Today I want to address an area of the home that most women would like to love but sometimes dislike because of the clutter that comes along with it. You guessed right – the KITCHEN! Relators often jokingly caution husbands against buying a home if the wife does not like the kitchen style. Well, obviously I did not follow this advice myself before purchasing our second home. My kitchen is not the biggest and most updated on the block, but I have to make it work. And one of the ways I try to make it work is by ensuring that I clean it up before going to bed each night.
I love to cook but it is very stressful to prepare breakfast in a dirty, cluttered up kitchen. Time is wasted trying to figure out “where to start”. Or even worse, adding more kitchen items to the clutter is just very discouraging. In fact, sometimes I get such a mental block that I do not even know what I want to prepare, especially if I did not plan a menu. The entire day in the kitchen seems so tied up. And if there are young babies involved – when mom is trying to cook with one hand and hold baby with the other, that just becomes a total process! Speaking from experience here! “Put the baby down”, you might say. Well, have you ever had babies???? When babies have had enough in a bouncy chair or where ever and would not stop screaming, sometimes you just have to hold them and let them hang out with you as you cook, clean, or whatever.
The other day, (after so many months), I went to bed with a dirty kitchen. Well, the entire house seemed like it was a mess! Stuff all over the place! Hubby had started painting the baby’s room the previous night and had moved the furniture out from his room into the living room. And then we had gone to the pediatrician for our baby’s two month check-up late that following evening and stopped at the store on our way back home. By the time we got home and ate dinner, it was a bit later. I still had good intentions to clean up but the baby was fussier than usual so the time was spent trying to comfort him and putting the other kids to bed. Needless to say, the kitchen and all the rest of the house was placed on hold. And that is OK. But it seemed like it took me almost four days to get the living space looking somewhat possible again. Sometimes there are circumstances that prevent us from accomplishing certain tasks. Don’t beat yourself up about it; just try again the next night.
Cleaning the kitchen nightly was something my mom always did and taught us to do while growing up. It was just natural; we did not even think twice about it. I kept that habit until we had more than one kids and another extra person living with us. The task became difficult. There were days when I struggled hard at 11:00 p.m at nights trying to wash dishes and clean out the kitchen because I new my morning would be stressed if the kitchen was not cleaned out the previous night. And there were days when I was way too tired and just had to say, “good night” to a dirty kitchen and cleaned it out when I woke up. But that made it difficult when I was trying to clean the kitchen real fast so I could prepare breakfast for the kids. And trying to remain quiet while I cleaned so I would not disturb sleeping kids did not work out too well, either.
So, for the past few months, I have tried my ultimate best to reestablish the habit of keeping a clean kitchen nightly. Here are 5 things that I do to ensure that the kitchen remains clean every. single. night. Well, more often than not:) Keep in mind that this not deep cleaning; it is more of a general cleaning to stay more organized, save time, and cut the clutter.
1. Clean the kitchen immediately after dinner (or as soon as you can). This is the first thing you want to do. Why? Because the longer you wait to clean, the later it becomes at night, the tired-er you become and the less likely you will be motivated to clean it. Trust me on this one. I have been there!
2. Wash all dishes before going to bed. This can either be done by hand or by loading the dishwasher. My dishwasher is broken so I wash my dishes by hand. Also, more often than not, I like to dry and put away the dishes and leave the sink empty. If you use the dishwasher overnight, this step would not be necessary as they would dry in the washer. Just unload them in the morning.
3. Clean out all counter tops, the dinning table, and the stove. Put away all unnecessary counter clutter such as appliances you may have used throughout the day that do not belong on the counter. Put dirty kitchen towels in the laundry basket. Wipe down all counter tops, dinning tables, and other areas that were used for cooking and eating. Don’t forget to give the stove a quick spot clean.
4. Sweep the kitchen and mop if necessary. I do not mop my kitchen on a daily basis. I am not that disciplined, but I do sweep it daily and sometimes more than once. There is just something about a swept floor that makes the kitchen looks even cleaner.
5. Empty trash that is full and put in a new bag. One thing I dislike is going to the trash can to throw away something only to realize that there is no room. Most of all, depending on if you do not have an installed garbage disposal to dispose of food and depending on where you live, you certainly do not want to encourage small visitors by keeping a full, dirty trash overnight.
Practice these 5 kitchen habits every night and you can be sure to wake up to a clean kitchen every. single. day. The best part about this is, it totally makes for a stress free morning in the kitchen! No more wandering around wasting time trying to figure out “where to start”. Be consistent and you will love your kitchen more and your meal preparations would be much smoother!
So tell me, do you find it difficult to clean your kitchen nightly? How does that affect your morning? If you clean your kitchen nightly, what other tips do you have to share? Would love to know in the comments!
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness (Proverbs 31:27, KJV).