Everyone is upskilling themselves during coronavirus lockdown. Some are nailing their first clean pushup, some figuring out how to do the shuffle. Then some are trying to take off the pyjama while doing a handstand (Olympic gymnast Simone Biles showed us how. Watch the video.)
Coming back to simple challenges, Pankaj Poddar, co-founder of Hipcouch, an interior design company, shares easy steps to a clutter-free and hygienic kitchen, which is a requirement of the current times.
CLEAR YOUR COUNTERS
Over time, the kitchen counter gets cluttered with appliances, jars, bottles, assorted junk. You could argue that there’s a method to your madness, that you like your stuff displayed and within easy reach. Still, it’s a lot easier to wipe down when you don’t have to move everything out of the way. Plus, it gives you much more space for prep work.
WATCH YOUR FOOD PREP
Use separate chopping boards for uncooked foods like raw meat and salad leaves. Wash and dry your hands after handling these kinds of foods, and clean surfaces immediately after use. Regular soap and water are fine; ensure that your cleaning cloths are germ-free and do not forget to dry surfaces (including chopping boards) after cleaning. Germs love damp surfaces.
While you’re waiting for your dal to simmer, start putting away the stuff you’re done with — appliances, utensils, ingredients — and wipe down surfaces as you go, so the mess doesn’t pile up. The more you have left to clean after, the higher your chances of leaving it for later. If you’re opening packages, bin them on the go.
Cutting vegetables? Put the unusable leftovers in the recycling bin. Spilt something? Don’t cry over it, but don’t let it sit and stink up your space/ make it sticky either. Wipe it down as soon as you see it; use a kitchen cloth so you can rinse and reuse, as opposed to piling up endless paper towels.
WASH AND DRY THE DISHES
Wash and dry the dishes immediately after use. When you’re done with the dishes, make sure you also manually remove all the little bits of food that have spiralled into the sink. Finally, wash the sponges and brushes you used to clean up with detergent and warm water after each use. For best results, follow a no-overnight-dishes rule, so you always wake up to a fresh kitchen that you’re happy to walk into.
HAVE A DEDICATED DAY FOR VARIOUS SPACES
If you don’t have the time to do a deep clean every day, schedule a different part of the kitchen on different days of the week. Stoves, chimneys, exhaust fans, the window/ wall above the stove, the inside of a microwave, behind the fridge, light fixtures… these are all easy-to-forget grime hotspots that gather dust and oil spatter without warning. Give the inside of your refrigerator a weekly sweep as well. Tackle these spaces one at a time through the week, and you’ll avoid unpleasant surprises later.