Recently I’ve been thinking on something –
I have always wished I would have one of those “perfectly white & beautiful kitchens” like you see on Pinterest.
And I’ll be honest – I have the kitchen of my dreams now because we built our dream house a few years ago….
Complete with a white kitchen that I had grand visions of always keeping beautiful and glossy and picture-perfect.
But it has NEVER looked the way I envisioned, not since the day we moved in. I honestly didn’t figure out why until recently – it’s not that the room is disgusting or anything, it’s just never picked up and clean to my liking.
Everyday LIFE got in the way, and I got overwhelmed.
I let clutter take back over (my main operating mode), and I didn’t achieve my kitchen goals.
Why the Kitchen Was Messy in the First Place
I’ve been reflecting lately on why it is that I can’t ever seem to have a clean kitchen AT ALL TIMES when I know exactly what it should look like.
And it finally hit me as I looked around at the random stuff laying all around the room – I’m trying to make the kitchen do too much!
I very much wanted my kitchen to look spotless & beautiful, yet I also wanted to be able to:
- display certain knick-knacks
- process mail on the counter
- place the herbs on the counter until I could find time to plant them
- lay out my to do list for the day, so I’d see it first thing in the morning
- etc, etc, etc – the list was always changing
So the counters were always covered in random piles of things I needed to take care of!
No wonder it never looked like I had always envisioned!
Do we REALLY need the iron to be on the kitchen counter?
Do I really need to store all of the garden seeds and gardening gloves on the counter?
Do I really need to keep my planner right in the middle of the island so I will see my to do list for the day first thing in the morning?
ummmmmm obviously NOT!
Why was I doing this to myself?!
I suppose I was trying to trade a messy kitchen for an organized & accomplished to do list?! I’m not sure.
Realizing Exactly How I Could Always Have a Clean & Tidy Kitchen
I finally realized that while I truly appreciate a clean & orderly space, I have been sabotaging myself all along the way!
I swear – sometimes it takes one simple revelation for things to make sense in my brain.
As soon as I realized this, I went on a mission to make the kitchen achieve it’s main goals – look pretty and be functional for cooking and eating.
That’s it. Nothing else.
Once I realized this simple thing – it was easy to figure out what needed to remain in the kitchen:
NOTHING from the photo above! 🙂
What My Functional, Purposeful & Clean Kitchen Looks Like
Wanna see my kitchen’s after photo?
Here’s what this room looked like that same evening after I cleared out all the random things off the countertop:
And it’s remained this way ever since because I now know what in the heck my goal is!
I am so surprised at how easy this is to maintain on a daily basis.
I suppose it’s similar to driving – you can’t know what road to take or when you’ll arrive if you haven’t figured out your destination yet. I was simply “maintaining” my kitchen at a base level of clean without a true destination in sight.
Now that I have one, things are much easier.
Do you have a similar room issue? A room that doesn’t quite live up to your expectations? What are you trying to make that room do that it isn’t supposed to do?
Let me know in the comments below.
3 Things I Do Every Day to Keep My Kitchen Clean
In addition to defining the purpose of the room so I can know what’s supposed to be in there, I do several things every single day to maintain our kitchen at a base level of cleanliness.
At a minimum, every single day I do the following things:
- run the dishwasher as many times as needed to get all the dirty dishes clean; hand wash stuff that needs hand washing
- clean the sink with soap and a scrub brush
- wipe off the counters – I mostly just use dish towels & water to do wipe up spills and clean off crumbs, but when I need an actual cleaner, I like this Method spray
- wipe off the stove – for tougher messes, this stove cleaner works great
- sweep or vacuum the hardwood floors – I probably should do a special blog post on my one true love, my Roomba i7. It’s a workhorse!
When the need arises, I also wipe down cabinets and appliances, but that’s not an every day thing. How often I do these things just depends on how often they get used.
When I stay on top of the mess in our kitchen, it never gets super dirty.
When it’s not super dirty, it doesn’t take long to get it back to baseline clean whenever I’m actively cleaning.
It may seem like a lot to do every single day, but it’s only about 20 minutes in reality, and when this situation gets out of control, it can spiral quickly and that takes much longer and more effort to clean.
- How to Clean a Disgusting Room Step by Step – pretty self explanatory! In this post, I go deeper into the concept of getting a room to “baseline clean”
- How to Take Your Kitchen from Messy to Clean in 10 Minutes Flat! – This is the story of what I used to do at our old house when the kids were little. Our house definitely wasn’t as decluttered as our new one is, but it was realistic for me at the time to clean this way.