How to keep a tidy kitchen during a busy time of year

You may be thinking to yourself that this is an impossible task, but we’ve been around a few kitchens
and have come to a conclusion.It’s all about staying on top of things! No, really… it’s that simple. We’ll even show you how!

Step 1. Empty your dishwasher.

Yes, we said it. This is Step 1. Having an empty dishwasher when cooking or baking makes life so much easier.
We will suggest another way to clean dirty dishes while you work but for now, go empty your dishwasher! If you are
the dishwasher, congratulations! You get to skip Step 1.

Step 2. Start the Christmas music.

If the thought of Christmas music makes you wonder just how much flesh and blood can bear,
please skip Step 2. If you’re one of the few who still appreciate that art form, make with the Bing Crosby and get busy.

Step 3. Have a waste bowl nearby.

Not an actual garbage can, just a bowl or container where you can throw waste away.
Having an thing within arm’s reach to add all scraps or peelings is more efficient than having
to go back and forth to the trash can. It’s a tremendous time saver!

 Step 4. Remove the recycling bin from wherever you hide it.

Have it nearby; just like you have your waste bowl. However, keep it on the floor. And make sure
you’re not tripping over it.Not tripping over it is always a plus.This step will help with cooking if you’re using
canned or boxed goods. Just drop them in as you go along. Ensure you’re removing all non-recyclable plastics, of course.
You knew that already, smart cookie that you are.

Step 5. Use the 10-second rule!

Pick up anything you drop right away and throw it in your garbage bowl. We know how annoying
it is to have to bend down every 5 minutes, but if you think about it, it’ll save you time in the end.
You’ll simply have to do a quick sweep once you’re done in the kitchen and voilà!

Step 6. Use a cutting mat over your cutting board.

Okay, we know what you’re thinking. Why use both? And if you aren’t thinking that, it may be because
you aren’t sure what this is. In that case, it is a flexible mat that you can cut on. It comes in handy
because you can pick the whole thing up and bend it in the middle, which gives you a handy funnel for
getting the chopped veggies into the pan with minimal loss and waste.

Step 7. Use a cup to corral your measuring spoons.

Using a cup or a tall container in front of your cooking area will remind you not to pull out a new one every time.
This streamlines the cooking process by keeping your tools nearby and organized.

Step 8. Clean as you go.

If we haven’t made this clear yet, you must have skipped Steps 3-5. However, on this note, we’re suggesting you
grab a large bowl or container and fill it with soapy water. We suggest this as you may need your sink for other
reasons such as water, dirty dishes and so on. You get the point. So have this soapy water as an area where all
dirty items are consolidated instead of having them hanging around on your countertops taking up valuable space.
If you have a small space to work in, you know how important this step is.

Step 9. Fill a spray bottle with soapy water.

This step may or may not be useful to you, but by having a spray bottle with soapy water, you can give dirty
pots and pans a squirt right away and dissolve the nasty things stuck to them. And it makes keeping the
countertop clean easy as pie.

Step 10. Use a splatter screen when cooking over a stove top.

If you’ve got one lying around the kitchen, great! If not, look into buying one for the simple reason that you’d be
avoiding the spatters that come of rendering fat, sautéing or shallow-frying. This will save you tons of time cleaning afterwards.

Step 11. Measure and spray over your sink. (or over an open dishwasher, if that’s closer)

Not only will this catch the excess grease or powder flying everywhere, it will keep cooking sprays away from any
pets or children if they are nearby. Also, it keeps your countertop from being anointed with honey or oil or any other tenacious substance.

Step 12. Take your time.

Cooking and baking are a marathon, not a race. Take your time and enjoy the process of creating a beautiful delicacy
from the rawest ingredients. And, cooking at a slower pace ensures less messes are made. Chopping slower, measuring
deliberately and wiping up in between each cooking instruction, guarantees your success. If you’re still a skeptic who
feels fine festively flinging flour to the floor, then fire away. It’s Christmas and we all celebrate in our own way, be it messy or neat.

Step 13. In Vino Veritas

As you work your magic, take the time to enjoy a good glass of wine. Pausing to reflect on what you’ve done
and what you must still do is a good practice. It stills the mind and keeps you focused on the small tasks that
eventually add up to a large finished product. We recommend a nice Merlot.