Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Keeping the Kitchen Clean

"Honey, I propose that we try and keep the kitchen this clean all the time."  

Hubby said this to me after he spent a large chunk of his Monday getting us caught up on dishes and  scrubbing the kitchen while I took a much-needed break.  

I'm a horrible homemaker. Add to that  frustration and feelings of "what's the point?" when it seems like I'm the only one who cares about living in filth.  I hate doing chores at night after the kids go to bed so sadly I was greeted most mornings with a disgusting table still covered with dirty dinner plates, crumbs all over the floor, and every counter filled and filthy.  That situation just puts me in such a foul mood!  

But I was stuck and didn't know how to change things.  It was common for me to express my anger at stepping on tiny pieces of dried rice and then huff and puff as I got out the broom while ignoring the baby who wanted out of the high chair and delaying the start of the school day (two things that make me feel like a horrible mother and cause the rest of the day to go even worse) while Hubby would say something unhelpful like, "Just calm down; it's ok.  The floor is just going to get covered with more Cheerios next mealtime.  You can sweep later."

I needed a reset and when Hubby made it clear that he understood how much work it was to keep the kitchen clean and how lovely it feels when it stays that way, I jumped at the opportunity!  

Now every night before bed the entire family does chores together.  On our list of things to do: dinner put away, dish washer emptied and filled again, counters and stove wiped, table cleaned, floor swept, and living room picked up.  For every job they do, they earn media time.  The girls are a lot more capable than I've in the past given them credit for.  It only takes us about half an hour to get the whole kitchen spotless and the living room completely picked up. 

 I have woken up to this wonderfully clean kitchen for 3 mornings in a row now and it is awesome!  I hope the novelty doesn't wear off!


  1. That is awesome! It is so much work just to keep up! I read about one family that made picking up and cleaning into a timed game (sometimes they all worked together against the clock, sometimes they competed with each other). I would like to do that when my kids are older.

  2. Luckily, I am finding that it is easier to maintain (as long as the whole family is on-board and working together!) than what we were doing before. And by "what we were doing before" I mean leaving messes sit on the table so you have to use a jackhammer to get it off in the morning, and getting so far behind on dishes that you can never get caught up in a day and the counters are always cluttered. lol.
    That timed game idea is a great idea!