Friday, August 24, 2012


A little bit of a departure today from food.  Quelle surprise, I know, but with my culinary arts classes starting next week...I figure from here on out, you'll be hearing more than you want about food and whatnot.

So, today...something different.  My kitchen (and maybe even your kitchen too).   My kitchen equals my happy place.

However, after my kids leave for school in the morning, that happy place looks something like this:

Not a happy place

Breakfast detritus
Not that my kitchen is filthy, but it's distressing.  It looks messier and more cluttered than it really is.  The number of open cabinet doors (not to mention the lazy susan in the corner) are appalling, because the jumble of colors, shapes, and features of the items inside cuts up the neat streamline of the brown wood's continuity.  Likewise with the neutral countertops - chaos explodes all over the place as items that Don't Belong are strewn all along the beige Formica landscape.

But, in these Days of Our Lives, time is short, and who wants to spend it rearranging and cleaning their kitchens?  I mean, seriously, do I want "Kept an Immaculate Kitchen" engraved on my tombstone when I pass into the Great Beyond?  No.

But, the kitchen is the heart of the house.  Or maybe the stomach.  Anyway, it's a place where my family spends a lot of time...and it's important.

So.  Three minutes.  Give yourself three minutes everyday to do these four or five steps, and your kitchen transforms into a place you can reasonably tolerate.  Until you find the time and energy to really clean it.

1.  Put away all major "out of place" items.  These are items like breakfast cereal, milk, butter, jelly, etc. that actually have another primary residence (pantry, top of fridge, inside the fridge).

2.  Close all cupboard doors (pantry, closets, etc).  Shove things around inside to get the door to fully close, if needed.

3. Pile dishes neatly into sink - to be loaded into dishwasher later (by oldest child, or similar).

4. Give countertops a quick swipe with washcloth or damp paper towel.

5. For Eat-In Kitchen Only: push all chairs in at the table.  Seriously.  You will be amazed at how much this makes a difference.

Yeah, you'll notice there's Stuff still on my counters.  And yeah, some of that will remain there for awhile (i.e. the plastic tub of water bottles - hello soccer season!).  But the difference between the two sets of photos is now this place, right above here, is somewhere I can move around in without wanting to tear out my eyes out (the way I feel when laying eyes upon the chaotic clutter in the first two pictures).

I can devote three minutes every morning for that kind of peace of mind.

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