Healthy Habits | Part 1: Keep Your Kitchen Clean {Almost} All The Time, The Cleaning Edition

Hi there! Welcome to Flawed yet Functional where I, Emily, purpose to live a healthy, fulfilled life to the best of my ability (I’d like to encourage you to do the same!). If you’re new here, read more about me here and my health journey here. This year, I’ve been working on establishing healthy habits that will support my health and allow me time to do the things I love (reading, productivity, sewing). One that is on-going but I’m making huge progress with is keeping my kitchen clean. Perhaps you are looking for tips and tricks to keeping that all-important, most-used room of the house clean. If so, this post is for you! Let’s dive into 5 steps to keep your kitchen clean {almost} all the time.

keep your kitchen clean

Consider this post Part 1 of how to keep your kitchen clean. In this first part, I’ll tackle all the habits that require actual cleaning, picking up a cloth and removing dirt. There’s nothing earth shattering about this post. I’m sure these are all things your mom told you over and over when you were young, but even with all of those reminders, we still forget. Allow me to be your mom for today. 🙂

Clean Up as You Go

The primary sourced of actual dirt and grime in my kitchen is the cooking and meal prep. It is impossible to chop vegetables without some falling off the cutting board or counter. But it doesn’t have to be a slippery slope to a filthy kitchen. Are you ready for this? My number one tip is to clean up as you go. My mom told me this over and over growing up. She was right! It is the easiest way to keep your kitchen clean.

After your mise en place is done, rinse and toss each bowl in the dishwasher as soon as you empty the ingredients into the cooking pot. Don’t let it touch the sink or counter, put it in the dishwasher immediately! This way, all those extra dishes don’t mean more clean up after the meal. Most of the clean up will be done while you are still cooking.

As your timing allows as you cook, wash as many larger bowls, knives, or sheet pans that cannot go in the dishwasher. You will be amazed how much cleaner the kitchen feels when you sit down to eat if you’ve washed the big items (even if it’s only 1 or 2!).

Finally, when you get to the final stage of cooking, wipe the cutting board off. This takes less than a minute and will go a long way to make the kitchen appear clean. It also helps if you serve dinner off the cutting board like I do. Who wants to serve up their dinner from a pan sitting on onion slivers and mushroom particles? It’s just kind of gross!

Wash All the Dishes and All the Pans

This is a hard one for me sometimes. Clean all the dishes, all the pots, and all the pans after every meal. Don’t leave any to “soak.” Soaking is just delaying the inevitable. (If you think soaking is necessary, fill the dish/pan with soapy water while you take care of the rest of the dishes. Then scrape the pan with a plastic scraper or spatula. Guaranteed, it will come clean.)

I know your belly is full and you just want to relax, but the next meal will be here before you know it so those dishes need to be done now. Get the whole family involved here. There’s no reason one adult needs to do this. Everyone can bring their plate to the counter and even load their own in the dishwasher (if old enough!).

Wipe the Table

You’re in the home stretch: the meal is eaten and all the dishes are done. The kitchen/dining room just needs a quick wipe down that will make the room seem sparkling clean.

Begin with the dining table, do a quick wipe starting at one end of the table and wiping back and forth without picking up the cloth to the other end of the table (If you’re right-handed, start at the right and work left and vice versa for left-handed). This method will trap all the crumbs in your cloth and is the quickest way to clean a table. This will take about 30-45 seconds depending on how large your table is. Or how messy your kids are… (I love Norwex enviro cloths for this. They seriously rock at cleaning AND only use water!)

Wipe the Counters

Once you’ve wiped the table, shake the crumbs into the sink, refold your cloth (again, assuming an Enviro cloth which rocks at picking up dirt!) and wipe your counters. This step should only take a minute or two because the cutting surfaces should already be cleaned up while you were cooking which was the majority of the food mess.

Wipe the Stove Top

Lastly, once a day, wipe your stove top. I’m talking a 30 second, get-the-fresh-grime-off wipe. This is not a deep clean but will go MILES to making your kitchen seem very clean. Also, when you do take time for a deep clean of your stove, it won’t be that bad because it has been wiped down regularly.

keep your kitchen clean

There you have it. This is how I keep my kitchen clean! It’s not a sparkling, no-crumbs-anywhere clean, but a very functional clean. I’m cooking in my kitchen every day, 3 meals a day and that just can’t happen in a dirty kitchen. Am I saying dishes never pile up? Absolutely not! Just this past weekend, we left the house in a rush, and I left the dirty breakfast dishes, skillets, and even knives on the counter all weekend. Yep, all weekend. I am human. But…

If you want to take control of your health and eat more fresh food, you will have to get better at keeping your kitchen clean. It will drive you nuts cooking in a dirty kitchen every day and might deter you from sticking to your health plan. So do yourself a favor and work on keeping your kitchen clean! Start with these 5 steps to keep your kitchen clean (almost) all the time and adjust as needed for your kitchen!


How do you keep your kitchen clean? Are you like me and feel like the whole house is dirty if the kitchen is dirty? How do you involve the rest of your family in keeping the kitchen clean?

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