We have all seen them, those neat and tidy kitchens without a stray spoon or spatula in sight. Here are 4 simple steps to clean counters that I swear by:
1. Completely clear your counters. Remove everything and place it on your kitchen or dining room table.
2. Wipe your counters with your favorite cleaner ( I use a solution of 1 cup vinegar to one cup water with a 5-6 drops of Dawn dish soap), or you can use a sponge with warm, soapy water.
3. Look at your appliances that you placed on the table-- is there anything that you don't use daily that can be put in a different place, or in a cabinet or pantry? Is there anything you can donate or give away? Before you move everything back, take stock of your counters for a few minutes. If you only use your toaster or blender once or twice a week and if you have limited counter space (like I do) maybe it would be better stored someplace else. A little space on the counter is a good things, there is no need to clutter it up!
4. Now, put the remaining items back on your counters and think about zones as you are returning the items. For example, it you keep your baking goods (like flour and sugar) on the counter, put them where you store your mixer and measuring cups. Put your coffee maker by the mugs and so on.
Once you have returned all of your items to the counters, make a conscience effort to keep them clean. After every meal put things back where they belong, don't pile dishes on the counters and empty your sink and/or dishwasher (if you have one). My number one suggestion to keeping your kitchen clean and your counters clear, is to develop a kitchen cleaning routine. This will help immensely and you will feel much better in the morning when you wake up to clean counters.