Kitchen clutter

I don't know about you, but my kitchen gets dirtier faster than any room in the house. Maybe it's because it's a tiny kitchen. Maybe it's because 3 meals are made in there every day. I'm not sure the reason, but I'm getting very tired of the mess.

I get behind on dishes just one day and it looks like an explosion happened in there! And to be honest, a messy kitchen gets me down and makes me feel guilty. So I want no more of that! But how to keep the kitchen manageable?

Okay, we're going to start with the FlyLady, because all cleaning eventually comes back to her, doesn't it? Her first tip of all is this: Shine your kitchen sink every day.

I guess the secret is that in order to shine your sink, you've got to get the dishes out of there first. And once the sink looks nice, you'll be inspired to keep your kitchen looking nice all day. Or so her theory goes...

My problem is that once I've made lunch or dinner, I'm tired! I don't feel like doing the cleaning as well. That's the first hurdle I need to overcome. Here are the things I'll be trying in order to keep my kitchen clean and organized:

  1. Clean as I cook. Putting stuff away and cleaning up as I go seems like the best solution for me. I'm already in the kitchen, so adding in a little cleaning will hardly be noticeable.
  2. 15 minute timer. FlyLady had this one right - 15 minutes of cleaning is not that bad! And you can get a lot done in 15 minutes! I'll do a 15 minute session a day in the kitchen.
  3. Enlist my husband's help. This might be the hardest one of all to implement, but I think it's time my husband did his fair share. :)

And that's my plan for the kitchen. I'm going to try it for a week and see how it goes. I'll let you know what comes of it. How about you - what are your secrets for keeping your kitchen in good shape?


LeMira said...

My husband has been sooo good lately to take care of the nightly dishes. I try hard to keep the sink clear during the day, and my husband clears the dinner table and washes what's left. It sure helps me on the days my husband can't get around to it because then I don't feel so much hate towards my kitchen or that I'm the only one doing everything in there.

Holli Jo said...


Hi! Thanks for commenting. That's wonderful that you have a helpful husband to do some of the dishes at night. It sounds like it helps a lot.

Wendi said...

I don't cook. That's my secret. The kitchen stays pretty clean. ;-)

Holli Jo said...

Wendi - I love your method of keeping the kitchen clean! :) I would definitely employ that method if I could.

cassidy said...

I like to clean as much as I can as I go, even if it's just to squirt some Dawn in a pot that I'm done with, fill it with water, and let it soak while I finish cooking. Then I put any utensils I use in the pot and let them soak too. Then all I have to do is give it all a quick rinse before I put it in the dishwasher. And I am very lucky that James always finishes dinner first and starts cleaning while I finish eating.

Holli Jo said...


It sounds like you have a good system going. It doesn't hurt that James cleans every time!

Mommie Mikeworth said...

AHHH! I was just thinking this exact same thing! I hate doing dishes and no matter how often I do them it seems like they are piled up quicker than I can wash them. It drives me nuts. We have a small kitchen too, and very little storage space, and NO DISH WASHER! The kitchen is my biggest source of turmoil lately, YIKES, and sometime it sets the tone of the day! Thanks for the tips!

Abbie Nelson said...

My husband will do "damage control" dishes, when I let them get out of control on the weekends. But, he won't clean counters or floors...I want a roomba!!
I also encourage grilling, less mess in my domain, more mess in his. :)

ALYN said...

I've always been in awe of those who automatically clear the table and do the dishes right after dinner. I'm trying to establish this habit. My Reasons:

1. If I put it off 'til later, it'll be a few days of stinky crusty dishes! It won't happen at bedtime.

2.I like working on the kitchen while my family is still sitting at the table. That way I'm not so lonely! (And I can encourage them to each clear their place and a couple other items...)

If I can manage to load the Dishes, and wipe down the table and counters after dinner: the whole morning goes much better! As FlyLady says, there's nothing worse than waking up to a dirty kitchen!

Clean as you cook: Those little waiting minutes while cooking work great. Little by Little, I don't get overwhelmed by a weeks worth of dirty kitchen...

When my phone rings: I head for the Dishwasher, and unload it while I talk.

Our kitchen is big enough that we can all fit in there: making cooking/cleaning more of a fun family activity, rather than a chore for 1 person.

Holli Jo said...

@mommie mikeworth - Yep, I totally feel your pain. I've been without a dishwasher before, and it's the worst! You have to be even more disciplined to keep a clean kitchen!

@abbie nelson - Good idea on the grilling! That's less mess overall anyway.

@alyn - I love your idea of making cleaning a family event rather than a one-person chore. When John and I do the dishes together, it goes so much faster.

And I also like your idea of unloading while talking on the phone...I'll have to try it.

Southern Belle said...

I finally found your blog. I really should work on this. I find it helps if my husband unloads the dishwasher. I give him hints and say it is like Christmas morning in the kitchen when the dishwasher is unloaded.

Holli Jo said...


I'm glad you found my blog. :) This blog helps me know what I need to focus on to improve my life.

I laughed when I read how you hint to your husband about it feeling like Christmas in the kitchen. Does it help?!