1) Establish a system for loading, running and emptying the dishwasher and stick to it the best you can.
I unload the dishwasher every morning, either while breakfast is cooking or right after breakfast. That way it is empty and ready for dirty dishes throughout the day. By the time dinner dishes make it in, it is full and ready to run. David does post-dinner kitchen clean up so he finishes loading it and runs it while I do Ayden's bedtime routine.
Don't forget the handwashed dishes in the drying rack!
2) This tip makes clean up after an egg-containing meal a little easier! Tap eggs on the counter instead of the side of the bowl!
This is a new trick I have learned. When I'd crack eggs on the edge of a bowl, some of the white would always drip down the outside and get on the counter. Then, when I'd open the egg, a lot of times pieces of the shell would fall in my meal. Cracking eggs on a flat surface cracks them just enough to get your fingers in to open it without actually shattering the shell. No mess and no chasing a shell fragment around in the scramble bowl.
3) Clean up as a family. Work together so you can play together!
Since we cook almost every meal from scratch, everyday of the week, we dirty a good amount of dishes. When one person is in charge of that endless task all of the time, it can get boring. That's why we like to clean up together! We turn on some music and talk, sing, even dance a little while we help each other get things done. Ayden even helps by taking all of the silverware out of the dishwasher and putting it on the floor...whether it's clean or dirty! I usually leave David to finish things up when Ayden's bedtime rolls around but we do the bulk of the work together. We have a rule in our house that either everyone is working or everyone is relaxing (even though putting Ayden to bed is pretty relaxing. I think I might have the better end of that bargain...).
4) Store things where they will be most convenient.
Put glasses in an upper cabinet near the sink/dishwasher, put cooking utensils and pot holders next to the stove, etc, etc. We have found that we can work much more efficiently when we don't have to constantly walk across the kitchen for the things we need.
5) Less is more. During my short stint as a Pampered Chef independent consultant while I was in college, I accumulated a TON of kitchen gadgets. They were all really cool and did their jobs very well but to be honest, a plane old knife does most of what they did. They just took up space and I rarely used them because grabbing a knife from the knife block was easier to use and to clean. The only single-purpose items that I still use are a garlic press and a citrus peeler. The rest I have donated away and emptied up a lot of space in my kitchen. I've also found that if I always have less than I have room for, bringing in a new item doesn't throw off my whole organizational system. A one in one out rule would also be great here but I have a hard time with that one all across the board...
There you have it! 5 tips to make your life a little more simple and your kitchen a little easier to work in. We don't always manage to conquer all of these everyday but when we do they sure work nicely! If you find that you're not a fan of being in your kitchen, or you just have trouble finding what you need when you need it, give these tips a try! Hopefully they'll help you as much as they've helped us!
Click here for more tips from the "Making Life Simple" series!
Flashback! Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Cousins"
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