I get questions all the time about my countertops and kitchen – how I keep them clean and organized with four kids. So, today… I’ve partnered with Four Monks™ Cleaning Vinegar to answer your questions of how I keep them clean and clear of things. You can purchase it at Wal-mart.
First- they aren’t always clean. If you come to our house at 8:00 am, you would see the toaster, coffee maker, 3 lunch boxes, six plates and glasses… all on the countertops. By 10:00, it would be back to normal (until lunch time, that is).
It really starts at night. I try to clean my countertops completely at night. I have to clean them at night or they will start to just slowly pile up throughout the day and become an overwhelming mess! It would stress me out, until I had a frantic “we have to clean right now” moment, so to avoid that, I start with a clean slate every day. I put everything away, back to the designated spot, I clean the countertops with our Four Monks™ Cleaning Vinegar. It is an easy way to have clean countertops and make them smell sweet again with a dishrag soaked in Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar. I use it to clean our cabinets, dishwasher, refrigerator and sink.
So- where do I keep things?
Everything is under the cabinet (coffee maker, toaster, etc…)
I keep my recipe cards in the pantry, with the spices. I only have two cookbooks, since most of the recipes that I cook are either on recipe cards or found online. You can see my weekly meal plan here.
I keep my kitchen cleaner in the pantry, but I keep on of my Four Monks™ Cleaning Vinegar spray bottles under the kitchen sink. I can grab it to clean the sink quickly. I don’t use it on the granite, because you aren’t supposed to, but I love it on my sink & appliances.
I keep our cabinets filled, but pretty organized by combining like items. If you have a lot of plastic bowls, combine them & throw away or donate what you do not use. I have three mixing bowls- that’s it. If you need more, keep more, but you don’t need to have more than you need in your house. Consolidate & declutter!
Step #1- Empty your cabinets completely. Look at ALL of the things that you have & start getting rid of things!
Make three piles:
2).Donate (have a garbage bag ready for this pile).
3).Throw away- have another garbage bag ready.
4) OPTIONAL: You could have a fourth pile- “to sell”- but a lot of times, this will just make its way back into your cabinets if it doesn’t sell as quickly as you are hoping.
Now start going through each cabinet & putting it into the correct pile.
Step #2- Clean them. Just vacuum out the crumbs that seem to accumulate in your cabinets. Spray them with your Four Monks™ Cleaning Vinegar and wipe them down.
Step #3- Putting them back: Put the pots and pans back near the lids: I do not store mine with the lids on, so I keep a pile of lids next to my pots and pans. You can get a file organizer or use tension rods for your lids (thank you, Martha Stewart, for that idea!), if you don’t want a pile. Keep your cookie sheets together, too.
I keep the rest of my things (cookie cutters, large pots, extra serving trays) in a storage bench that Mickey built for me. We use it as a kitchen bench for the kids to sit on while they eat. You can kind of see it here, behind the kitchen table, under the windows:
Here are a few more things that I use my Four Monks™ Cleaning Vinegar for:
Cleaning the kitchen cabinets by spraying them and wiping them clean. Cleaning the dishwasher of mineral buildup by pouring a half a cup of Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar into the reservoir and running an empty cycle. Soaking silverware in a sink full of Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar is sure-fire way to get it shining again. Stained refrigerators will shine like new after soaking problem areas in Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar. I find that it works well to use it in the dishwasher to keep the glasses sparkling. Eliminate smells in an oven by using a sponge soaked in Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar and wiping down the surfaces on the inside of the oven. Repeat with water and let air-dry. My favorite one… you can tie it to your kitchen faucet like this (filling the bag with the cleaner).
ps- get a coupon on their website, too!
All in all, the biggest question that you ask me is “Isn’t it a lot of work to get those things out every day?” My thought is that it takes less than 10 seconds to get them out (less time that it takes to make my bed or get dressed… and we do that every day.), so no, I don’t mind. It gives me a sense of “ahh… it is clean” and a feeling of calmness. I love having a home that is clean and organized. With six people in our family, we need to have it kept this way or it would be chaotic! They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and it is certainly where our family gets together a lot, so keeping it clean just promotes that. Everyone likes to go where it feels peaceful.
How do you keep your kitchens clean?