How to Get Your Cooking and Cleaning Done Simultaneously

When it comes to keeping your kitchen both clean and functional, you probably wish you had superpowers. It already takes a lot of time and energy to prepare meals for yourself and your loved ones. But you have other tasks ahead of you once you’re done cooking, such as cleaning up your kitchen space and putting everything in the right order.

How to Get Your Cooking and Cleaning Done Simultaneously
[image: pexels by dana tentis]

Is it possible to turn back time or to grow a spare limb just so that you can multitask more efficiently in the kitchen? Unfortunately, the answer is no. But there are ways to save time on the cleaning work you have to do after cooking. You can clean and put things away as you go, thus reducing the time it normally takes to do a post-meal clean-up. 

How do you master cooking and cleaning at the same time? Here are some tips for how to juggle these two tasks and become smarter about the energy you expend in your kitchen. 

Stack Your Used Dishes, Utensils, and Kitchen Implements in One Place

One of the biggest hassles you have to deal with after cooking a meal is gathering all the stuff you used during prep work. That task becomes even more time-consuming and energy-draining if you have to grab bowls, plates, knives, cutting boards, and other items from different zones in your kitchen. Instead of spreading these out and making a bigger mess, you can already start preparing to clean them by designating a single zone for them. For example, you can practice bringing used and dirty items straight to the sink when they’ve already served their purpose for your cooking prep. It would be even better to stack these according to glassware type or utensil type for faster washing and organization.  

Find Quick Ways to Cool Down Your Cookware 

Another way that you can fast-track the cleaning and organization process, even when you’re in the middle of cooking, is to cool down your pots and pans as soon as possible after using them. The sooner your cookware items get to a safe temperature, the less time you’ll need to spend waiting to clean them. You’ll have an easy time reducing the heat on your pans if you use an induction cooker to cook food since this appliance doesn’t rely on a direct flame and stops heating cookware as soon as the pot or pan is removed from the hob. If you still need to cook with an open flame, take a little extra time to cool your hot pots or pans with small amounts of lukewarm water before soaping and scrubbing them. 

Observe Mise en Place for Your Ingredients 

Mise en place is a French term for prepping cooking ingredients ahead and putting them all in one organized space before using them in a recipe. Though it refers to the prep work needed for cooking, it is also an effective method for keeping a kitchen clean and orderly. The practice of chopping, peeling, grinding, or mincing ingredients in advance—as well as arranging them neatly in just a few bowls or plates—can make you more mindful about how many tools you’re using, thus lessening the overall amount of mess you’ll end up with after you’re done cooking. In a way, it’s like cleaning in advance as well as prepping in advance—which is definitely a good mindset to have when you want to make the best of your kitchen time. 

Put Your Kitchen Scraps in a “Garbage” Bowl

Kitchen mess is already unpleasant to deal with in the first place, but one particularly wearisome and time-consuming task is taking care of food waste. If not cleaned up properly, biodegradable food waste can develop a nasty smell, leave grime on your kitchen surfaces, and attract pests. It will be a good idea for both your time and the general cleanliness of your kitchen to organize your food waste while you’re in the middle of prepping. An easy way to do this is to set aside a “garbage” bowl on your kitchen counter or work surface, or a bowl where you can immediately dump food refuse like fruit and vegetable peels, bones, and the like. This strategy will also make garbage disposal and waste segregation a breeze since you won’t have to spend extra time sorting through biodegradable and recyclable waste.

Prep a Bottle of Soapy Water and a Cleaning Towel for Dirty Spots

You probably wait until you’re done cooking and eating to wipe down your dirty kitchen surfaces. But when you’re tired and out of focus, it can be easy to miss a spot. You can get a head start on cleaning your kitchen surfaces by preparing a small bottle of soapy water and keeping a cleaning cloth or sponge at hand. Spritz the soap solution and then wipe or scrub the dirty surface right as soon as it gets soiled. You’ll still need to clean your kitchen right after you cook, but at the very least, you won’t leave any dirt or grime forgotten—and you’ll likely spare yourself the hassle of dealing with mold, pests, and other kitchen hazards. 

These are just a few of the “hacks” that will make it easier to multitask cleaning, organization, and meal preparation in your kitchen. Which one do you think will be most helpful to you?

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