How To Avoid Kitchen Clean-up AFTER Cooking

messy kitchen

messy kitchen

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A lot of people don’t mind cooking but they hate cleaning up afterwards.  If that’s you, there’s an easy way to prevent that after-dinner cleaning marathon.

1.       Have a trash can in a convenient location (like right next to where you’re working), a plastic grocery bag attached to one of your drawer pulls or a large bowl on the counter for trash.  Toss all your trash into the container & then dump the bowl or bag or move the trash can back where it goes.

2.       Empty the dishwasher before you start and load it as you go.  Sometimes I leave my dishwasher open to make it really easy.

3.       Fill the sink with soapy water and let the dishes soak.  I’m not a fan of this option because I frequently need the sink.  But I have done it on occasion and I would if I didn’t have a dishwasher.

4.       Put small appliances like mixers and choppers away as soon as you’re done with them. Use them, put them away.

5.       If a dish wasn’t “dirty”, don’t wash it.  If you used a measuring cup for dry pasta, wipe it out and put it away. It doesn’t need “washed”.

6.       Use the same things again – like a knife or a measuring cup.  Obviously you can’t always do this – like with foods that are messy or with meats.  But you can wash the knife between uses to avoid dirtying three or four knives.

7.       Clear clutter from the counters before you start.  I’m much messier if I don’t have adequate work space.

8.       Take breaks to do a little clean-up.  Don’t save everything for afterwards.  Cleaning up while you’re cooking isn’t nearly as bad as cleaning up after.  The last thing you want to do after cooking and eating is clean up a big mess.  So don’t save it all for later.  Clean as you go!

9.       Split up the cooking and do some in the morning and some in the evening.  That automatically makes clean-up a little easier.

10.     Get help.  Sometimes you can’t clean as you go because of the type of food you’re cooking (like stove top meals).  In that case, get someone to wash while you cook.

Do you like cooking but hate the clean-up? Would any of these techniques help you?

Other cooking articles are available in the Cooking Index.

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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4 thoughts on “How To Avoid Kitchen Clean-up AFTER Cooking

  1. I’m a big fan of clean as you go – learned it from my mother (although she was so bad she would put utensils I was still using in the dishwasher!).

    But I’m a bigger fan of the cook plans/shops and cooks, and the diners clean up 😀 Depending on our workload, my husband and I swap back and forth – he cooks, I clean. I cook, he cleans. Frankly, he’s the better cook – much more creative. I’m better at the complicated meals and large meals.

  2. I struggle with the clean as you go system. Probably because I do tend to do a lot of stove top cooking. Of course, I can’t stand to have another person messing around behind me while I’m cooking EVEN if they are cleaning. Starting with a clean kitchen seems to make the biggest difference for me although I don’t always do that. I like number 5 a lot as well. I do that often.

    1. I actually learned #5 from my husband. I used to always wash everything, whether it needed it or not.

      Stove top cooking does make it harder to clean as you go. And you can dirty a LOT of dishes cooking that way. I agree – starting with a clean kitchen helps a lot.

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