Why closing down my kitchen after dinner makes for a more organized cook space – and fewer late-night snacks

1. Clear The Table And Countertops

I have an eat-in kitchen where my family sits down together to eat dinner around the kitchen table – and we take it in turns to clear the plates when we've finished. If you have a kitchen diner or a kitchen island with space to eat, then clearing them is the first step to closing down the kitchen.

2. Clean-Up Pots And Dishes

Next, put dirty cooking pots and utensils in the dishwasher or sink, ready for washing. Did I mention that my dishwasher is my favorite appliance because it takes the graft out of cleaning crockery? If you agree, return the love by knowing how to clean a dishwasher, so it stays super-effective and efficient.

3. Sweep The Kitchen For Mess

Little and often is my mantra here. I've learned from experience that knowing how to clean a kitchen, including cleaning stove burners so they don't get food dried on, is key to a good kitchen close down.

4. Put Dry Dishes Away

Okay, I don't unload my dishwasher until the morning – that would mean breaking my rule of not returning to the kitchen after it's closed down. But I do make sure anything left on the drainer is dried and put away. 'Don't leave things in the drainer. This is just another delaying tactic, the habit we are trying to break,' rules Debora Robertson, author of Declutter: The Get-real Guide to Creating Calm from Chaos.

5. Make Sure Everything Has A Place

Restaurants have turned organizing pots and pans into a fine art, so closing down the kitchen is as smooth as the chef's roux sauce. The same principle applies at home. When you know exactly where all your kitchen kit, utensils, and tableware are kept, then tidying up the kitchen is so much quicker – and you'll always be able to find that whisk when you need it.

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