"If there's time to lean, there's time to clean" goes the old saying, and if you're taking the time to cook something special that seems like an inconvenient time to think about cleaning. The truth is with a little forethought you're likely to find some extra minutes to get some light cleaning in. You can scrub the oven top, organize and wipe down the fridge, clean the countertops and any other surfaces that need it, sweep the floor, and do other cleaning jobs while you're lasagna is baking, your pot roast is slow cooking, or your vegetables are simmering.
Simply put on your pair of handy, multi-purpose silicone oven mitts (imagine combining heat-resistant oven mitts with waterproof rubber gloves that you can clean with a rinse) while you're waiting for your different entrees and other ingredients to go through the cooking process that they have to go through.
How Messy Is Your Kitchen?
Before I even start cooking, I do a quick assessment—nothing's worse than cooking with a sink full of dishes that have been sitting there for days (or maybe even weeks!...Yikes!). So before you even start cooking, make sure that the kitchen is halfway decent. Get going with some hot soapy water and do the dishes before you start cooking!
Cleaning While You Cook
To be clear, we're not talking about breaking out the grout cleaner or lugging around an industrial mop bucket (although there's nothing wrong with a seasonal, deep clean a few times a year).
Wash a pan once you’re done with it (after it’s cooled of course!)Unless you’re actively combining ingredients, stirring, flipping or poaching, chances are you have some downtime while you’re cooking. Here are a few quick tasks that you can do while you're waiting for your heirloom wheat pasta to boil or your apple crumble to crisp in the oven.
- Wash a Utensil if you’re done with it
- Sweep the floor
- Consolidate the garbage and take it out
- Clean the microwave or stove top
- Give the windows a once over with some Windex
- Empty the garbage disposal
- Clean the sink and the faucets
Once you’re done your culinary masterpiece the easiest item to clean will hands down be your Sili-Mitts heat-resistant silicone oven mitts, I just rinse in soapy water, and the food, grease and spatter come right off, and I’m ready for the next time I cook, bake or bbq.
You don't have to do all of the above while you're cooking. Frankly, you won't have time for everything listed here, but if you do at least one or two, it will go a long way to keeping the kitchen clean. This is super important, especially if you live with roommates—if there's one common cause for discord in a shared living situation, it's a dirty kitchen (and bathroom).
Supplies and Strategies for Cleaning Success
Not everyone is born with a clean streak but everyone –even the messiest bachelors- love having a clean house to come home to. Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives.
Fortunately, unlike other more commonly recognized sources of stress (e.g., our jobs, our relationships), clutter is one of the easiest life stressors to fix. For instance, in addition to getting into the habit of cleaning while you cook, you might want to try buying some dedicated cleaning supplies that are just for your bedroom, the living room, etc. This way, there's no excuse ("the supplies are all the way over there! I'll do it later!").
The right supplies do go a long way too. Clorox brand wipes, "Magic Erasers," multi-purpose and eco-friendly CLR and easy to clean, reliable oven mitts are great staples to have in the home. Another super cool item that's easy to clean are silicone oven mitts. Unlike fabric mitts that stain and discolor easily, these silicone oven mitts are as easy to rinse off as rubber gloves; they have hooks for hang drying too.