Of all my “mom” duties, anything done in the kitchen is my least favorite. I don’t like to cook and definitely hate cleaning up after cooking. Don’t get me started on washing dishes and soggy food in the sink… that’s my own personal nightmare there.
Because of my intense dislike of the kitchen, I have come up with a few ways to make those chores quicker, easier and less frustrating. Here they are:
- Clorox wipes. I was the biggest skeptic and couldn’t understand the draw to these suckers, until I actually tried them. These have changed my life! I’m able to quickly wipe up after preparing chicken and disinfect the cupboard knobs and handles every time someone is sick. Go with a natural brand if you prefer, but these babies are worth the price!
- Soap pump by the sink. I was a bottle-on-the-counter girl until I saw a cute metal soap cover I wanted. What was done for decor purposes has made washing dishes easier and definitely easier for the kiddos to wash their hands or dinner dishes without help. Plus they don’t squeeze out ½ cup of soap from the bottle to wash one plate.
- Minimalism. Keep one cup, plate, bowl, etc available per family member. All the others, get put in an unused stack until needed for guests. Same with coffee mugs. One per drinker. Rotate them out if you’re a collector, but the fewer options to get dirty, the quicker clean up is. Guess what hubby does if there’s no spoon clean? He washes one, he doesn’t just grab spoon number 37 for the day!
- Keep a toothbrush and a paint scraper nearby. I love these for quick scrubbing in small spaces and to get glue, paint, dried pancake batter etc off the counter quickly.
- Lotion pump by the sink. I’ve read that you can tell a woman’s true age by looking at her hands. So keep yours young by pampering them every time you wash them.
- Ring holder. Nothing stresses us out faster than forgetting where we laid our rings while we prepped food. Have a designated tray or jar where rings go (every time) you take them off in the kitchen. 3 days later, they’ll still be there waiting for you.
- Freezer contents. If you have a garage/basement fridge or freezer, keep an inventory of what’s in it. I actually write my outside freezer contents in dry erase marker on the ice maker inside my freezer. It’s easy to see what’s outside when I’m rushing to get dinner on the table. It’s a time saver for sure!
- Bins. Both my fridge and my pantry have clear plastic bins that house all the random stuff like (fridge) jars of jelly and maple syrup and (pantry) fruit snacks, granola bars, jello etc. Keeping that stuff contained does wonders for your sanity. Also, kid-friendly snacks have their own bins, 1 in the fridge and 1 in the pantry. Cheese sticks, yogurt squeezes, apples, pretzels etc, all go in those bins. When my kids want snacks, they know exactly where to look to find mom-approved goodies.
- Under shelf baskets. Not super cheap, but worth it. My pantry is filled with them. I put potatoes and onions in them, bags of chips, extra canned goods, you name it. They have doubled my shelf space and it’s easier to see everything.
- Towels. This one makes my husband laugh. I have 2 colors of dish towels and a system. M-Th are black towel days. Friday and the weekend are striped towel days. This silly system insures that I have clean towels to dry my dishes. I know exactly how long I’ve been using a towel and when it should hit the laundry. Dealing with food and food germs, better safe than sorry.
I hope these tips help keep your sanity in the kitchen and make your time there more enjoyable. I know they have made a huge difference for me.
Do you have your own time-saving kitchen tips? Please share them with other Dayton area moms by commenting below!