
  28. Decant bags of flour, rice, and the like into your canisters and recycle the packaging. 
  29. Refold your kitchen towels that have become a messy heap.
  30. Declutter your mug collection. 
  31. Empty your dish rack and the dishwasher if you have one.
  32. Hand-wash or load up the dishwasher with anything that’s in the sink.
  33. Straighten up your under-sink storage area.
  34. Take out the trash and sprinkle some baking soda into the can before you replace the liner.
  35. Enjoy two minutes of peace and quiet while you stand very, very still.

What do you do when you’re looking for a quick-but-impactful chore to cross off your list? Tell us in the comments below.