It does sound dramatic, doesn’t it? “HOW CLEANING MY KITCHEN CHANGED MY LIFE!!” I know, I get it. Over the top. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Follow me on this little journey … Once upon a time, I was not so organized, calm or fabulous as I now am. Okay, to be fair, I was disorganized, stressed and basically a hot mess until just a few months ago. Truth be told, I’ve been that way most of my life. BUT I digress. So, back to our story.
Once upon a time … I decided that things needed to change. In a big way. My husband and I talked endlessly about the possibility of me working for myself. Self-Employed. Blogger. For money. HOO-RAY! But we knew that it would be a huge adjustment and we started looking at the standard massive overhauls required to cut to one salary, temporarily. It was about this time that I started a personal journey with a life coach, but more on that another day. I was learning about the importance of changing habits only one or two at a time. I needed to change a personal habit and a habit that was good not just for me, but for my family as well. Enter – the kitchen.
Our little family was notoriously bad at keeping house. Don’t get me wrong, we loved having a clean house, we just weren’t very good at keeping on top of it. We so often got caught in the cycle that so many do – we would come home from work, throw something together for dinner, promise ourselves “we’ll clean later”, go to bed without cleaning, and leave in the morning with a messy kitchen. So I decided that the habit I would focus on was making sure the kitchen was clean every night before I went to bed. Trust me, I grumbled like mad the first few days weeks, but I suddenly realized one Wednesday evening that when I went into the kitchen at 9:00 to make my evening sweep, the room was clean! Say what?!?
I had started cleaning every time I entered the space. I found that we started cooking at home more because we could see the counters! We had space to work, and it didn’t seem like such a chore to clean before we created. When we started cooking at home more, we had more leftovers for lunches the next day. More lunches led to less spending … do you see where we are going with this? ?
So here are my top lessons for keeping my kitchen clean (and my life under control):
Tidy as you go
If you leave a mess from breakfast, the day is pretty much shot. Making lunch becomes a chore because you first have to clean. That’s a total pain. It’s very difficult to whip up a yummy salad when all the cutting boards and knives are dirty.
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty (or clean, actually)
I was a no-nonsense dishwasher-using gal when I started this little experiment. Turns out, that was part of the problem. Believe it or not, emptying the dishwasher is one chore that most people don’t want to do. It’s like folding the clothes in the dryer. You feel like you’re done because the counters and dishes are clean, but then you remember – there’s still more work. Just keep a sink of dishwater ready throughout the day, and wash, rinse and dry as you go.
Consider minimizing the number of tools in your kitchen
The less you have to dirty, the less you have to pile up. It can be a struggle at first, because who doesn’t need three potato mashers stuffed into a drawer, that you had no idea were there in the first place. Oops, is that just me?? Once you reduce the number of utensils, bowls, glasses, etc. to what you really need, and donate the remainders, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief. Open space is a beautiful sight to behold. If you’re curious about what I tossed from my kitchen, be sure to read my post on How to Minimize Your Kitchen and Kick Clutter to the Curb!
Do a clean sweep after dinner – literally
Finish cleaning up the dinner dishes, take out the garbage and then sweep the floor. Just do it. You’ll thank me later. It really doesn’t seem like a huge thing, but trust me, sometimes a little goes a long way.
So there you have it – the true story of How Cleaning My Kitchen Changed My Life. What are your best tips to keep your kitchen clean? Where do you look to make changes when something has to give?
And now that you’ve got your kitchen under control, let’s look at the laundry that’s giving you nightmares! Check out my post on How to Keep Up with Laundry.
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