The kitchen is known as the heart of the home which also means it’s prone to housing a lot of clutter! Kids’ school bags, paperwork and post, shopping, clothes that need washing…it’s surprising how much ‘stuff’ you need to work around in order to use your kitchen for actual cooking!
If kitchen clutter is driving you crazy and you’re fed up with nagging your family to put their things away, it’s time to implement a few new rules to help preserve your sanity.
In extreme cases it may be necessary to get a big box – a really big box – that you can keep in your garage or shed. Whenever someone leaves ‘stuff’ in the kitchen, take the item to the box and leave it there until they decide to look for it. Instead of you clearing up after them, or nagging them, or having to root around the house to find the item when it’s needed (all the while sounding like your mother: ‘if you’d put it where it’s meant to live you’d know where it is now…’) you’ll know instantly where it is – in the box. Perfect solution!
Alternatively, there are some other, perhaps less extreme, methods of keeping your kitchen in a usable state.
One of the best approaches is to make the best of the space you’ve got. Create a place for lunchboxes, shoes and coats to that everyone can clear their things away after a day at work/school.
Then, organise your food supplies and crockery so everything is easy to find. Spend 5 minutes every week having a tidy up so you can easily lay your hands on whatever you need.
Getting children involved in tidying helps you and encourages them to take responsibility for their own belongings. Obviously you’ll need to set age-appropriate tasks. However, even young children will enjoy having little jobs to do.
For older children, it can be helpful get them to set/clear the table - making this a daily task means it becomes a habit rather than a chore, and your children will probably learn to set/clear a table with unbelievable efficiency! If you have more than one child it’s probably a good idea to avoid confrontation by asking one to set and the other to clear one day and reverse roles the next day. Rewards like extra pocket money may be required!
Of course, a Wipe Easy tablecloth can make this task much easier. Plus there will be less washing or ironing to do!
Finally, it’s a good discipline to keep only what you need on your work surfaces. Create a new home for paperwork, post and other items that tend to mount up.