Home Organization 101: How to Maintain a Clean (and bacteria-free) Kitchen

Written by: Katya on 28/04/17

Getting the home organized takes a significant amount of time, patience, and a bit of statistics – because yeah, you need to know where things should go, what fits in that extra space, and is a particular thing worth keeping or not.

On the flip side, if there’s one part of our home that requires me to get help decluttering and maintaining, it’s the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kitchen! I love how I can be creative and experiment with different condiments and ingredients; and how I can add my own spin on standard dishes so as to elevate the taste. I love how my husband gives me the nod of approval every time he finishes a meal down to the very last morsel. I love how I can cook yummy meals for my children. I love the peaceful chaos that cooking brings. I may not be a culinary expert, but what’s good enough for my family is good enough for me. The kitchen is my fortress – next to my cozy home office of course.

However, not all my kitchen conquests are all about “cupcakes and rainbows” (See: Trolls) There always will be a price to pay for every meal. TRASH. (This is where most of my home organisation techniques come into play.)

Let’s face it: the kitchen is known to be the busiest part of the house.  It is obviously a place where we store and prepare our food. However, the kitchen is also considered to be the dirtiest part of the house because food attracts germs and bacteria too. Not only that; kitchen trash that has piled up also becomes the hideout of bugs, rats, and other pests.

Vegetable and fruit peelings, leftovers, plastic wrappers, grocery bags, and empty bottles and cans are some of the common wastes you can find in the kitchen trash can.  So how do we keep the kitchen clean and free from pests and sickness-causing bacteria?   The answer is simple:  waste reduction.

Some of you would think that it’s easier to just throw everything in one place and clean kitchen surfaces with detergents and other special cleaning solutions.  It may be quicker and more convenient but it is also more harmful and more hazardous to your health.  This may sound like an over-exaggeration, but the truth is, most cleaning solutions contain toxins and other harmful chemicals – some things that you wouldn’t want around your children. The question is: would you rather be poisoned by toxic cleaning chemicals or get sick with germs and bacteria?  Our grudging response may be to choose the second option. The good news is, if you reduce and manage your waste properly, you don’t have to compromise your health at all.  You get rid of germs and bacteria and do away with toxic cleaning aids.  So here are some ways to reduce kitchen junk (as well as best ways to save money, because when you reduce your junk, you reduce your expenses!):

Stop overbuying.  

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Refrain from getting and buying things you don’t actually need or won’t be using right away.  Check your available supply and make a shopping list before going to the grocery. Don’t shop with an empty stomach because hunger makes us believe we can devour everything in our sight.  Our stomachs can only hold so much so you end up buying more than what you can eat.  After shopping, use thoughtful measures to store your items for longer use.  Prioritise the consumption of goods that perish easily.  Meat, poultry, and seafood can be frozen for consumption later.

Avoid plastic.

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Plastic bags are cheap, waterproof, lightweight, and readily available.  While they offer some benefits, they are also the main source of environmental deterioration.  The accumulation of plastic waste clogs waterways, traps and suffocates aquatic life, kills domestic and wild animals mistaking them for food, and serves as health hazards to the young members of a family.  So instead of using plastic, bring your own shopping bag made of washable and durable fabrics, buy products in glass or metal containers, or use stackable boxes made of recycled paper or wood.  Since you already have previously collected plastics in your kitchen, reuse them as long as they can last.

Bring your own shopping bags.  

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We want to emphasize this because it not only reduces your kitchen wastes, but it also keeps the stores from circulating more plastic in our community.  So, flaunt your artsy shopping bag which you decorated yourself.  Shop in style and enjoy a plastic-free kitchen. (Or you can always get one that looks cute on its own!)

Segregate and sort out your trash.  

organising your home

Don’t just put your fruit and vegetable peelings down the sink grinder or mix it with other garbage.  You can turn these leftovers into compost for your garden to make your plants happy (or if you’re thinking about starting a hobby, perhaps it’s the best time to get into one! You can start planting and growing your very own organic garden!) Have a separate trash bin for:

1) used papers and cardboards,

2) empty cans and bottles,

3) plastic wrappers, and;

4) food peelings and left-over.

By segregating and organising your home kitchen, you’ll find that some of your wastes can still be handy.  Reuse and recycle materials like papers, cardboards, glass containers, and plastic boxes.

Now that you have reduced your kitchen wastes, the next thing to do is to use safe and natural cleaning aids like lemon, vinegar, and baking soda – and be consistent in using them. Otherwise, all that hard work will just go down the drain! Look for nature-friendly dishwashing liquid, hand wash, and detergents; and find natural pest repellents like the Citronella plant and peppermint oil.  Your kitchen is will no longer be the dirtiest part of your house but a well-kept and eco-friendly place where you can prepare healthy meals for yourself and for your family.

What about you? What home organisation methods do you use when giving your kitchen the TLC it deserves? Let us know in the comments section below!

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