I’ve heard the saying that the kitchen is the heart of the home. I don’t quite agree…I believe the people are the heart of the home.
But I do think, at least for my home, that the kitchen is the center of the home. Partly because it’s literally in the center of my home, partly because I spend a large portion of my day on tasks there, partly because it’s where my family is physically nourished. There is a definite relationship between the state of my kitchen and the state of the rest of the house. When my kitchen is clean, counters cleared, the whole house feels and looks so much neater and more peaceful. Keeping it clean and uncluttered is a priority for me in order to bless my family and make my home sing.
As I’ve mentioned before, I focus on one area of my home each weekday. Monday is my “Kitchen & Dining Room Day”. I have a checklist that I go through every Monday:
- Wipe all counters & backsplashes (moving any small appliances, etc.)
- Scrub sink
- Clean & empty toaster
- Wipe out microwave
- Straighten & wipe refrigerator shelves
- Straighten pantry
- Clear off & wipe down bar
- Clean & polish table
- Clean dining room mirror
- Water plants
My kids do the following:
- sweep & mop
- wipe down large appliances & trashcan (the stainless steel trashcan gets smudges & fingerprints too!)
- wipe down dining room chairs & barstools
- dust bookshelf & blinds
Virtually nothing on this list (besides vacuuming/mopping) takes more than two or three minutes to complete…in fact, most probably take only one minute or so! Often, they don’t seem necessary. For example, the microwave frequently looks clean and the pantry shelves are in reasonable order. Still, taking just a minute or two now to go ahead and wipe out the microwave or straighten a couple of items on a pantry shelf, saves me from spending many times that later when it’s been let go until it really needs it.
It’s a menial, mundane list of tasks…but if I complete it on Monday, maintaining it throughout the week takes minimal time. This leaves me more time to spend with my family and keeps the room uncluttered and peaceful, setting the tone for the rest of the house.
This Monday, I also plan to:
- sort the baby’s clothes and pull the next size/season from storage. I’ve gotten pretty good at staying on top of culling clothes that are getting too small and keeping the kids’ drawers and closets uncluttered, but at this stage he’s growing so fast it’s hard to keep things rotated and his drawers are stuffed and cluttered!
- Get out my fall decorations. I bought nice artificial pumpkins and gourds at Hobby Lobby this week to use in my baskets and centerpieces instead of buying real stuff.