4 Easy Ways to Keep the Kitchen Clean

Christine Pafumi
March 12, 2013

One mom shares her kitchen cleaning routine as part of the Care.com Interview Series

The kitchen is known to be the busiest room in the house - as well as the hardest one to keep clean! Blogger Anna Moseley (Ask Anna Moseley) loves spending time in the kitchen and entertains quite frequently, and has become an expert on how to handle the toughest dirt jobs in the house. She shared with Care.com her four best tips for keeping this problem area under control in your house:

1. Keep Washcloths Nearby
Moseley keeps one of her kitchen drawers full of white washcloths for quick spills and easy cleaning. "Every morning I pull 2 of them out: one for wiping down kitchen surfaces, the other for cleaning up my daughter after meals," she says. "Both washcloths stay on the sink throughout the day and are used to keep the kitchen, and my daughter, sticky and crumb-free."

2. Wipe Down the Sink
A clean kitchen sink is important for the overall cleanliness of the kitchen. "If the sink isn't sanitized then it's easy to get other things in your kitchen dirty too: dishes, washcloths, scrub brushes, etc.," Moseley notes. "I keep a sponge, and my favorite sink cleaning product, close at hand and then I clean the sink at the end of every day. If I cook with meat then I sanitize the sink immediately after preparing the meal, so I don't get raw meat bacteria on anything else in the kitchen."

3. Run the Vacuum Regularly
Get to those hard-to-reach dust-bunnies and food crumbs as often as you can. "I don't care how much I try to keep crumbs off the floor, somehow they always end up there," Moseley muses. "I find that vacuuming at least every other day, keeps the floors clean and makes the kitchen feel, overall, much cleaner."

4. For An Intense Spring Cleaning, Leave No Stone Unturned
Moseley suggests taking everything out of the cupboards and off the shelves, dusting and cleaning the shelves, then putting everything back. Try to clean on top of the fridge, detail all of the appliances, take everything out of the fridge and freezer and cleaning them, then re-organizing them before putting items back. If you have time, clean the walls of the kitchen. Grease and grime from cooking can get on the walls so it's important to wipe down the walls with soap and water.

Read more about what works for Anna Moseley in her house in our full interview below.

Tell us about your family and your blog.

I am one of those crazy people who has always loved to clean and organize. Just over two years ago I started my blog so people could email me their cleaning, organizing and decorating questions and I could give them a solution to their problems.

My husband and I have been married for 8 1/2 years and we have a beautiful 4-year old daughter. We are actively involved with our community, our church, and we are currently working with and pursuing the adoption of a girl rescued out of sex trafficking.

What is the golden rule of cleaning and organizing in your home?

We actually have two "golden rules" in our house. The first is that one mess must be cleaned up before moving onto something else. The second "golden rule" is that if you made the mess, you can clean it up. My daughter will say "it's too hard to clean up" and my reply is, "If you can make the mess then you can clean it up." Kids can be so dramatic about cleaning up, but the truth is that it's just as easy to put the toys away as it is to take them all out!

For more advice on getting your kids involved, check out 5 Tips for Getting Your Kids to Do Chores »

Do you ever incentivize your children to help out? How do you get your kids involved in home organization?

To motivate my daughter to help out around the house, I created a job chart for her. At the end of every week, she gets paid for the jobs she's completed, and if she chooses not to do a job, then I get paid for it. All the details of how I set it up can be found here.

When it comes to your kitchen, what role do your kids play in helping to organize and clean?

My daughter is responsible for picking up after herself in the kitchen. She helps set the table and she takes her own dishes to the sink after meals. She is a little young, and too short, to put away the dishes, but when she's older I will have her help me load and unload the dishwasher.

What makes this room a challenge for you, whether it involves the kids' stuff or simply the amount of "people traffic" coming through it?

The kitchen is actually one of the easiest rooms in the house for me to keep clean and organized. Because I spend so much time in the kitchen, I have a good system for keeping it clean. We also love to have people over and host parties, so my kitchen is organized so that guests can also find things easily.

If you could give other parents one tip about getting your kids to help out, what would it be?

My best advice for getting kids to help out around the house is to start when they are young. In our house I try to make chores (my daughter's jobs) as fun as possible, to motivate her to want to help out. I also give her lots of praise when she does a good job. Kids love to please their parents so when you praise them for doing a great job, they will want to help out next time too. Even if they don't do the chore exactly how you want them to, don't let them know. Make sure they know you are proud of them for helping out. Implementing these things starting at a young age will turn your kids into good helpers around the house.

For more cleaning tips, check out the Care.com Interview Series: How to Clean and Organize Your Home from Top to Bottom »

Anna Moseley has always had a knack for cleaning and organization. She started her blog, Ask Anna Moseley, to help others who had household questions. She lives in California with her husband and daughter. You can also find Anna on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo used with permission from Anna Moseley.

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