8/17/18 This post contains affiliate links. For more information, visit my disclosure policy.
The kitchen is the center of a modern home. This is the place we nourish our families, fellowship over food, help our littles with homework, and create memories baking Grandma’s famous cookies. It is also the one room that can get messy and chaotic in 5 seconds flat.
Instead of waiting to do a big kitchen deep clean (and getting completely overwhelmed), I recommend taking small steps to keep your kitchen in tip top shape. These are tips I personally use daily to keep our kitchen clean and organized, even with 4 little girls running around!
Tip #1 Prep Your Produce
Wash and cut your fruits and veggies for the week to make packing lunches and meal prep a breeze. A quick wash in cool water with vinegar helps berries and veggies stay fresh, while a splash of lemon juice in water keeps your apple and pear slices from browning. Take it a step further, and prepackage portion sizes of produce in reusable bags, like Grove Reusable Snack Bags, so you can easily grab and go.
Also, take the time to properly store your produce when you bring it home from the store. Wrapping lettuce in a damp towel, celery in foil, berries in mason jars, and learning how to use your produce drawers in the refrigerator will extend the freshness of your food and save you money.
Tip #2 Make it Ahead
Make sandwiches ahead of time, and let your kids pack their own lunches. Wrapping each sandwich individually and storing in the fridge, means you prep once for a week of lunches. I love using Bee’s Wrap to wrap sandwiches, pie crust, vegetables, or to cover bowls.
Tip #3 Purge
Clean your fridge out BEFORE you go grocery shopping. Check expiration dates on condiments, and throw out what you no longer use. Take items out of the fridge and starting at the top, wash each shelf with warm, soapy water. I use Mrs. Meyers dish soap. It smells amazing and works great to cut through grease and grime.
Tip #4 Get Organized
Organize your refrigerator by food group. This makes it easy for kids to pack their own lunch or grab a healthy snack. It helps you to quickly see what you have on hand, and what needs to be added to the shopping list. Keep cheeses and lunch meats together, fruits in one drawer, veggies in another, and condiments in the door. Have one designated shelf for prepared meals and another for leftovers. Train your family to put foods back in their designated areas so you can easily find them.
Tip # 5 Store In Plain Sight
Make is easy to organize your food by storing food in clear, glass jars or containers so you can easily see what you have on hand. I love mason jars for their durability and these Wean Green Meal Cube containers to pack lunches or leftovers in. Glass can be safe with kids, it doesn’t leach into your food, can be heated, frozen, and can safely be put in the dishwasher. It is worth the investment!
Tip #6 The Nightly Routine
Set yourself up for a successful morning by doing a quick kitchen cleanup each night. Load and start the dishwasher and hand wash dishes, wipe down counters and fridge front, clean the stovetop, and make the kitchen sink sparkle. Tip: Sprinkle your sink with baking soda and a squirt of dish soap. Scrub well with a scrub brush, then rinse with vinegar and watch the mess bubble away. Finish with a rinse of hot water and polish dry. Finally, sweep the floors and spot clean any sticky messes. A few extra minutes of work at night will create a clean, fresh start for your morning. My favorite products for a clean kitchen are E-Cloth Microfiber Cloths, Grove Replaceable Head Scrub Brush and Mrs. Meyers Multi Surface Spray.
Tip #7 Stock Your Kitchen
For everyday messes, invest in quality towels and linens that stand up to family use. The Grove Kitchen and Flour Sack Towels are super absorbent and a personal favorite! To prevent the spread of germs, keep a separate kitchen towel out for hands and flour sack for drying dishes, and two separate microfiber washcloths for dishes and little faces. (Using the same washcloth on your toddler’s face as the table grosses me out!) Every night when you clean your kitchen, collect all the towels and throw them in the washing machine and set out new towels.
Tip #8 Reduce Waste
Also, think about switching to durable cloth napkins. We have used cloth napkins since our kids were little and they hold up much better than paper. Parenting Tip: When children are taught to place, and keep their napkin in their lap at dinner, they can’t be standing on the table! It is a great reminder for kids and helps make mealtime a bit more civil.
Tip #9 Be Prepared
For super sticky or germy situations (like raw chicken mess), keep a roll of paper towels and a botanically based disinfectant on hand. Grove now has a new paper towel line, Seedling, which is made from bamboo and sugar cane instead of trees. How awesome is that!
Tip #10 Get Them Involved
Teach your family to help you in the kitchen! We have a rotating chore list for after meals. One child is responsible for the dishes, one sets and washes the table, and one sweeps the floors after each meal. We all work together to clear the table and put food away. By teaching your children to help, you are building their confidence, teaching them important life skills, and encouraging teamwork. Tip: if you have little kids, have a cleaning caddy just for them to help. Include a small dustpan and broom, a microfiber cloth, and a spray bottle with water. They can “clean” alongside you and participate. The Full Circle Brush and Dustpan Set, Grove Cleaning Caddy, and Grove Microfiber Cloths would be a perfect gift for your little toddler to make them feel included.
Bonus Tip #11 Meal Plan Magic
(Because I love exceeding your expectations!) Make meal planning a breeze and implement the High Heeled Homemaker Kitchen Organization Kit into your routine. I have my Kit framed and hanging in my pantry, so I can easily glance each page and know what I have on hand. It saves me so much time on meal planning, and random jars of food don’t “disappear” in my kitchen anymore. (You know I’m not the only one to have this happen!)
This FREE kit gives you the tools you need to organize your food and plan your meals. The Kitchen Organization Kit includes a measurement conversion, pantry inventory, freezer inventory, weekly meal plan, shopping list, and 2 pages of recipe cards. All are beautifully designed to be displayed in your kitchen and are available for FREE download. Go to the Free Resource Library and download your favorite one today!
Now that you know my best tips for keeping your kitchen clean and organized, it’s time for you to take action. Choose the tips that will work best for your family, and start today. To make it even easier for you, I have a special link for Grove Collaborative. When you make your first purchase through this link, you will receive a free 5 piece Mrs. Meyers cleaning set!