Clean Your Kitchen in 5 Minutes or Less

Have you ever looked at your disastrous kitchen and just couldn’t bear the thought of tackling the mess? I sure hope you are nodding your head yes! It will make me feel so much better if I’m not the only one.

There are days (if I’m honest I would say EVERY day) that I don’t feel like cleaning the kitchen. That’s why I have to play a little mind game with myself. I have to trick myself into cleaning the kitchen.

I set the timer for 5 minutes and compete with myself to see how fast I can clean the kitchen.

how to clean your kitchen in 5 minutes, kitchen cleaning tips

Here are 10 steps for cleaning the kitchen in 5 minutes or less:

First, set the timer.

Then get a game plan together and work the plan.

Ready, set, go!

  1. Dirty Dishes – Gather all dirty dishes from around the house (*ahem*) and bring them to the kitchen. Move fast!
  2. Trash – Pick up all the trash off the counters (see how much you can carry at once) and throw it away.
  3. Refrigerator – Grab everything that goes in the refrigerator and put it where it belongs. Try to make it in one trip.
  4. Cabinets – Gather everything that belongs in the cabinets and put it in the correct location. Again, try to make one trip.
  5. Utensils – Pick up all dirty utensils (forks, spoons, knives, spatulas) from the counters and sink to put in the dishwasher’s silverware basket.
  6. Cups/Glasses/Mugs – Gather all drinking glasses to put on the top shelf of the dishwasher. Try to put similar cups beside each other but don’t get too hung up on it. Remember the timer is on!
  7. Plates – If you have more than one size plate, start with the smallest size and load them in the dishwasher. Then work your way up to the larger sizes.
  8. Everything else – Grab all of the big items (pots, pans, strainers, cutting boards) and either put them in the dishwasher or wash them by hand.
  9. Start the dishwasher – Only if it’s full of course.
  10. Wash and dry the counters – Wipe down the stove, microwave, and any other appliance that’s dirty with one hand and use another rag to dry with the other hand.

Stop the timer. Check to see if you cleaned your kitchen in under five minutes.

Celebrate if you did!

Now you can leave your sparkling kitchen with your wash cloth and dish rags, put them in the laundry basket and enjoy the rest of your day. While you’re on your way out, take anything else that doesn’t belong in the kitchen and put the items where they belong.

Do you see the trick? It’s not about following the steps exactly. It’s about keeping like items together and doing like functions at the same time. Clean your kitchen by taking as few steps as possible.

We don’t want to get sidetracked by cleaning a few dishes, then going to the refrigerator, then throwing something away.

It breaks the flow.

When we keep similar functions together we take fewer steps, thus cutting cleaning time tremendously!

There’s another benefit of loading like items together in the dishwasher. When it’s time to unload and put the dishes away, it saves a ton of time!

Do you think it can work? Check out the Clean Your Kitchen in 5 Minutes Video, give it a try yourself and let me know if it worked!

If you ARE the dishwasher, I feel for you. Please feel free to share your tips for cleaning your kitchen quickly without a dishwasher.


  1. says

    I’m all about playing “mind games” with myself. The timer would be a great idea for me. I’m more of an “I’ll get to it later…and when I do I’ll have some glorious plan will shock the nation”

    haha…when if I just did it–it would take about 5 minutes!

    I subscribed, followed and stumbled–can’t wait to read more!!
    .-= Ally´s last blog ..Saturday Stumbles — (Mini Version) =-.

    • iDreamOfClean says

      Wow! Thank you! I really appreciate it.

      It is interesting how we’ll put things off for so long when we could’ve finished it an moved on. Procrastination will get us every time!!

  2. says

    Great tips! This list is assuming your dishwasher is empty though, right? lol Which mine never seems to be. I should load my dishwasher twice a day but always seems to leave a sinkful over night for the next day. I’m trying to find a good system for using my dishwasher- like, unloading while getting breakfast ready so the first load can go in then unloading right before dinner so all that can go in. I haven’t quite gotten that down yet.
    Is that really your kitchen in the picture? It’s gorgeous! Mine is ridiculously ugly! lol

    • iDreamOfClean says

      Well, I guess it does assume the dishwasher is empty. Another fun task to do! lol! It doesn’t take long though (I have mine down to under a minute) if it’s loaded w/ dishes grouped together and your cabinets are close. So, we can change the time to 6 minutes if the dishwasher is loaded :-)

  3. says

    So true about the fewest steps possible. That’s my problem. I get overwhelmed looking at all the stuff. It helps to remember it’s really just a few things that need to be grouped together!

    Love your new blog!
    .-= oh amanda´s last blog ..Make Your Reader Happy =-.

    • iDreamOfClean says

      Well, thank you!!! Yes, I get overwhelmed as well…that’s why I need baby steps for my simple mind :-)

  4. says

    I have to admit the kitchen is my least favorite place to clean (yes, I’d rather clean the bathroom). I hate it! These tips should make it at least a quicker job and put some fun in it as I try to get it cleaned in under 5 minutes. Thanks! :)
    .-= Alicia´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday (3/22/10) =-.

  5. says

    Great list! I’ll have to share your tips with my hubby. I swear, it takes him 10 times longer to clean the kitchen than it should (on the rare occasion that he does it.) He makes a million trips trying to get one little task done!
    .-= Staci A´s last blog ..Tackle It Tuesday: Reward Chart =-.

    • iDreamOfClean says

      Maybe you could make it a competition to see who can clean up the fastest….guys usually like to compete! :-)

  6. Niffer says

    We run the dishwasher every night. My hubby has agreed to empty it every morning before he goes to work. The pay off is he never (hardly ever) comes home to a dirty kitchen.

    I kind of cheat with the breakfast dishes as I am NOT a morning person and I have 3 small kids to get ready. Also, some mornings I am dog tired, as I work 12 hour night shifts. Anyway, in the morning I make a sink full of hot soapy water and everything goes in…a washcloth too, that way I can easily wipe down my stick counters after my munchkins have eaten.

    After lunch I load the sink full of dishes into the dishwasher, which leaves just enough space for the dinner dishes, minus any big pans- which get hand washed anyway.

    That’s what works for me…
    .-= Niffer´s last blog ..Jamie Sue’s First Song… =-.

  7. says

    I am constantly thinking about the old book “Cheaper by the Dozen.” The father in that book was a time efficiency expert and ran his family accordingly. I must have read that book at a formative time of life because it has influenced me greatly!

    • KB says

      I have often thought about that dad’s idea for washing your body. Soap all of one side then the other. :-) Regarding the full dishwasher – I absolutely used to hate unloading the dishwasher. I finally timed it on several different occasions. It never took more than 4 minutes max. So now I don’t dread it so much.

  8. says

    The trick is not getting distracted, huh?! I could use that for LOTS of things… I’ll have to try that! 😀
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..Let’s kick some… =-.

    • iDreamOfClean says

      Oh my goodness! 2 hours! We would live on takeout if it took 2 hours to clean the kitchen so I’d never have to enter that part of the house! I’m guessing you do most of the clean up? :-)

  9. Cathie says

    We live in an 85 year old home, and I am the dishwasher. I try to wash as I go, but it’s particularly difficult after a large meal. So yeah, I don’t have any tricks.

    • KB says

      One trick that I started using with my kids is to have a “dish rag of the day”. It hangs on the faucet where my kids can reach it. Dishsoap is right beside the sink. Each kid is responsible for washing only their own dishes after they use them. At the end of the day, there isn’t much for me to wash except pots/pans. On days when it has all fallen apart and there is a pile, the kids (10,12,15) put on their music, decide on jobs, and clean the kitchen together. They actually have fun with it. Takes longer though.

    • iDreamOfClean says

      Nice! I’m off to check it out. Feel free to link it or any others you have to Real Clean Wednesday!

  10. Sherry says

    I’m all about getting it done quickly and efficiently! Great ideas!
    .-= Sherry´s last blog ..Our Works for Me Wednesday Greatest Hits (Tips) =-.

  11. Thoughts Of A Working Mom says

    I really really wish that I could clean my kitchen in 5 minutes, but with my boys, it’s more like 50! You have a great blog!

  12. Tamie says

    Tried this last night, what great tips! It was a huge mess after Christmas so it took me WAY longer. But I think I got done much faster than I would have, and I enjoyed it more by doing it your way. Thank you!!! Merry Christmas!

    • iDreamOfClean says

      I’m sooo glad it worked for you! Dirty dishes on Christmas or another big occasion would definitely take longer but hopefully the timing for a “normal” dirty kitchen will be about right :-) Thanks for letting me know you tried it!

  13. says

    Cleaning gets boring therefore I always play some good music near my kitchen where I have to regularly spend some time to clean.that makes it a job of the day…and I have schedules for other cleaning and work distributed among all the members of the house.

  14. Kathy says

    I will have to try setting a timer. My mess in the kitchen isn’t dishes or food – its the mail, newspapers, magazines, lunch bag, purse, and other random crap that clutters the top of our 5×7 foot island!!!

  15. Sam says

    All the cleaning blogs assume I have a dish washer… I don’t.
    *Everything* is washed by hand, not just big pans or fragile items… 5 minutes is not do-able.

  16. Tara says

    Yea I’m feeling Cathie there…me and my little boy have an apartment, but no dishwasher and I HATE to do them. It’s okay when it’s just us but when we have company I tend to let it go.

  17. Shirley Steiniger says

    I am the dishwasher. I clean as I go. I was the pots as I empty them (with the help of my hubby). Our kitchen is clean other than the dishes we are using for the meal until after dinner. We use paper plates unless it is a holiday meal. So generally all I have to wash after we eat are glasses and utensils. Clean the stove top, counters, table and sink. At night the last thing I do before I go to bed is mop the kitchen floor (I have three dogs that track in dirt all day).

  18. says

    This is great! Add a microfiber cloth to the mix, and you are set! :) We love e-cloths and actually have a shop on our blog for them. Having a laptop on my island is THE BIG distraction. But that’s how I’m here so….lol

  19. Lorrae says

    Unfortunately we don’t have a dishwasher so I have no hope of ever getting the kitchen done in five minutes but I’ve found this is still a fun mind game to play with yourself to see how much you can get done in all of your rooms :) Thanks for the great ideas.

  20. Joshua says

    5 minutes? You must not understand how I clean. I’ve been doing a full clean-up of the kitchen for almost 12 hours now. My feet are killing me. Here are my steps:

    1. Gather all the dishes, then wash/dry them and put them away
    2. clear all counter surfaces one at a time
    3. Clear out all cupboards above the surface if any
    4. Dust the ceiling/cabinets
    5. Wash the cabinets/finishing
    6. Wash everything in the cupboard
    7. Place all things back into the cupboard
    8. Wash the backsplash
    9. Clean the cleared counter surface
    10. Clear out bottom cabinets
    11. Clean cabinets Dush/Wash
    12. Clean all the items off and replace them in an organized fashion
    13. Once all surfaces are cleaned pull out Stove/Fridge/Dishwasher
    14. Dust Stove/Fridge/Dishwasher
    15. Wash Stove/Fridge/Dishwasher
    16. Sweep behind Stove/Fridge/Dishwasher
    17. Wash the surfaces (cabinets/backsplash/walls/trimming/floor)
    18. Replace Stove/Fridge/Dishwasher
    19. Wash off kitchen table/chairs
    20. Move Table/Chairs out to living room
    21. Organize misc. clutter around floor/window stills
    22. Dust/Wash windows and window stills
    23. Wash out sink
    24. Organize/Wash/Dust all organizers in room
    25. Move all organizers into living room
    26. Dust/Wash all trimming and doors
    27. Clean out cat dishes/fountain
    28. Take out trash
    29. Dust/Wash trash bin and replace bags
    30. Move Trash Bin into living room
    28. Sweep the floors in the area
    29. Mops the floors
    30. Dry the floors and move all furniture back into room

    Then continue to the rest of the house

  21. Tom says

    The 5 minute theory is great for people who find it hard to get motivated….especially if you live alone and are not anyone.
    Anyone can stand any unpleasant job, no matter what it is, for 5 minutes.
    The interesting thing is that once you have got your impetus up you often feel like carrying on for a longer period.

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