Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Kitchen



Harps and I had a big cleaning day yesterday. Our whole house is hardwoods (good for an asthma bum like me), but that means major sweeping and vacuuming. It's one chore (can adults call them chores?) I don't really mind, because I love watching all those Cheerio crumbs get sucksucked up, but it's still hard to keep on top of. To get our kind-of-huge bedroom done yesterday, I had to uncover my pile of cheapy Target necklaces and a box of Q-tips to keep her occupied while I heaved and hoed.

And we did laundry and put away clothes and swiped some sinks and the like. But then we came downstairs, and the whole hub of everything, the first thing anyone sees when they walk inside, was crazy messy. My kitchen. And I just couldn't face it yet.

So we went to the park instead. Then we came home and rested. Then we had music class. And by the time we came home, it was almost time to make dinner and the dishes were still filling the sink (and my counters). So I rolled up my sleeves, handed her a bowl of frozen blueberries, and got to work.

Of course, it only took about 10 or 15 minutes. And it was actually kind of soothing. And she "helped" and it made the evening chug along. So why had I waited so long? Why do I always make the kitchen clean-up my personal Everest?

The tough thing, in my defense, is the kitchen is right under her bedroom. So I really can't click and clack during nap or ni'ni' or she'll...let me know. She's got white noise going, so I can heat up food and do some light work in there, but not like big pan washing or lots of banging around. Plus, after a super long day and after cooking dinner, it's 8:00 and I am not in the mood to do more work. Usually, I do the bare minimum: Put up the food, gather up the dirty dishes from around the house, toss old food into the trash, maybe do a quick sweep. But a real clean? No.

So! What do you guys do? How do you stay ahead of the kitchen? Am I alone in my terror of oatmeal-crusted bowls? It's okay if you find my methods horrifying and think I'm hopeless. (But please pretend to convince me otherwise?) xo



19 comments:

  1. Ahh, yes, the daily kitchen battle. Some days I feel like cleaning the kitchen is ALL I DO, ALL DAY LONG! If my husband is home in time for dinner all together, I help him get the girls situated in the tub after dinner and then I go back downstairs to clean up (put away food, load & run dishwasher, vacuum & mop floors). I love those night because I feel SOOO much better going to bed with a clean kitchen.
    If he isn't home to help with the kids after dinner, I take them up for tubs, jammies, books and bedtime. He usually gets home on those nights in time for one book with the kids and a kiss goodnight, and then we eat dinner together after they are in bed. On those nights, I put food away and dishes in the sink and leave the mess to deal with in the morning. I'm just too tired after juggling both kids during dinner, bath, and bedtime. It's not my preferred situation, but I'm realistic about it.
    What would be REALLY nice is if I could say, "Oh my husband does all the dishes, puts away leftovers and cleans the floors!" But NOPE, can't say that AT ALL. If I ask him to help out, he manages to get all the dishes to the sink, and about half in the dishwasher and then there is some reason the rest couldn't be completed. Men :/ Do you guys share those kind of chores or do they mainly fall on you too?

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    1. We sound very similar in our situations ;) I, too, will do a real kitchen/downstairs clean-up if he's home in time to do the bath/bedtime routine. I put some music on and turn into a tornado! And then I SO enjoy my evening and the next morning! But if I do bath/bedtime, I do the half-ass version.
      We don't really share these kinds of chores either. We did more so before Harps and other life events and now it's kinda stuck this way. He really wants to hire me some cleaning help, so that's how he pitches in. (And by taking HJ when I need to get busy on some clutter.) I get that this is our job as SAHMs, running the house, so I'm totally okay with doing more. But yeah, more man help would be STELLAR.

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    2. I will admit that I actually googled "how to clean a bathroom" a couple weeks ago. Because ours basically gets spot cleaned when it's so visibly gross one of us can't stand it.... and I will feel like a real accomplished SAHM if I create a routine and can say I "clean the bathroom every Monday and mop the kitchen floor every Tues." or so on... (mopping is another deep cleaning chore that almost never gets done!) UGH - and what I am doing during naptime right now? Reading blogs!!

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    3. That's the best Google search confession I've heard in a long time. I heart you.

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  2. I have dishes in the sink at almost all times. He does the dishes if I cook. I try to keep the first two rooms you see when you come in and bathroom looking clean, but don't go upstairs. My clean laundry pile is almost always there. I get it tackled and it creeps back up. Hubby cleans laundry, but does not fold or put away. Keira is deathly afraid of the vacuum, yet another problem. I really hate kitchen and laundry duties because it is never done. It never ends. Hanging with the kids comes first. Cleaning can wait. We like doing the family clean up when we can. No one is perfect and I don't pretend to be. If you don't like my house cleaning philosophy then we can not hang. lol We put tunes on and everyone pitches in. Now, I have to clean a bit before Mr. ABA teacher comes. ;)

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  3. Forgot to add that he does the dishes even when I don't cook and they sit there until the next day sometimes. He will do them before he goes to work!! lol He does not wipe down counters though. Apparently, that is physically impossible.;) He is also responsible for baths/showers. I am usually doing homework or tackling stuff with the older kids. It just can't be done alone with 3. I unload the dishwasher sometimes, but we just sort of do what we feel comfortable with.

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    1. This is why I hate that the kitchen's the room you enter first in our house! Can't hide my mess. Having 3 kiddos is a whole diff't ball game fo sho. And homework duties... oh wow. Seems so far away, but I know it happens fast!

      My least favorite thing in the whole whole whole house (I'd rather clean a thousand toilets) is emptying the dishwasher. Don't mind loading it, don't mind doing the counters or sweeping the floors. Just the emptying is... the WORST.

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    2. I hate loading/unloading the dishwasher too. I think because it has to happen so frequently that it's never actually done? I don't know but I hate it. I also hate putting away clothes. HELP ME LORD I WON'T DO IT.

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  4. Because of the setup of our house, I am basically forced to keep the kitchen clean at all times. I clean it, then it's dirty. Then I clean it, then it's dirty. But since it's completely open to our living room (as in no bar/wall/nothing separates them, they're just a huge studio-ish looking room) I have to clean or it stinks up the whole place and it's right in my face and I get all anxiousy.

    But I hate it.

    My favorite place to clean is the bathroom because... it's small & it goes fast and it looks and smells so good and stays clean for a long time :D

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    1. That situation is like our Denver house -- one big space, so it'd stink up the living room.
      I like cleaning the bathroom, too! Well... the sinks and the toilets. The bathtub stresses me out because I have to climb in with barefeet and then they get it dirty and then should I turn the shower on to rinse it all out? Nevermind; I should just Google "how to clean a bathtub"...

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  5. Rachel R3:40 PM

    what is this cleaning chore you are referring to? I'm not familiar...

    So actually, I married a man who is ok with the occasional cleaning, and he does the dishes! My claim to fame is that I actually do not know how to work our dishwasher. We both work full time, I do all our finances/insurance/appointment/paperwork stuff. I also cook, so he does the dishes. We have a cleaning crew come once a week for the big stuff. The night before they come, we are running around picking up clutter. Dirt and food mess bothers me, but clothing and mail clutter....I don't notice until the cleaning crew is about to come. and the baby toys! I HATE HATE HATE bending down over and over to pick up baby toys, when all she's going to do is spread them all around again. I have even tried to do it while sitting/crawling just because i hate the bending down and standing up. oy! my daughter sings the "clean up" song and pretends like she is putting things away, but at 26 months, she is easily distracted to say the least. maybe if i paid her in graham crackers...

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    1. Cleaning for the cleaning lady/crew is the WORST! It's why I'm reluctant to get started with one again. My last lady was pretty good in that I said upfront: "I'm not cleaning for you, sorry" and she was like "It's cool, I just will have to spend more time doing less" and I said "Great!" ;)

      Also LOL on the sitting down/crawling to pick up the baby stuff. I've tried that, too! I used to do it a lot at our other house because it was smaller and she was smaller so stuff was closer together. Now I just have to walk/hobble around. They should make a pooper scooper type thing to grab the toys for us... (patent pending!)

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  6. My dishwasher is my drying rack; I wash the dishes as I cook, rinse, and put in dishwasher to drain. Yes, it is easy for a single body to do, can't imagine it working for a family. Another tip...I use baby wipes to spot clean the floor, counter in bathroom and a quick wipe around tub or sink. Read somewhere the baby wipes are good spot cleaners and not as wasteful as paper towels. EZ off oven cleaner is good for porcelain tubs and ceramic tile, but just too toxic for my cleaning. Used dryer sheets for a quick dust...Harps would prob like that.

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    1. I like wipes for spot cleaning, Clorox wipes when I'm feeling toxic and peeps have been sick. Just wish they were flushable...

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  7. We totally don't keep the kitchen clean, but a few things that help us.

    1) we have someone come twice a month for a deep clean. So I don't do it. We had to give up when we were stretched financially, but it is amazing for our relationship and stress level.

    2) Get rid of a bunch of stuff. Don't have enough pots to use three :) Make your kitchen super organized so it is EASY to put stuff away.

    3) realize that being a stay at home mom is totally not conducive to having a clean house. My mom friends ask how we keep our house so clean - um - our kid is in daycare all day.

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    1. I do probably need to remove a few kitchen items! We cleared out a bunch when we moved (12,000 times) but it still wouldn't hurt.

      And yeah, I need to hire a bit of help.

      And also -- thank you for saying that! It's hard to explain to peeps that aren't home how insanely HARD it is to keep things clean during the day. As in, impossible! No idea how the people who are truly anal and stay home deal with it. I'm pretty good at turning a blind eye ;)

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  8. My favorite is to tackle the kitchen first thing in the morning. I have no idea why, it's just nice to get it out of the way for the day, but I can't summon the energy to do it after dinner for some reason. And, I know what you mean about hardwood floors. First place with kiddo was carpeted, and carpet hides so much dirt, I'm finding. Now our house is all hardwood, and I'm sweeping pretty much twice daily. Also, we have two kitties, and the kitty hair has no carpet to stick to, so it forms big kitty hair clumps, I refer to them as the Wankel Tumbleweed.

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  9. Roomba for the tumbleweeds! As long as it does scare the kiddos. We can only run ours when the babe is out of the house because he calls it "elmo" and likes to carry it around - but that thing is AMAZING for dusting hardwood floors while you are gone.

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