- If kids are 'helping,' have them work right next to the sink, or IN the sink if they are tall enough. Scooping or rinsing a broken egg and other spills down the sink is much easier than cleaning it off the island or a faraway counter.
- Peel veggies such as potatoes right into a plastic grocery bag and when finished, toss in the garbage without scraps falling all over the floor. You still may need a cutting board for chopping but it's definitely less messy this way. If you have good aim, peel them right over the trash can. Additionally, both methods work well for stripping corn-on-the-cob of leaves and silk.
- Laying throw rugs in front of the sink, oven, fridge and where you do your food prep will keep crumbs in the places where they fall. The knobbier, the better - like a rag rug. Shake outside frequently, wash when needed.
- If your kichen has an entrance outside, use two rugs: a heavy duty mat for outside and another inside. (Muddy footwear should be left outside until they dry. Bang the boots together and watch the dried caked on dirt fall to the ground where it belongs.)
*Pictured above is my friend, W. who is 3 and great helper to his Mom in the kitchen. He has a stool with his name on it that he eagerly pulls up the counter to assist in his job as Jr. Sous Chef. He gets to learn a little about preparing meals, and Mom combines a daily chore with some quality time with her little man. Sure, it takes somewhat longer than if she was doing it by herself, but they both have fun, and clean up is usually a snap. Will's 'station' is right by the sink :)