As a child, I was slightly obsessive about having a perfectly neat and clean bedroom. I somehow grew into an adult with much lower standards. The normal state of our kitchen:
Not bad, but not great. And it moves rather quickly from the in-between state pictured above to really bad. Behold the horror:
I took these pictures last Friday morning, after a very frustrating time cooking dinner amidst this mess on Thursday night.
With dirty dishes covering the already limited counter space, we didn’t have much to work with. A relatively simple meal prep turned stressful.
Fittingly, I forgot to snap a photo immediately after I cleaned last Friday, and by the time I thought to pull out the camera, things had devolved into the middle state depicted at the beginning of this post.
Cooking vs. Cleaning
The time from clean to messy is frustratingly short. Here’s the thing: we like to cook and eat good food. We’re often exhausted when we arrive home in the evening, but looking forward to a good meal usually provides motivation to cook.
However, by the time we cook the meal and eat, we’re ready for some down time — returning to the kitchen to clean up is the last thing on our list. We USE our kitchen, and there are only so many hours in the day.
Green vs. Clean
Part of the problem is my own doing. In an effort to reduce the amount of dishes we use, and therefore the amount of water and energy required to wash said dishes, I like to use dishes and utensils that are relatively clean a few times before washing them. In this state between clean and dirty, there’s not much to do with the dishes other than leave them sitting out on the counter or table.
Between the cooking and the conservation attempts, the kitchen rarely looks like this . . .
. . . and the time it requires to go from clean to messy is distressingly short, but I am hoping that with a little more effort, we can maintain something a bit more sane, livable, and sanitary.
My oh my, can I relate to this! It’s part of the challenge of having a small kitchen… there’s just no breathing room and it can snowball SOOOO quickly! I try to stay on top of it, but I inevitably fall behind and then cooking turns from fun into frustration. Many times I have actually cleaned the kitchen so I could cook, and then I just don’t wanna clean it again afterwards!
Emptying the dishwasher is another big one for me. If I can just make myself do it in a timely manner, then the dirty dishes can go straight into the dishwasher… but if I get behind then disasters ensue.
My dad and stepmother have a great system. She cooks and he follows her around cleaning up after her. That way when they are done eating, the pots and pans & food prep stuff are pretty much done, and the only thing left to do is put the dishes in the dishwasher. I fear I haven’t been able to interest CatMan in this approach!