This is a guest post by Tanya Jorgensen, a wife and mom who left her corporate job to pursue her passion of writing and helping others. She is the creator of A Crafted Life, a blog that guides you through ways to simplify and live intentionally.
How Cleaning My Kitchen Changed My Life
It does sound dramatic, doesn’t it? “HOW CLEANING MY KITCHEN CHANGED MY LIFE!!” I know, I get it. Over the top. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Follow me on this little journey… Once upon a time, I was not nearly as organized, calm or fabulous as I now am. Okay, to be fair, until just a few months ago I was disorganized, stressed and basically a hot mess. Truth be told, I’ve been that way most of my life. BUT I digress. So, back to our story.
Once upon a time … I decided that things needed to change. In a big way.
My husband and I agree on most things in life. I always wanted to work for myself, and after some serious discussions, we agreed that we would work toward making my dream a reality... Self-Employed. Blogger. For money. HOO-RAY! We knew that it would be a huge financial adjustment and we started looking at the standard massive overhauls required to temporarily live off of one salary. To help me conquer my goals, I started a personal journey with a life coach, but more on that another day. While working with the coach, I learned the importance of focusing on only one or two habits at a time. It was about this time that I realized I needed to change a personal habit that was good for me, as well as my family. Enter – the kitchen.
Our little trio is notoriously bad at keeping house.
Don’t get me wrong, we love having a clean house, we just aren’t very good at staying on top of it. We often got caught in the cycle of busyness that so many of us do – we would come home from work, throw together dinner, promise ourselves “we’ll clean later," head to bed and scoot off to work in the morning with the kitchen still a mess.
After working with my coach, I decided that I would focus on making sure the kitchen was clean every night before I went to bed. Trust me, I grumbled like mad the first few days (weeks), but one Wednesday evening I suddenly realized that when I went into the kitchen at 9:00 p.m. to make my evening sweep, the room was clean! Say what?!?
I had subconsciously started cleaning every time I entered the space.
Because we could see the counters, I found that we started cooking at home more! We had space to work, and it didn’t seem like such a chore to clean up as we created.
When we started cooking at home more often, we had leftovers for lunches the next day. Leftovers for lunch led to less spending … do you see where we are going with this? ????
Because I had such success by making these simple changes, I wanted to share my top tips with you! They'll help you keep your kitchen clean and your life in control.
Tidy as you go.
If you leave a mess from breakfast, the day is pretty much shot. Making lunch becomes a chore, because you have to clean first, which is a total pain. It's very difficult to whip up a yummy salad when all the cutting boards and knives are dirty.
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty (or clean, actually).
I was a dishwasher-using gal when I started this little experiment. Turns out, that was part of the problem. Believe it or not, emptying the dishwasher is one chore than most people don’t want to do. It’s like folding the clothes in the dryer. You feel relieved when you’re done because the counters and dishes are clean, but then you remember – there’s still more work. If this is you, try keeping a sink of dishwater ready throughout the day, and wash, rinse and dry as you go.
Consider minimizing the number of tools and gadgets in your kitchen.
The less you have cluttering your kitchen, the better off you'll feel. It can be struggle at first... because everyone needs three potato mashers stuffed into a drawer, that you had no idea were there in the first place, right? Oops, is that just me?? Once you reduce the number of utensils, bowls, glasses and gadgets to only what you actually need, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief. Open space is a beautiful sight to behold. Bonus: You get to feel good about donating your extras.
Do a clean sweep after dinner.
Each night, finish cleaning up the dinner dishes, take out the garbage and then sweep the floor. Just do it. You’ll thank me later. It really doesn’t seem like a huge thing, but trust me, sometimes a little goes a long way.
So there you have it - the true story of How Cleaning My Kitchen Changed My Life. What are your best tips to keep your kitchen clean? Where do you look to make changes when something has to give?
Got your kitchen under control, but maybe the laundry is giving you nightmares? Check out Tanya's post on How to Keep Up with Laundry.