The Kitchen is Closed

kitchen closed 2 I was thinking back to my college years and the different jobs I had: working at the movie theater, waitressing, working at a bookstore, etc.  And I realized there was an important lesson I can incorporate into my daily routines — I need to focus on my “Closing Duties”.  Each of these jobs had closing duties for those who had the last shift of the day.  As tired as we were at the end of the night, we couldn’t leave the theater without cleaning out the popcorn maker, tidying the theaters and cleaning up the concession stand.  Can you imagine what a nightmare it would be to return to a full work day if the closing duties hadn’t been tackled the night before?  No restaurant, retail establishment, or service job can function properly without completing their closing duties.  And yet, we head to bed all the time without completing closing duties for our home!  No wonder we are having trouble getting going in the mornings!  It’s time to make a change.

Closing Duties

Where do we start?  Closing duties begin before you even start cooking the evening meal, and they end when the kitchen is clean and ready for the next day.  Now, we don’t need to make it difficult for ourselves with a long list; we are not deep-cleaning the kitchen.  Closing Duties are all about putting things back where they go and preparing for the next shift: our Morning routine.  Here’s some simple things you can include to make closing the kitchen a cinch:

ingredients 1. Get Out Your Ingredients

Rather than pulling things out one at a time, using them and then leaving them around the kitchen, pull all the ingredients out together in one spot so they are ready to use.  With all the ingredients already ready, you can focus on putting away things as you use them, rather than looking for the next item.  Grab your cookbook if you need it, and put it with your ingredients.  If you haven’t already done so earlier in the day, start de-frosting your meat while you pull out the other items.

new 0012. Get Your Sink Sudsy

If you have been working with me for a while, this is not a new idea for you.  Before starting any cooking, fill your sink or dish tub with sudsy water to prepare for your cooking dishes.  The dishes are so easy to tackle when everything has been soaking for a while.


dishes 0383. After Dinner – Tackle the dishes

This is your main FOCUS for your kitchen closing — getting that sink empty.  Have your family put their own dishes into the sudsy sink once they have finished eating.  Then, start hand-washing or putting dishes in your dishwasher.  If they have soaked a few minutes, it should be super easy.

clean kitchen4. The Closing 3

After the dishes done, the rest of your clean-up will be a breeze.  There are 3 things I like to tackle before kitchen is officially closed:

a. wipe surfaces – dip a sponge in your soapy water and quickly wipe off stove top, counters and dining room table.  This will go even faster if you hand a family member the sponge.

b. take out the trash – this can be done if needed.  If its half full you can leave it for tomorrow

c. quick sweep of the kitchen – give the kitchen a quick sweep or run over with a vacuum.  And then you are done!  Kitchen is Closed for the night!  You are free to rest easy!  Enjoy.





  1. Great post! I add to my evening routine taking my Vit D. If I don’t have a time for it I will forget it for sure.

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