Go Clean Your Kitchen!

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Reader question: When my whole house is messy I do not even know how to get started. My kitchen is filled with dishes, garbage, clutter, etc and I cannot even get in there to clean it up. Can you help?

My answer:
I cannot stand it when my kitchen is a yucky mess. As you will see in these pictures, my house has a kind of open floor plan so that a messy kitchen is visible from the main part of the house and really can’s be ignored. If your kitchen is a mess, here is where I suggest you start:

From Cleaning the Kitchen

1. Gather all the dirty dishes and put them in piles near the sink (not in the sink). Dump any beverages down the drain as you gather them. Drag your trash can over there as well, if possible. This is where you can throw away all food remaining on dishes.

From Cleaning the Kitchen

2. Clear the counter space to the right of the sink and wipe it down, then place a nice, clean towel or dish drainer there to gather clean dishes.

From Cleaning the Kitchen

3. Clean out the sink thouroughly of all food and debris.

From Cleaning the Kitchen

4. Fill the sink with soapy water and drop the silverware in there to soak (not the sharp knives).

From Cleaning the Kitchen

5. Begin washing your glasses. If the water gets too dirty at any time, drain it and start again.

6. Pile the soapy washed dishes on the right side of your sink. Once it is full, stop and rinse all the dishes and set them on the towel or the dish drain to dry.

From Cleaning the Kitchen

7. Continue washing, saving the dirtiest dishes like pans until last.

From Cleaning the Kitchen

8. As your dishes are drying on the counter, throw away all trash, put away all clutter, and wipe remaining counters and tables down. Gather all paperwork and move it to your desk area. Remember your kitchen is a food factory, not a paperwork holder. Take all toys and clutter and set them in a laundry basket to put away when you are finished.

From Cleaning the Kitchen

9. Clean the inside of your microwave. To clean it, take a large microwaveable bowl with two cups of water and bring it to a boil inside the microwave. The steam will loosen dirt. You can often take out the glass turntable and clean it in your sink.

10. Wipe down the fronts of appliances.

From Cleaning the Kitchen

11. Dry and put away all the dishes.

12. Sweep the floor and mop it. Make traps for your children with the chairs and ask them to “Please be my prisoner.”

From Cleaning the Kitchen

13. Clean any glass windows (at least on the inside where grime and grease may gather).

From Cleaning the Kitchen

14. Clean out your sink, actually polishing it this time.

From Cleaning the Kitchen

15. Take all towels and cloth napkins and washcloths to your laundry area. Replace the towels and washcloths and paper towels if you use them.

16. If time and temperature permits, set your self-cleaning oven to clean itself. Mine takes over 4 hours and will make a burning smell in your house, so keep that in mind when you consider cleaning it.

17. Set out a pretty candle or some flowers and enjoy.

18. As you can see in the pictures, see which tasks you can delegate. You can do something creative like put some brownies in the oven before you start, so that you have a fun reward at the end. Don’t forget to set a timer!

From Cleaning the Kitchen

19. Take pictures of your children while they are working and tell them, “I’m blogging this!” and they will work harder and more happily than you could ever imagine. 🙂 If you do not have a blog, feel free to send me a picture of your clean kitchen and I will blog it for you!


  1. Sandra Rowell

    THanks for the inspiraiton!

  2. Cathy

    I love your kitchen. It’s so light and airy. I have a question. When you polish your kitchen sink, do you use any particular kind of cleaner for it?

  3. jill

    I think I’m going to take pictures of the kids cleaning the kitchen and make our own “flipbook” aid. Kids love pictures of themselves! and I love seeing them accomplish things independently. Win-Win. Thanks!

  4. Malia

    Barkeepers Friend.

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