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!
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