1. I eke all the dish soap out of the bottle by storing the almost-empty container closed and upside down in a small drinking glass on the windowsill.
2. I try to wash dishes after each meal. I hate scrubbing, so I soak crusty casserole dishes and come back to them later.
3. I wipe down the counters after I finish the dishes. I only remove all the counter appliances and do a full wipe down about once a week. I realize this is a little gross, but it's a time/sanity saver for sure. And I figure a smudge under the Kitchen Aid is definitely not going to give us all food poisoning, so I pick my battles.
4. I have a large collection of cloth place mats, which really cuts down on the table scrubbing time. The placemat just goes right in the laundry when it gets soiled.
5. I go through my fridge about once a week when I bring the big grocery haul home. While I'm pulling old leftovers or expired staples, I try to wipe down at least one shelf.
6. My kitchen cleaner is also the same 1:5 ratio of vinegar to water I use in the bathroom. I give the kitchen sink a scrub down with baking soda when it starts looking grimy.
7. Sometimes the disposal starts to smell. I used to buy those little Plink balls, but to save money, I just grind lemon rinds in the sink every 1-2 weeks. I don't buy lemons just for this purpose, I use them in a recipe and grind up the leftover rinds. So I have a yummy dish and a sweet smelling kitchen - score! Limes and oranges do the same trick.
8. If you have babies, I do recommend a dish rack made for their accoutrements. The tiny spoons and bottle parts just fall through a regular rack and end up sitting in that dirty water that collects underneath it. Rewashing dishes is hazardous to my well-being. We originally thought we would wash everything in the dishwasher, but the Nugget went through so many bottles so quickly, than instead of buying a dozen bottles or running the dishwasher 3x a day, we ended up just washing by hand most of the time. Good thing too, since his bottles were ridden with BPA - the horrors! We have the SkipHop Splash, but I'm in love with this new one by Boon.
9. I love having a bottle brush handy. The Munchkin Deluxe has a teeny brush stowed inside the handle. It also suction-cups to the sink so you can let the bristles air dry. These go on sale at Target every few months, so I stock up then.
10. I try to organize our little pantry by shelf. One for baking supplies, one for dinner ingredients, another for snacks and breakfast items. Boxes are bulky, so I stole an idea from my friend K: I washed used pasta sauce bottles and use them to store the Nugget's various grahams, goldfish crackers, and pretzels. They can sit in the little corner nook and I can easily eyeball what needs to be restocked.
11. Did you know that you can nuke your kitchen sponge? 60 seconds on high will kill whatever nasties are lurking in there.
12. I have a dirty/clean magnet on the dishwasher so that Hubby doesn't start unloading crusty plates or so I don't empty a dirty glass on top of clean dishes, Oy! Now, if you can give me the trick to remembering to flip the dang magnet, I'm all ears.