Monday, May 9, 2011

How I Keep the House Semi Company Ready - Kitchen

There are two rooms that I try to have straightened up before I go to bed at night.  I shared with you last week what I do in the living room, this week I'll share with you what I do in the kitchen.  Because those two rooms get the most living in, they are most apt to be seen by unexpected company and I like to have my husband come home to a peaceful house (like I would appreciate) so I try to pick up before I go to bed.  I especially make this a priority when my husband is on second shift because of the fact that I want him to come home to a peaceful house.

The kitchen is a little harder to keep clean, in my opinion, because it seems to be the catch all for everything.  The mail gets dumped on the counter, items for the next day are generally placed on the table, things I need for errands are kept on the bench, etc.  Plus it feels like getting anyone to put their shoes away is impossible!

As I stated last week, while I like to do this every night I don't always have the time or energy.  However, if I can do this 50 - 80% of the time it keeps it from getting out of control.  Since this room is a little harder than the living room it gets done a little less frequently. 

My 10 minute plan of attack for keeping the area from getting embarrassingly messy is:

  • Pick up as we go - everyone is responsible for picking up after themselves after snacks.  If we have a family dinner the kids take turns picking off the kitchen table and cleaning up after I or their dad does the cooking.  I especially like those days because I have less to do before I go to bed!
  • Stack the mail neatly - if I bring in the mail I try to throw out any junk on my way in, if someone else brings in the mail I try to quickly look through it before I stack it up but sometimes it just gets stacked as it is.  The pile in the picture is relatively small, there are times when I'm super busy that it is a little difficult to stack neatly and the pile looks a little precarious.
  • Wipe down the counters and table - while I can generally get everyone to pick up after themselves I think they all believe an elf comes in at night to wipe everything down.  I hate crumbs so it feels like I'm constantly wiping up after everybody.
  • Straighten the bar stools and kitchen chairs - straightening chairs is another thing that I feel like I do all the time.  Non-straightened chairs drive me crazy, I think the kids do to that to me on purpose!
  • Vacuum the rugs - I only do that if I'm vacuuming the living room, I'm not going to pull out the vacuum just for the kitchen.
  • Make sure that only the items necessary for the next day are left out - I'm OK with the kids back pack, my husband's work belt and anything I need for the next day are left out.  However anything not necessary for the next day needs to be put away.  Typically that tends to be magazines and books the kids are ready, I feel like I find them every where!
Below are the pictures of what I try to leave the kitchen looking like.  I was tempted to do a 'company ready' cleaning before I took the picture but I'm trying to keep it real so this is what you get.  My husband always has a cup on the counter, it's not unusual to have dishes in the sink if the dishwasher needs to be unloaded (as is it's current state), Oreos and bananas are always out on the counter.  I also have a bag on the bench because I need to return a t-shirt, that's where I pile my errands so I don't forget to do something.

I just noticed as I was posting the pictures that Anna snuck in again with her turtle.  She's the black ball of fur in the lower right hand corner

Just so you guys know how non-perfect I am I'll also show you a picture of my pantry and the current state of disarray it is in.  I've learned over the years to live with a messy pantry and linen closet because I want help in putting away the groceries and clothes.  If I want help I need to settle for it being messy, if I want perfection I can do it myself.  Since doing it myself isn't an option I live with the messy!

Next week I'll share with you my morning pick-ups.  Don't worry, you'll also be getting to see some more of my messes.  As my blog name states, Wonder Woman I'm not and I don't want to give all of you the impression that I am.  In the interest of 'keeping it real' I'll be sharing with you some more of my trouble spots.

Do you have any good suggestions on how you keep up with the house cleaning?

Other posts in this series
How I Keep the House Semi Company Ready - Living Room
How I keep the House Semi Company Ready - Bathroom
How I keep the House Semi Company Ready - Master Bedroom
Organizing the Bathroom
Organizing the Pantry

I'll be linking this up over at I'm an Organizing Junkie


  1. It really is a good idea to pick stuff up before bed. I am in a much better mood in the morning if my house is somewhat in order.
    I blogged about something similar a while back to try and motivate me to have a better "routine". I've been getting ready to blog about a new routine since I've since changed work routines.
    This is encouraging me to get started on mine! Thanks!

  2. A picked-up house really does set the tone for the day, doesn't it? I wish I had the energy to make sure it was done every night :) Good luck with your new routine, I'd like to hear to it works for you.

  3. It looks like Anna is background woman! :) That is just too precious. I like how you keep it real for the pictures. Your home looks very hospitable!

  4. Anna is a little bit of an attention hound. Whenever I'm sitting on the couch typing she puts her nose under my hand so that I'll pet her. I think it's the youngest child syndrome :) Thanks for the comment about the house. I do try to keep it real (and show the messes) because these posts are the only glimpse we get into each others lives and it's very easy for the perception to be that others have it together. There is so much pressure on women today that I want to make sure I'm not adding to it while I offer my ideas on how to make things a little easier for others. Lord knows I'm not perfect and I certainly don't want to give the impression I am :)

  5. I just read this post. I am thinking that in the area where the pictures are, you should have shelving unit that has a place for hanging backpacks (tool belts), and baskets for putting everyones stuff in. That way it is always put away.

  6. That's not a bad idea but unfortunately a shelving unit wouldn't fit there. When someone is sitting in that chair along the wall there's only a few inches between the wall and the chair. I'd love to have a mud room where I could keep all the stuff but unfortunately that's not going to happen :)

    Thanks for stopping by.

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