Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kitchen Tips & Tricks #1: "How to clean up a kitchen"

I have never done a series on my blog, but I have been mulling one over in my mind for a while.

I also wanted to try to "link up" to my friend Esther's blog for her "Hearts for Home Thursdays". So click the button and link up with us!


When I was first married to my husband {and his three children} I barely knew how to cook.  I wasn't at all good in the kitchen. I hated trying to figure out what was for supper because I didn't know about meal planning.  I hated even more to clean up after a meal!  I always remember my Mom being "done" with her day after supper. {I have been known to still be cleaning up from supper at 11p.m.!}  She washed the few dishes that she, Dad & I messed up in our meal then went to the livingroom to sit and watch T.V. or have family Bible reading or whatever.  Since it was just the three of us, she didn't really need my help or ask for it.  I didn't have a problem with it then... but I never developed the habits or skills it takes to run a kitchen efficiently.  So I had to learn everything the hard way!  The more children we had, the harder it got, too.  Now that I am no longer breastfeeding every three hours, changing diapers every two hours or holding a fussy baby while trying to do... everything, I am finding that I have more time to think about ways to make my life easier and even help my home look nicer.  {Maybe its because I am getting more sleep, too?!}  I thought I might share some of these "tips & tricks" just in case it might benefit someone else as well.

First, I had to develop a plan for myself to follow for clean up.  I had to know where to start in order to make it go faster and more efficiently.  So here's my plan:

1. Put away all the clean stuff. 
(or else where will the dirty stuff go?)

2. Load up the dirty stuff.
(Whether sink or dishwasher...)

3. Clear and wash the table
(For us "wash" the table means changing the tablecloth)

4. Wash pot, pans and dishes too large for the dishwasher.

5. Wash the stove and counters.

6.  Clear away clutter

7. Sweep the floor.

The other thing is to ask the kids to help out with some of these jobs so I am not up until 11:00 still cleaning up supper {and lunch, and breakfast....}  If the job is big on a particular evening, I will declare, "No one leaves the kitchen until all the work is done!"   This helps me to complete the kitchen clean-up before I have to move on to bath, story & bedtime for little ones.

I guess I am a little slower than most women, but I really needed direction to know where to start.  Once I have a starting point,  I can get the job done quickly.  I keep this list on a sticky note on the window over the sink {so I can't lose it, ha-ha!}.  

I have found that I actually enjoy being in my kitchen and am more prepared for the next meal when I follow this simple plan! {THREE times a day, not saving it for evening.} I was tired of spending too much time doing something that shouldn't take more than 1/2 hour or so, then not having time to read  and pray with my kids before bedtime.  I don't want to miss the fun part of being a mom because I am too disorganized to get past the yucky part!

God Bless!