When I first moved into my apartment I read an article about ways that people have come up with to clean less. One of the suggestions was to “clean every day so you don’t have to clean as much.” Aka, you don’t actually save any time, you just have to remember to clean every single day rather than waiting until your life has blown up. Yeah…not my cup of tea. I’ve been working on coming up with ways to actually have less to clean, not just to spread it out in a different way.
Let’s be clear. I’m a hot mess. I asked my mom what my quirk was the other day and she told me it was being a slob. So I take these tips to heart because otherwise I just won’t get by.
Let’s get this out there before we get too far ahead of ourselves. These ideas aren’t going to save you money. These ideas often require you to have certain items on hand. However, if you subscribe to the old adage that “time is money” then you should find these ideas to be worth while.
1. Cover your pans with foil or parchment paper before baking.
If I had to make a list of all the things I definitely didn’t want to scrape off of a pan, this caramelized brown sugar would definitely be at the top of my list. All I had to clean was a little bit of oil that soaked through the paper and bada-bing, I was off to the races! And by the races, I mean that I was back on the couch watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
2. Mix things up in a Ziploc bag rather than a bowl.
I always marinate my veggies, chicken, or anything that isn’t mostly a liquid (like batter) in a plastic bag. Why would I use an entire bowl when I can more easily (and with less cleaning) get all of my veggies coated in olive oil in about ten seconds?
3. Use slow-cooker liners when using your crock pot.
I’ll tell you what, friends. This was seriously a game changer. I used to let the crock pot sit for a whole week with it’s nasty juices sitting inside because my sink is too small to fit a whole crock pot! My sister introduced me to slow-cooker liners and now I can have my crock pot back on it’s shelf in two hours (because it’s hot, not because I’m lazy).
And in case you’re wondering: yes, I do keep my crock pot on a chair. I don’t have any other surfaces that are large enough for my crock pot and that have an electrical outlet within two feet (which is the length of the cord).
4. If you hand-wash your dishes, don’t be above paper plates and bowls. It’s like you’re at a picnic everyday!
Is this an environmentally friendly option? No. Of course not. But I have a sink that can fit about two plates in it so keeping a big stock of paper plates and bowls is the only way that I get through the week.
5. Also if you hand-wash your dishes, rinse out your cups if you don’t wash them right away.
It nearly takes the work of a magician to get milk out of the bottom corners of your cups once it dries there.
6. When making anything in cupcake tins, use foil cupcake tins.
Less oil will get through them so clean up will be easier. And Eminem will be all like…
7. When icing cupcakes, use a Ziploc bag rather than a reusable icing bag.
Just cut the corner out of your Ziploc bag, stick your icing tip in the corner, and frost away!
8. When cutting fruits and veggies, place a dish towel under your cutting board.
This will keep any extra juices from getting onto your counter and then onto the floor. You can also move all of the scraps on to the towel so when you’ve finished cutting you can just pick up the towel by all four corners, take it to the trash, then release two of the corners into the trash can to drop your peels and juices.
This is especially necessary when cutting fruits with a ton of juice such as pineapple or watermelon.
9. Place small trash cans in places that trash tends to accumulate.
We eat a lot in our living room because that’s where the air conditioning unit lives so instead of trash piling up, I just placed a small trash can in the area where I would usually just dump trash to pick it up later. This way, when it’s trash day I can just pick up the whole trash can rather than each individual piece of crap that would otherwise end up being shoved under the couch.