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Kitchen lovin’ habits

While not all of us are destined to become master chefs, it is still possible to become experts in the kitchen. Growing up, we were asked to slice vegetables, set the dining table while taking care to wash our hands and clean after ourselves.

“Good habits formed at youth makes all the difference,” the great Aristotle reminded us. And those who listened to Mom or Dad as they conjured all sorts of yummy stuff in the kitchen are surely grateful for knowing basic things that help them manage their own kitchens today. Those who paid less attention are now ruing the lessons they missed.

The simplest kitchen habits enable us to prepare clean, healthy meals while maintaining an organized environment for one of the busiest rooms in our homes. Do you practice these good kitchen habits and now pass them onto your kids, spouse, or housemates?

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1. Keep everything clean.

One of the golden rules in the kitchen is to keep everything spic and span. Always maintain your sink and kitchen countertop clean. Free your counter of clutter, including bills, newspapers, and money. Utensils, chopping boards, and the stove should also be washed and dried well after use.

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2. Sanitize sponges.

Often, the most used item in our houses are the most neglected. Your sponge is like a remote control in your kitchen, often used but barely cleaned. Sponges have holes and are often damp after use, making them a breeding ground of germs and other nasty stuff. In turn, you expose yourself to food-borne diseases. Regularly clean sponges using your microwave oven. Experts say that after two minutes, you kill 99 percent of the microbes partying in your sponge. Make sure the sponge is wet before you throw it in the microwave.

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3. Have a system for your garbage.

Everyone that moves inside your kitchen should be champions of segregation and recycling. It is one of the rooms in your house where you can actually encourage environment-friendly practices. Designate trash bins for every type of trash. Make sure you cover these to keep mosquitos and flies out. Familiarize everyone with items that can be recycled.

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4. Scent matters.

It will be hard to convince anyone that you maintain a clean kitchen if it does not smell good, right? Pour a mix of a few drops of dish soap with hot water into your sink when foul smell emanates from it. Use a bottle brush to help clean the surface. For the rest of the room, you can open windows to let help air circulate. You can also brew coffee or bake a batch of cookies to make your kitchen smell more inviting.

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5. Never forget the leftovers!

We grew up learning never to waste food. Stash leftovers in your refrigerator where they are most visible. Make them a part of your future meals. You can whip up fried rice or introduce new items to your salad. Post a list of leftovers on your fridge door as well. This way, you will be reminded not to cook as much or at all, depending on how much leftover you have.

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6. Make rags and kitchen towels your best friends.

Part of maintaining cleanliness in your kitchen is being equipped to do so. Many households have switched from repeatedly purchasing paper towels to washable towels and rags. See if you can make rags out of pre-loved towels or shirts to further lessen your kitchen cost.