We use cookies to improve your online experience. Take a look at our Cookie Policy to learn more and change your preferences. By continuing to use our website we assume you are happy to allow the use of these cookies.

You have disabled your cookies which means the IKEA website will not remember you as you browse through the site. Find out how to enable your cookies for a better experience

Oops! We’re sorry, there was an error loading this page so some information may not be up to date. Please try again later to ensure that the correct information is displayed.

Streamline your post-dinner clean-up

04 September 2016

We’re big advocates of family mealtime. But cleaning up all those plates, putting away the leftovers, wiping down the surfaces? Not so much. Inevitably it always seems that one person gets stuck doing the job while everyone else disperses as quickly as possible. Enough of that. Here’s how we ensure it all gets done quickly and efficiently.

A view from above of a dinner table being cleared.

1. THE TRICK TO GETTING KIDS INVOLVED? Make a game of it all. Draw up a set of playing cards (or you can print ours and add a few of your own), each one representing a task that needs to be completed after mealtime. We like to throw in a joker. Pick that one and you get off scot-free!

2. SO IT’S YOUY TURN TO WASH THE DISHES? Make it easy on yourself and cut down the back and forth to the sink or dishwasher by loading everything into a large plastic bin. If you’re washing by hand, you can place the bin directly in the sink and rinse them right there.

A red trolley is filled with items from the dinner table.

3. JUST AS WITH YOUR DISHES, move everything from the table to the fridge in one go. A trolley has enough space for you to load up the largest items and makes things easy for kids to help without worrying about spills. The best part? Items like salt, pepper, olive oil and spices can be stored there between meals.

Leftover food is placed into glass containers for tomorrow’s lunch.

4. COMBINE THE TASK OF PUTTING AWAY LEFTOVERS and making tomorrow’s lunchboxes. Two birds, one stone. 

5. DO SOME GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT while you’re cleaning up. Scrape your plates clean with a spatula directly into a compost bin, that way there’s no need to rinse your dishes off before they hit the washer.

Cleaning tools like a mop and heavy brish hango on a wall above a bucket.

6. ONCE EVERYTHING’S CLEARED AWAY AND TIDIED UP, make wiping down simple by keeping your cleaning supplies close by and easy for the kids to grab and use. A handy bin on wheels is extra convenient.

Made by

Interior designer: Emilia Ljungberg
Digital designer: Lasse Johansson
Copywriter: Vanessa Algotsson
Photographer: Andrea Papini & Mats Ekdal
Editor: Linda Harkell