If you want to wake up happy, you need to clean your kitchen before you go to bed. I know, life gets busy, and the day grows long. We run out of energy after dinner and think, I’ll take care of all this tomorrow, before turning off the light and leaving the kitchen in total disarray.
However, even if you are a morning person who can tackle a full day’s worth of dishes, including those streaming in from breakfast, nothing beats waking up to this:
(Just kidding! I took this picture after we had our counter and back splash installed; we do usually have a few things on it.)
I used to be that “do it in the morning” person. I actually preferred putting off the dishes. . .until I didn’t anymore. Life, in the form of a husband and five, small children, filled up my day from the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning until I dropped with exhaustion in the evening. I found myself dreading the leftover work waiting for me in the kitchen each morning: piles of unwashed dishes and the debris-laden table, counters, and floor.
It took time for me to get used to staying in the kitchen for that extra 30-45 minutes after dinner, but the more I did it, the more efficient I became. On those days when I didn’t feel like doing the dishes (I am an ENFP, so I am constantly distracted and drawn away by the next, most exciting thing), I would challenge myself to see how much I could accomplish in 15 minutes. What astounded me was that I could often finish the kitchen clean up within that time frame.
I must admit that I had two catalysts helping me with this transition: 1) a dishwasher and 2) an organizationally-minded husband, who prodded me to take the next step from just getting the dishes done to clearing the counters- completely.
I know it’s crazy, but I resisted the dishwasher for a long time. I have been washing dishes by hand since I was a child, and I didn’t trust that a dishwasher could do as well. Also, it seemed like a waste of electricity and water. But, I’ll tell you, with a large family like ours, on a heavy dish day, I could spend 20-30 minutes washing those dishes. Now, I can’t imagine life without my dishwasher.
As far as the husband, well, I resisted him, too:) He would say to me, “You’re so good at the first 90% of cleaning; with just five more minutes, you could have it 100% done.” I’m definitely okay with just 90%, but once I made the extra effort, I found that 100% was way more satisfying. This isn’t to say that I give that kind of effort every day, but just having it in mind gets me closer than I ever was before.
I’ve been cleaning the kitchen at night for probably three years now, and no matter how tired I am or how late it is, I just can’t leave the kitchen for tomorrow anymore. Over this time, I have also enlisted the help of our children. It does take a little longer with them, but the training, help, and time we spend together is worth it. We divide the children into rotating teams of two throughout the week, and they have a Kitchen Clean Up checklist to complete after dinner. I stay with them, overseeing and cleaning the pots and pans, but they do the majority of the work (loading the dishwasher; scrubbing the table, chairs, and counters; and sweeping the floor).
Speaking of scrubbing, this brings me to a special giveaway and promotion. You may have heard of ePantry, now called Grove Collaborative. They are a Certified B Corp: one of just 1,500 companies like Patagonia, Seventh Generation, Etsy, and Ben & Jerry’s that meet the world’s most rigorous standard for businesses supporting social, environmental and community well-being. Today, I am offering two of their products to help you with your evening kitchen clean up: a 2-pack of Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubber Sponges and a fog grey, striped,100% cotton kitchen towel, valued at $14.45. If you click on this link, you can also take a look at their other, high quality products.
To be entered in the giveaway, choose one or more of the entry options in the Rafflecopter. Be sure to share this giveaway with your friends, too:) I will announce the winner on Tuesday, March 22nd. Good luck, and happy cleaning!
Congratulations to Misti Gerbensky, who won the Clean Your Kitchen Giveaway! Thanks to all who entered!