My Little 5-Minute Nightly Ritual Makes a Huge Difference in the Kitchen

published Apr 13, 2023
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I sweep my kitchen floor every night. I know, it doesn’t sound radical or even very interesting. But this simple tidying act has become a ritual of sorts, and I almost look forward to it. It reminds me of closing down a restaurant kitchen at the end of the night.

My moments with the broom signal a transition — from dirty to clean, from work to rest. The rhythm of the motion and the effectiveness of the simple act both calm and congratulate me.

But my sweeping ritual has practical benefits, too. I mop less often because this regular sweeping prevents grimy buildup. And I love how the frustration of tripping over my daughter’s spilled snacks all day melts away as I swiftly sweep them up for good at the end of the night.

I know sweeping isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of a good time. But it really doesn’t have to be an odious chore. I recommend three key upgrades to your cleaning arsenal to make sweeping a habit.

1. Get a new broom.

If your current broom has battled decades of dust and has come out the other side injured and ragged, go ahead and retire it. Get yourself a nice, new broom. There are tons of options out there, including easy and budget-friendly, eco-conscious and sustainable, and artisan-made brooms (if you really want to splurge!).

2. Give your broom a designated home.

This could be a special nook or hanging hook, or you could even install a special hanging system in your kitchen — so it’s not constantly slipping and sliding around.

3. Get a standing dustpan.

While I like the waltzy sway of sweeping, I hate bending down to brush the debris into the dustpan. My back and knees aren’t what they used to be, and it always feels like a tough angle to hold the bottom of the broom and get leverage to direct it effectively into the pan. So, my advice is to get yourself a standing dustpan.

No need to crouch down, and it’s easy to maintain a normal grip on the broom as you finish the task. You want this ritual to be a sustainable practice — not an athletic challenge.

Once you’re set up with the right tools, you can follow three nightly steps.

1. Clean the counters.

You can scrub and wipe with gusto knowing anything you brush onto the floor will soon be swept away.

2. Move everything out of the way.

Yes, really. Pick up your trash can and move it to the side. Slide that children’s helper stool over. Make a clean path for yourself and sweeping is quick and easy. Plus, dust and crumbs accumulate around stationary things, so get them out of the way!

3. Sweep, sweep, sweep.

I use this time to think about everything I made that day, take stock of things in my kitchen that I want to use tomorrow, and give myself a pat on the back for a job well done. 

When I set my broom and dustpan back in their place, a sense of peace and closure settles in. The stage is reset and ready for another day. But for now, tutto a posto — everything is in its place. What a difference five minutes can make.

This post was originally published on Kitchn. Read it there: My Little 5-Minute Nightly Ritual Makes a Huge Difference in the Kitchen