The kitchen is one of the most important spaces in your home. Of course, that also means it can be one of the messiest and most stressful. Kitchen messes have a way of getting out of hand, and waking up to a sink full of dishes or a counter covered in clutter is worse than starting your day with a bad cup of coffee. Fortunately, you can get kitchen messes under control with a few life hacks. Try these tips for making kitchen cleanup easier.
The bigger a mess gets, the more intimidating it is to address it. Keep kitchen messes in check by cleaning as you go. Whenever you have a moment in the middle of a process, do things like sending dirty dishes to the dishwasher instead of the sink. Don’t wait to throw away empty cans or boxes. Wipe away any spills, splashes, or drippings as soon as you can before you forget about them or they dry up. It may seem like more work, especially when you’re already engrossed in another task, but the longer you put off the little tasks, the bigger they get.
Speaking of those countertops and everything that can land on them, you can keep them cleaner by giving yourself supplemental surface space. Easily washable cutting boards are an easy and sanitary alternative to cutting directly on the counters. Whether you’re working with raw meat or vegetables, cutting boards make it easy to transfer ingredients and throw away the rest. They’re especially important if you have laminate countertops, which aren’t as durable as granite, and could incur some damage from your knives.
You have options when it comes to cutting board materials. Wooden boards are the traditional choice, but their porous nature means they need deep cleaning after use to avoid cross-contamination. Nonporous glass surfaces are a more sanitary alternative, but beware: their strength can damage your knives, and having the sound of a knife on glass ring through your home with each chop can really give you a headache.
Potatoes, pea soup, Polish sausages—heating these foods the wrong way can make a disaster area out of your microwave. Splatters from reheated meals can linger for days if you don’t attend to them immediately (as we said, clean as you go), and they can bake themselves into the walls of the microwave with each cycle. You don’t want to spend all your energy scraping dried kielbasa juice off your microwave—and you certainly don’t want it imparting its flavor onto everything else you cook. That’s why one of our best tips for making kitchen cleanup easier is to invest in a splatter shield or a plastic dome to shield your microwave chamber from sensitive food. It’s much easier to wash the accessories than deal with the microwave itself days or weeks down the road.