Unless you're actively combining ingredients, stirring, flipping or poaching, chances are you have some downtime while you're cooking. Use that time to tidy up your kitchen, a place you probably spend a decent amount of time but is likely not the cleanest room in your house. If you have roommates, they will thank you. If you live alone, you will thank yourself when you don't have one giant mess to clean up. If you're a parent, make your kid do it and enjoy a glass of wine.
You may be thinking, well I don't have that much time while I cook. But I'm not talking about busting out the mop bucket and grout cleaner, I'm talking an easy clean. This includes washing dishes and pans immediately after you've used them (let the pans cool off first, obviously), but it also means:
- Wiping down counters
- Sweeping the floor around your cook station
- Spot-cleaning the microwave, oven top, cabinets, walls (especially the wall/backsplash behind your stove), and so on.
- Organising/cleaning the fridge
- Tidying paper piles
- Putting clean dishes away
- Washing a window
- Cleaning the kitchen sink/tap
Seriously, when was the last time you cleaned the outside of your cabinets/fridge? The window over your sink? Do it tonight. Again, I'm not saying you will have time to do all of these things as you wait for your pasta to boil. Pick one or two, and it will still make a difference.
Another tip: Keep cleaning supplies in different rooms so you have one less reason (the supplies are too far) not to clean. For example, while most of my sprays and wipes are in the kitchen, I also keep a mini broom and dustpan (which I purchased at the two dollar store), disinfecting wipes and paper towels in my bedroom.
That way, if I'm in my bedroom and notice it is dusty or there's something on the floor, I have no excuse not to clean - the supplies are right there! I don't even have to walk the 10 extra steps to my kitchen cabinet. Likewise, I try to keep disinfecting wipes in the bathroom for touch-ups between deeper cleans. (I really like disinfecting wipes. And Magic Erasers.)
I'm not the cleanest person in the world - my roommates can attest to that - but I do try to do little things when I can. That way, I don't have a pile of dishes to attend to after I'm done eating and want to veg out, and my kitchen is a little cleaner throughout the work week. What about you - what are your tiny cleaning hacks?