keeping things tidy
Keeping Things Tidy
I find that one of the most difficult places to keep tidy and clean is the kitchen. Especially in a tiny apartment kitchen! It seems that no matter how clean you keep it, you mess it up within minutes and have to clean it again. Sometimes it feels like the most unrewarding task in the house. But I think it’s one of the most important.
My husband and I love cooking and spend so much time in the kitchen. We are always making new recipes and thinking of new ideas. But it’s hard to be excited about new recipes and cooking when the kitchen is a disaster. I also don’t like putting away groceries when the kitchen is a mess! Maybe I’m a little more sensitive than others to this, but there is something fun about a sparklingly clean kitchen.
I was particularly inspired this weekend. We went looking for a house this weekend and happened upon a lot of places with completely brand new kitchens. The appliances had never been used before, there weren’t any chips or dings in the floor, the stove didn’t have burners with burned on dirt. I wanted to move in then and there!
But it gave us the inspiration to give our kitchen a good scrub. I scrubbed the linoleum with a sponge and some floor soap (it’s the only way to give it a deep clean!) and my husband went at the cabinets and counters with a Magic Eraser. Love those things! Granted, it won’t ever look like a new kitchen, as it was built in the 1980s, but it spruced it up enough that after dinner last night I put all of the dirty dishes into the dishwasher and cleaned the countertops… something I usually save for the next day.
Another thing that we generally keep up on is the lack of clutter on the fridge. I found these great Real Simple brand picture frames that are all magnet on one side and plastic sleeve on the other. They hold pictures, doctor’s cards, you name it. And I can switch around the pictures whenever I want. I also found a really cute set with two notepads and a pencil. One notepad is for a grocery list and the other is for a menu. There is a magnet on the back of the set.
The best part is that you can make these yourself. Just put things in sheet protectors and put magnets on the back. You can find magnet stickers at regular discount stores. For any other items, you can just put the magnet on the back. Then, even when you have things on the fridge, it looks neat and tidy.
I love looking at a nice kitchen, but the thing that I am most proud of? We don’t have an excess of anything. That way, putting things away takes less time and you have more space for the things you really need and want to have around. There is a home for everything in the kitchen. No matter who’s in the kitchen, you never have to wonder where to put something back.
Here are some general guidelines for keeping a tidy kitchen (that I’d like to follow myself):
Make a schedule of daily kitchen cleaning tasks, weekly cleaning, bi-weekly cleaning and monthly cleaning. Try to keep an eye on these and do your best to follow them.
Clean your fridge out of old food and clean off your countertops BEFORE you go to the grocery store. This will save time and energy when you get home and have to put things away.
Let yourself be inspired! Look at pictures from magazines of kitchens you’d like to imitate and put in some simple features, one at a time, of what you want to incorporate.
Find the best products for YOUR kitchen. Sometimes a product like a Swiffer isn’t going to suit your needs. Since we have lots of nooks and crannies in the floor, a sponge works the very best on the floor… a mop was just frustrating! If children are going to be crawling on the floor and picking things up, use safer, natural cleaners.
Keep your fridge door simple. One cute drawing or a little photo is fun. Anything else and it’s distracting.
Make a home for everything in your kitchen. It’s a good idea to put everything in cabinets where you might use it. Our glasses and mugs are near the sink and the fridge. Our dishes are near the dishwasher and the biggest counter top where we can plate dinners. Cooking utensils are in a drawer near the range. Once you decide on the right location for your needs, try to keep them in the same place. Children, guests and husbands all appreciate when they can find something easily!
Hopefully these suggestions will help you have a kitchen that you like and will feel at home in!