[skipwords]We had a whirlwind of activities over the Christmas weekend — Christmas gifts to be wrapped, food to be made (and eaten), family to drive to see, and church services to go to. My kitchen hasn’t quite recovered yet. Here is my post-Christmas, kitchen recovery plan. I am eager to get the kitchen put back together so that I can more easily make healthy foods to nourish our bodies after a few too many sweets over the weekend.[/skipwords]


How long each task takes you is going to vary widely based on two factors: how fast you work and how dirty the kitchen is. However, I’ve found that cleaning the kitchen thoroughly takes much less time than I thought. Put on a timer for each part and you will be surprised how much you can get done when you are focused.


A note on green cleaners: I like to use homemade and eco-friendly cleaners. I use Biokleen dish soap and their all-purpose cleaner in my kitchen. I use Bon Ami to scrub my kitchen sink. There are now a wide variety of green products, and it's easy to make your own as well, so there are endless options. There is no need to use harsh chemicals to get a very clean kitchen. 


1-hour kitchen cleanup:


1. 20 minutes: Load the dishwasher and start it. Scrub out sink. If you have pots or pans with a lot of stuck-on food, soak in hot soapy water on one side of the sink. (Leave the other side empty for the next step.)


2. 5-10 minutes: Clear off and wipe down kitchen table. Not only will you feel better with a cleared kitchen table, but you will have room to sort through everything in the refrigerator.


3. 15 minutes: Remove everything from the refrigerator and place on the kitchen table. Throw away anything bad. Add any dirty dishes to the sink. Clearly mark leftovers and consider how to effectively use leftovers for meals. Give the shelves in the refrigerator a quick wipe down and place the food back in there.


4. 5 minutes: Go back to the dishes soaking in the sink and wash them. Dry and put away, or let drip-dry in a dish-drain.


5. 5 minutes: Clean off all counter tops, putting away any miscellaneous papers, kitchen utensils or keys. Wipe down.


6. 5 minutes: Sweep the kitchen floor.


Extras, if needed: Mop flour (add 10 minutes). Unload dishwasher and load any dishes from the refrigerator cleanup (add 10 minutes)


Make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy your clean kitchen. Now would be a good time to plan all of those healthy meals you’ve been wanting to eat to recover from Christmas indulgences!

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