“In the kitchen and in life, clean up as you go!”
I don’t know about you, but during the past year, all my routines have changed. Having the house full all of the time, and not full of little helpers either (parenting failure, I know!), it has been vital to keep on top of the chaos to avoid an emotional collapse.
There are amazingly clever people who have been doing all of these things, or life hacks as they may call them, for many years. Perhaps we have been too busy and a load of laundry goes on haphazardly, the dishes get left sometimes in favor of a glass of wine, and the annual diary is empty past the month of February.
We think we have more time, but our capacity is less somehow. I have found routine to be saviour, and especially in the kitchen. Getting up and making the bed first thing in the morning and cleaning down the kitchen last thing at night will bookend your day beautifully and help to lift your spirits, even on a dull grey day.
These are some of our tips for keeping on top of the kitchen chaos for a happy home life.
Keep on top of the dishes
My husband is a chef and his pet hate is leaving dishes in the sink. To him, they either get rinsed and put in the dishwasher, or washed up immediately. For the sake of marital happiness, I adopted this value. It makes such a difference to the build-up of mess during the day. Anyone snacking must put their plates straight in the dishwasher and when we chop or eat from something that needs to be washed up, we do that straight away. Periodically, while waiting for the kettle to boil say, we will dry and put away what is on the draining board.
- Prep bowls
Another useful chef tip, when you are preparing a meal. Firstly, if your chopping board tends to slip on the work surface, dampen a paper towel and lay it out between the board and the work surface. Secondly, keep an empty bowl handy for peelings and scraps. Your chopping board will be devoid of onion skins and carrot peels, and the clean-up is easier as everything goes straight in the compost.
- Clean your kitchen sink each night
In the evening when the dishes are done, clean the sink from any food waste. Sprinkle baking soda over the whole surface. Use a damp cloth or sponge with a little dish liquid and scrub all over in a circular motion, including the draining board. Rinse well with water. Then use white vinegar on a paper towel to wipe it all over for a streak-free, hygienic shine. Then lay the table for breakfast before putting the house to bed.
- Plan meals in advance
If you can plan a week’s worth of meals in advance you will avoid the hasty ready-steady-cook dinner. This is especially helpful if you plan to cook some slow cooker meals which you can get on in the morning before breakfast. You will probably find that your grocery bill comes down remarkably too, and everyone snacks less as there is a fixed mealtime.
- Have a clutter bowl on the island
Do you find that there is an accumulation during the day of notes, bills, golf tees, small toys, etc. on your kitchen work surface? Why not add a decorative bowl and put everything in to it as it gets forgotten or left there? At the end of the day, it will be easy to pick up the bowl and re-house everything in its correct place before starting afresh the next day. If you like you can cover it with a pretty napkin too. It will become the new ‘lost and found’ department of the home.
Add a broom cupboard to your kitchen design
I am immensely cheered by a clean floor. From meal prep to eating, your kitchen is a crumb magnet. To this end, a daily vacuum or sweep keeps the room looking wonderful. Family members will tend to bring less through the house on the base of their socks and slippers too, so the end of result is cleaner everywhere. You will be more likely to do this if you have a handy cupboard with easy access to the vacuum and broom.
Kitchen design at O’Connors of Drumleck
Our designers are incredibly handy at finding solutions to accommodate your needs and whims. During the planning of a new kitchen, think through all the aspects of your home and lifestyle to ensure that the space will function cohesively.
If you are ready to discuss your kitchen re-design project, we invite you to complete the contact form on our website to arrange a personal visit to our showroom where you can appreciate the craftsmanship and unique qualities in every piece of furniture. We look forward to discussing your ideas and plans so that we can improve the functionality and flow that you are currently living with.
In the meantime, on our blog, you will find a host of inspiring articles. Our most popular articles this month are Five Ideas or a Kitchen Pantry, Kitchen Trends 2021 and why to choose a Bespoke Kitchen.
19th March 2021, Jennie Ritchie, O’Connors of Drumleck