Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kitchen cleanout

A friend of mine began a thread about feeling as if she was drowning in certain areas of her house. I could so relate! I think we discussed these areas: dishes, clothes/laundry, shoes, toys, school books/papers, etc. So, she began by doing a kitchen cleanout. I said I was going to join her but she beat me to it...I'm playing catch up this week. She came up with the idea that in the 'old days' people had one cup, one bowl and one plate, and that she wanted to model that with her children/family. I thought about that for awhile. Good idea...but my first reaction was why I go through all of that cleaning out and packing away/giving away if I could just keep up with dishes at every meal? This is a huge challenge for us. Since moving, we have no dishwasher and our kitchen is a fraction of the size of what we had in AR. While my pal was doing her kitchen redo, I tried to keep up with the dishes at every meal- I failed miserably. As part of daily chores, the kids used to rotate and do all the dishes-when we had a dishwasher. After moving here, daily chores became very overwhelming. Partly because of unpacking and reorganizing and partly because our chore responsibilities were different in a new house. Working all those kinks out always takes us time...lots of time. In the mean time, I felt bad for the smaller kiddos because the dishes always just got so overwhelming. If I had a hard time tackling it, how could I expect them to? So, I started doing the majority of the dishes and when things didn't seem so bad, I'd have them do it.

During this time, I also started thinking about routines, lack of routines and 'old' routines that don't work anymore. I suppose when you have a house full and the kiddos are all younger, any lack of routine or 'old' routines stick out like a sore thumb. That's where we are, especially in kitchen. So, I decided my pal was exactly right- take away the things that overwhelm. I did the same as her and packed away some 'kid' plates, bowls & cups for company/cousin visits. I proceeded to leave each child one plate/tray, one bowl, one 'meal' cup and one water cup. That's it, that's all they have. After cleaning out that cupboard, I tackled my plastics cupboard. That is the one that always has things falling out of it...we don't have that many leftovers to store so why have so many random containers, right? I started chucking...

I reorganized some cabinets and felt great! Then I turned around and looked at all the 'extra'- that didn't feel so good. How could it have gotten so cluttered? How did we get that many 'kid' plates/trays & cups? Unbelievable... So, I went in the basement and hauled up some boxes, in it went. This is just a little of my finished project:

The kids now only have the top shelf! I left their holiday mugs in the back for hot chocolate on our movie nights. We're missing one cup and one bowl in this pic. I took it this morning and baby was still eating...

This is now my plastics cabinet. I even had room for mixing/serving bowls!

And I actually have some counter-space here! Enough so to drag out the bread machine (to help me when I'm in a hurry!).

This is what's getting hauled out today. GOODBYE FOREVER!!! :)

p.s. The children are all washing their own dishes after each meal. If they don't, there's nothing to eat on at the next meal! :)


Anonymous said...

Love it, Becky! I have had similar thoughts about this myself. My husband and I had a talk about this when we first lived together,he could not understand at first why there were only enough place settings for 4 people in our house... there were never any clean dishes to use!!! lol... ah, wash some? lol. And the sink was never overflowing. He got it after a while, and loved it when it was HIS turn to do the dishes! Good luck to you and your family! It is alot less stressful when you dont have MOUNDS of dirty dishes all of the time!

Patrick said...

Very nice! I have become a big fan of tossing out piles of accumulated "stuff". Trying to do it in all areas- clothes, kitchen, basement. It's a process!