So fresh and so clean, clean.

Helpful Kitchen Habits 

*Wash as you go. It's the only way to avoid building a castle made out of pots and pans.

*Clean out the sink after the dishes are done; this is a refreshing reset for an often-gunky part of the kitchen. Scrub the sink with half of a lemon. It leaves it smelling fresh and grease free.

* When chopping, use a "garbage" bowl,  a mixing bowl works fine, which helps keeps the cutting board clean and saves you trips to the trash.

*I try to always keep a clean towel over my shoulder or within easy reach when I cook. Bar mop towels are great for this. I'll use it as a potholder, or to quickly pat dry vegetables or wipe up a small spill.

* Unload the dishwasher as soon as it's clean and start loading dirty dishes into it right away. All too often, I end up with a dishwasher and dish drainer full of clean dishes and a counter so packed with dirty dishes that I don't have room to cook! It's ridiculous! I just need to get in the habit of putting those clean dishes away.

*Clean the kitchen every single night— avoid the stress of a messy kitchen the next day.  Get into the habit of cleaning up entirely before you go to sleep. Wake up to a neat, sparkling kitchen.

*The microwave isn't just for heating up food — the heat also helps disinfect household cleaning supplies like dish rags and sponges. Simply wet your sponge and zap it for a few seconds; the heat will kill the germs, and the moisture from the sponge will help soften all the crusty grime in your microwave, making it easier to clean. Bonus: After washing dishes, use a binder clip to store your sponge upright, allowing all the water to evaporate quickly.

*Soak burners with 1 cup of vinegar and hot soapy water for 30 min-1 hour. Boom! Natural cleaner.
 
*Smelly Kitchen? Place a couple drops of lemon oil on a paper towel and place it at the bottom of the trashcan before putting the bag in. Less stink.

*I keep a big stockpile of rags near the kitchen. I've been weaning my household off of paper towels for awhile, but I had the biggest breakthrough when I finally sat down one afternoon and sliced up a big pile of old towels and cotton t-shirts into kitchen rags that I now use to clean up even the scummiest messes. Now I never run out between laundry days.

Have any more ideas? Share with us in the comments section.