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.
Kitchen countertops can become a dumping-ground for everyday, family clutter. Or is it just my family? Homework, mail, clothing, electronics, toys and other odds & ends tend to get dumped on tables and countertops. You can learn to break this habit by having assigned drop-zones and smart homes for your belongings.
Pay attention to family habits. Where does everyone (including you) tend to drop things? That’s where you are going to designate your drop zones. Add hooks to hang coats, baskets to catch shoes, and trays to toss mail into. Getting organized isn’t about being perfect or changing who you are. It’s about calming the chaos so you can enjoy your day.
After you have created those drop zones, make sure everyone knows where they are and how to use them.
One of my favorite ways to keep paper work off countertops is to use a household binder. This is not a drop zone, but once you take the time to get it all set up it will control paper clutter.
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.
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.
Routines create habits. Have you ever taken the time to really pay attention to your daily routines? Are you being as efficient as possible? Are you filling your days with things that are not adding value to your life?
I was! When I began working on getting my clutter under control, I really had to pay attention to how I was spending my day. I admit that I avoided the chores. Did I mention that I don’t love doing the dishes?
I decided to start be intentional in making the kitchen clean up a small part of my morning and evening routines. I even posted a little chore chart on my refrigerator to get the kitchen chores done. Seriously, I needed the visual to hold myself accountable. My routine has now become a ritual that I am intentional about. And, the family helps. My Household Binder has a planning section that you can get for free here!
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! Learning when to stop 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!
Take your organizing to the next level by using the instant downloadable Cloud Nine Organizing Household Binder