The right way to maintain your kitchen

We all love our kitchens because that’s where the food comes from and, let’s be honest, everybody loves food. But, because it’s such a popular area of the house, it is also the first and quickest place in the house to get dirty and disorganised.

Especially if you aren’t living on your own and have a flatmate or family of people moving in and out of the kitchen five times a day. It may not be your fault that the kitchen looks as if it has been hit by a bomb at the end of every day, but you can control the way it is organised. You can also control the cleaning regimen of kitchen items that will make everyday cooking and cleaning better.

Cleaning and loading your dishwasher

The dishwasher is a life saver. No more guessing games of “what is that slimy thing touching my finger” or accidentally stabbing yourself three times with the same knife that’s sitting at the bottom of the murky-watered sink.  

When you load your dishwasher you need to be mindful of a few things if you’re looking for the best results. Consider the direction of your dishes, keep your mugs and glasses on the top rack and keep your cutlery sectors mixed – there are no “forks-only” compartments in the cutlery basket. Load your dishwasher to its maximum capacity (without compromising its performance ability) and you’ll spend less time loading and unloading every few hours.

Now, your dishwasher may be perfect for cleaning your cutlery and crockery, but the dishwasher itself also needs to be cleaned once in awhile. And the way you do this is by removing and cleaning the filters. Place one cup of white vinegar at the bottom of the dishwasher and run a (empty) heavy cycle, followed by one cup of baking soda left at the bottom of the dishwasher overnight. Then run an empty cycle and, finally, take a toothbrush and scrub away any grime that may be left.

Cleaning your oven

Baking soda and vinegar seems to be the optimal kitchen appliance cleaner and it will definitely work for cleaning your oven. Which is something you seriously need to be doing on a regular basis. The buildup of grease and splatters inside the oven is shocking and you should never feel comfortable cooking three different types of meals when there is only one dish in the oven.

So, take your baking soda and vinegar and get scrubbing. Yes, it will take some time and you’re likely to work up a bit of a sweat, but it will be worth it in the end. The racks, inner door, top, bottom, sides and crevices are all part of the “clean the oven” to-do-list.

Cleaning and organising your refrigerator/freezer

Labels, baskets, containers and category shelves are a few ways to organise your fridge. And if everyone in the house sticks to that layout, your fridge should be relatively easy to keep organised and decluttered. But there does come a time for a fridge season-clean (not just in spring).

Your first step is to take everything out and work quickly if you’d prefer your food to stay fresh. Get rid of all things expired, clean your sauce bottles and lids, take out your glass shelves and clean any three-month-old spillage that’s been growing on it, clean the inside door and its shelves and then you can arrange and organise your shelves and drawers as you wish.

Organising your kitchen cupboards

Kitchen cupboards have a lot more space than what you see at face-value. The inside door is also an opportunity for storage. By adding a shallow drawer for cutting boards or hooks for hanging measuring spoons, your cupboard will look more organised and your drawers will have more space for other things.

If you add stack shelves to your cupboards you allow yourself more space for crockery that won’t end up chipping because they’re competing for space. Another great idea is to decant everything you can into labelled jars and containers that will take up less space and look so much neater.

At the end of the day, you need to organise your cupboards in a way that works with how you work around the kitchen. As long as there is some kind of logic behind it as well.

Keep something fresh and alive around

And lastly, the right way to maintain your kitchen, and find motivation to clean and organise as mentioned in the points above, is to keep something that is fresh or alive around the kitchen as well.

So, fresh flowers, a small fish bowl, a mini herb garden or some fresh fruits in a fruit bowl. Having any of these in your kitchen will make you want to keep the area clean and organised. No one wants to grab a banana or apple from a bowl that’s surrounded by filthy countertops or have their flowers lost amongst the cluttered shelves.

Fresh and alive promotes clean and organised living. Well, that’s the idea anyway.