Love, Your Kitchen

Many of you already know this about me. I am a Conquistador of Chaos.*

For the most part, I honestly enjoy all facets of housework. I also love baking and cooking pretty much everything from scratch.  I also don’t have a dishwasher.

Problem is, I really really really love to have a clean and bright kitchen. You know, the kind that doesn’t have dishes precariously stacked awaiting their turn for the soapy bath.  Survival thus far has meant an occasional kitchen conquering day where Nathan takes the girls away and I spin into my magic mode.

As fun as it is to see the transformation, it’s exhausting, and I really want to be able to put time into other more meaningful things.  Reading. Art. Music. Teaching prep.

The other night I had some realizations in a few areas of my kitchen habits, and am hopeful that our home will be more consistently peaceful because of it.  My tendency is to focus on how to solve the problem (the mess) rather than avoiding it in the first place.

Any of these sound familiar: I’ve just GOT to do it, no matter what! Don’t go to bed without the dishes cleaned. {Husband}, you have got to help too, you know. A little bit every day, and we can do it.

But at the rate that I mess our kitchen, any of the above approaches was simply not enough. It has been impossible to keep up with the messes.  Something had to change.

1. Stick to a basic menu plan

Me to me: “Be creative within these limitations.  Stop wasting time figuring out how to be superduper creative in the kitchen.  You’re chasing your tail. You can still save money on shopping around sales because the sale items will eventually be used. You know they will.”  In addition to adopting a basic menu plan that we cycle through each month, I need to be more mindful of the messes that I make.

2. Try to reduce the messes

Some particular ideas have been swirling in my head. This morning I joined AubreyElla for some coloring fun and designed this reminder to post in a prominent place in my kitchen.

My kitchen to me:

 So far so good. (We’re going on hour 2, mind you.)

As our yearning for peace, beauty, and creativity extends all throughout our home, I am committed to changing my habits to make my family’s kitchen activities more lovely.

Operation sustainably fresh and peaceful kitchen: underway.

*term taken from the amazing Julie Morgenstern’s Organizing from the Inside Out. Her psychological summary of this type of person was eerily similiar to the way that my husband’s wife frequently pretty much always behaves.

By Naomi Bird

Wife of tenor Nathan Bird, pianist, organist, former music therapist, writer, tea-drinker, mom of two mini-sopranos and two mini-tenors, and learner of loving the arts.

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