Create habits that will fill your kitchen with comfort and joy!
For most families, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It can be a spot for nourishment and nurturing. This is especially true during the holidays when we tend to spend even more time in the kitchen. More time in the kitchen can quickly lead to more kitchen clutter. No worries because if you have a few good clutter-free kitchen habits, you can avoid the clutter and be ready for family, friends and new memories.
Keep Countertops Clear
Kitchen countertops can become a dumping-ground for everyday clutter. Homework, mail, clothing, electronics, toys and other odds & ends tend to get dumped on tables and countertops. You can break this habit by having assigned drop-zones and smart homes for your belongings.
Pay attention to family habits. Where does everyone tend to drop things? That’s where you can designate your drop zones. For instance, add hooks to hang coats, baskets to catch shoes, and trays to drop mail. Getting organized isn’t about being perfect or changing who you are. It’s about finding ways to calm the chaos.
Note: One of my favorite ways to keep paper work off countertops is to use a household binder.
Clean As You Go
Put away all cooking supplies the minute you are done using them. Wipe up spills as they happen. Throw away all food scraps and trash immediately.
Cleaning up as you go frees up countertop space for additional food prep, and ensures you won’t have cross-contamination issues. As something is simmering on the stove or baking in the oven, wipe down the counters and fill the dishwasher. Then, move onto the next step of your food prep. Or, better yet, put your feet up and relax for a minute.
Clear Your Dishes
After every meal everyone (mom, dad and kids) should clear their own dishes from the table. Make sure all dishes are washed or at least put in the dishwasher after every meal.
I admit, I do not love washing dishes. In fact, I used to let the dishes sit in the sink way too long before taking care of them. I was avoiding the inevitable. Now, I try to wash the dishes after every meal, or have the kids do it. Turns out, it’s not that big of a chore…mindset is everything. Keeping the sink and countertops clear of dirty dishes just feels so much better.
Have Morning & Evening Routines
Have you ever taken the time to really pay attention to your daily routines? Could you fine tune a few things in order to get a handle on some kitchen clutter?
Maybe you could start unloading the dishwasher, first thing in the morning to get a quick start on the breakfast clutter. You can possibly take 15 minutes before you head to bed to wipe down countertops. Just a few minutes, on a consistent basis can make all the difference in the amount of clutter you have to deal with.
Close The Kitchen
By a reasonable hour every night turn out the kitchen light and put up the Closed Sign. For awhile, I literally had a Closed Sign in my kitchen to remind myself to stop doing chores and relax! Knowing when to kick up your feet and relax is probably the most productive thing you can do.
Don’t spend too much of your day cleaning or stressing about making your kitchen perfect. Do the best you can for today and then be done. Your family and friends will enjoy sitting in a tidy kitchen, but what they would enjoy most of all is sitting in that tidy kitchen with you; sit down and enjoy!