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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, and then I clean the countertops.

A modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

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 cleaning 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.

A modern kitchen with stainless steel 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:
1). Keep
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.   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.

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 2.37.40 PM
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.

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? 

Cleaning and Family cleaning schedule to print for free



Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. We typically use a vinegar solution to keep the counters clean. Outside of the kitchen, we use it in our laundry a couple ways. If doing a load of whites or towels, will use 1/2 cup vinegar in the prewash to help brighten up and remove stains. We also use 1/3 cup in the fabric softener dispenser instead of using dryer sheets. This summer, I was trying to remove the smell of moth balls from clothing, so I did a 50/50 vinegar solution, hung the clothes on the line, and then sprayed them with the solution to help remove the odor.

  2. I found cleaning out coffee maker with vinegar is wonderful. You just fill the coffeemaker with water and vinegar and run a couple cycles. It clears all the build up. Then you run it again with just water to rinse.

  3. I haven’t heard of Four Monks, but it sounds so effective! your kitchen is beautiful by the way! I do a quick wipe every night just so it’s not such an eye sore the next day 😉

  4. I have never seen this at the store. We live in Utah. Where do you typically buy this at? I love to use vinegar on my water dispenser in the fridge. It gets a lot of build up from dripping. Would love to try this. Especially if it smells better than regular vinegar!

  5. I just moved into a new rental that has gas appliances. I definitely would feel safer cleaning them with a vinegar based solution. So excited to see that this product is scented, I must try it! Also, the tension rods…brilliant! Especially while renting, this way there’s no damage done to cabinets. I now know what to add to my “buy list”. Thanks, and I hope to keep my kitchen as clean as you do.

  6. I love your ideas but it’s not practical for me to do this everyday. I have five kids and homeschool. I will be happy to add this to my once a week schedule. I think it will make a big difference.