A couple weeks ago a reader left this post on the NYAM FB page:
HELP! Do any of you have a good system to keep the dirty dishes from piling up next to the sink?
And I just saw it today and nobody replied so I have a couple suggestions.
First, my kitchen is not always clean.
But it is much cleaner than it used to be,
A couple years ago, it very often looked like this:
And by very often I mean pretty much every day.
But in the last couple years I’ve made some changes, and now it looks like this (sometimes):
with the goal being almost always.
How did I get here?
Well, first the kids grew up a little.
IF YOU REQUIRE THEM TO CONTRIBUTE.
So that’s Tip #1.
Set the expectation that your kids need to help clean up the kitchen, and then devote time to training them how to do it.
And start as young as you can.
Don’t have five million dishes and pots and pans.
The more dishes and glasses and silverware and pots and pans you have, the longer you can go before you have to clean things. And that enables sh*t to pile up.
Having less stuff means you have to stay on top of it and clean it.
Clean as you go.
This takes practice and discipline, but if you can start to do this, things won’t pile up!
Begin every morning with an empty sink and an empty dishwasher.
This is probably the hardest one to do, but the most effective.
When I start my mornings with an empty dishwasher, the kids can put their breakfast dishes right into it and nothing piles up in or next to the sink.
It makes a HUGE difference.
Use paper cups and plates when life is super busy.
I don’t do this often because it’s not really in my budget, but it can help to just get you to a clean slate. And no, this isn’t super environmentally friendly, although paper products are at least biodegradable. Don’t use plastic or styrofoam.
But when things are really out of hand — like when you have multiple kids who have to be in multiple places or you’re going to get home really late or life is just totally extra, this can help you stay on top of things until life settles down.
Start super small and stack on top of that when you are ready.
Maybe a complete 180 in the kitchen neatness department is not realistic for you now.
But you can start with a one minute habit. Something that takes one minute or less that you can commit to every day.
Like maybe you commit to putting five things in the dishwasher away every night before you go to bed. Maybe you commit to washing one pot or pan every night. Maybe you commit to wiping down one section of the counter every night.
Once you nail that habit down, then you can add another one minute habit on top of that.
Eventually, you will start to see changes!
There you go.
Six tips you can give a try to stay on top of kitchen chaos.
Have other tips that aren’t here?
I’d love to hear them!
And I’d love to hear how any of these work for you if you give them a try!
A cleaner kitchen is in your future!