Not the best picture in the world, but you get the idea.
Step 1: Put your kids to sleep. Now, tell yourself that you are going to clean the kitchen and that you will be quick about it. Envision exactly what you want to do and don't waste any time re-organizing your pantry or fridge. No distractions. Just go fast and get it over with.
Step 2: Tenderly gather all your dirty dishes into a bag. Now throw this bag in the trash.
Step 3: Just kidding! Now in order to speed up the time it takes you to do dishes, you should be rinsing every dish as it goes into the sink during the day and them placing all these pre-rinsed dishes on one side of the sink. This keeps food from sticking and makes it a lot easier to just shove everything into the dishwasher when you're ready. If you stick to this method dishes should truly take you no more than two minutes. Any dishes you have left over should be all piled neatly on one side of the sink until you're ready to do another load.
Step 4: Get your kitchen sponge loaded up with water and dish soap. Then get ready to scrub every single surface. As the sponge begins to dry out, just head back to the sink to rinse with water and get another squirt of soap. Don't bother trying to scrub anything unless the sponge is really wet- you'll just spend extra time and elbow grease. To make things quick, develop a routine and stick with it. This is the order I use when I wipe down my kitchen- sink, table, chairs, high chair, counters, stove top, trash can. (Throw the sponge in the dishwasher after this step.) Just make sure you are going fast. Wipe crumbs onto the floor and pull out things on the counter as needed to wipe underneath. No need to wipe off any soap or dry anything. That's in the next step.
THE. HARDEST. THING. TO. CLEAN.
OF ALL TIME.
Step 5: Take a kitchen towel and go over everything in the same order, drying, wiping off soap, and buffing any spots you missed. It doesn't have to be perfect! Wipe down everything but the trash can. Your towel should be pretty damp. If it's not, just add a tiny bit of water from the sink and use the towel to "spit-shine" your appliances. Refrigerator, outside of microwave, oven, etc. should all be cleaned pretty easily with a damp rag and with no streaks left behind. Steps four and five should take no more than two minutes. This is not a deep clean, just a quick run-through. Wipe down the trash can last and hang the rag up to dry so it doesn't mildew before you have a chance to put it in the washer.
Step 6: Sweep. Again, to make things quick, develop a routine and stick with it. You can easily waste so much time just deciding where to start sweeping. I always start on one side of the room and sweep into a pile near the middle, then move the kitchen chairs to one side of the table, sweep under the table, put the chairs back, then sweep the other side of the room. My mantra- it doesn't have to be perfect! Don't worry, the baby will eat whatever crumbs you left behind! (Kidding again!!) Sweeping should take just one minute.
Step 7: Mop. (Whats mopping?) If you have a dark floor you can just be gross like me and only mop once a month. Just wipe up spills with a soapy sponge as they happen during the day and you can wait longer before really needing to mop.
Step 8: Sit down on the couch with a glass of wine and look at your beautiful, shining kitchen. Be sure to do this immediately after cleaning so that it's actually still clean by the time you get to take a look.