When your kitchen is a cluttered mess full of dirty dishes, and piles of mail or whatever else gets carried in from the car at the end of the day the last thing anyone wants to do is cook a healthy meal or meal prep for an entire week! Keeping a tidy kitchen can make meal planning and prep a much easier process! Check out our “10 Tidy Kitchen Tips” …

1. Use a “one in, one out” rule when stocking the fridge.
When you come home with groceries wipe the shelves down and remove anything that doesn’t look fresh. Removing food that’s no longer edible before adding new items keeps it from becoming overcrowded and cuts down on clutter and food waste.

2. Use a garbage bowl.
Instead of walking over to the trash can with handfuls of peelings or scraps, and probably dropping some in the process, use a bowl on the counter where you work to consolidate all of your cooking waste. It’s more efficient, and it will save you time.

3. Keep wipes where you can see them.
Use disenfecting wipes to clean spills and wipe down counters, coffee pots, microwaves, etc. after cooking.

4. Store foods that must be eaten toward the front of the fridge.
Put all foods that are close to their expiring in the front of the fridge. This way they’re the first thing you see when you open the door looking for something to eat – and expired food clutter doesn’t even have a chance to form.

5. Set a timer.
Don’t stop cleaning until you hear the ding. After breakfast and dinner set a 10-15 minute timer and clean until time is up!

6. Pick up anything that falls on the floor right away.                                                                                 Picking up that strawberry that rolled under the cabinet or or the pasta that fell out of the box now will save on cleanup later.

7. Empty the dishwasher as soon as it’s done.
Don’t let a back up of dirty dishes pill up in your sink because of a dishwasher full of clean dishes that you still need to put away! Empty it while you’rewaiting for other things to finish in the kitchen, like boiling water or food that’s heating up in the microwave.

8. Make wiping down countertops the one rule you always follow.
If you think about what touches your kitchen counters (mail, money, dirty laundry) you’ll want to clean them constantly. Wipe them down before cooking and after eating so nothing builds up and permanently sticks to them. Plus, you can’t wipe down a countertop that’s cluttered, so it may also help you keep them clear.

9. Line your cutting board with a flexible cutting mat.
You know that thing that happens when you take your big, bulky cutting board and try to slide a bunch of chopped vegetables into a pan? Half of them go on the floor, right? Use a thin, flexible cutting mat on top of your cutting board. When it’s time to transfer the vegetables pick this up, instead of the whole board, and bend it to funnel everything neatly into the pot.

10. Start fresh with a clean dish towel.
Don’t just use that rag from yesterday. Pull out a new towel every morning to clean up spills, dry dishes, and set the tone for the day