I have a confession to make … my kitchen in normally, everyday, mostly in a state of disarray of one kind or another. Stuff on the counters, stuff in the sink, floor needs sweeping or mopping, or the dishwasher to be loaded or unloaded. Sound familiar? If you cook at all I’m sure you can totally identify!
But, you might say, The Granny Plan step number three says it’s important to clean as you go. And I do.
So, what’s going on here?
An Active Kitchen is Always in a State of Becoming the Next Meal
Take a look at these three stunning kitchens and what do you notice?
Zero cleanup, zero meal prep … all is perfect!
Of course we all know these are model kitchens, but I still think it has an effect on us that we see oh so many of these picture perfect kitchens on TV shows, in advertisements, online, on cooking shows, and on and on ad nauseum. On cooking shows all is clean, ingredients are pre-measured and in cute little bowls and totally ready to cook.
But, in your own home there are dishes from the last meal in the sink, a full dishwasher to be unloaded, appliances and other tools you use daily on the counters, some needing cleaning themselves, a floor that needs sweeping or mopping, a dirty range top. All of these are true of my kitchen in this picture:
This is my kitchen just after a fairly big family breakfast. Everyday my husband makes breakfast for the four of us, then after we eat I cleanup the kitchen. He cleans as he goes, but let’s just say, not as much as I do 😉 .
The dishes in the foreground just came out of my overly tiny dishwasher ( it’s weirdly small ) , way in the background you’ll note a stack of baking dishes and bowls drying on the counter, a couple of pans soaking overnight from dinner. The sink has breakfast dishes in it and the counters need to be wiped down along with the range. The floor needs sweeping and mopping. There is a percolator that needs cleaning out, and we keep quite a few everyday things on the counter like silverware, cutting boards and utensils, for a lack of drawer space.
This is a kitchen in the process of cleaning up one meal, and prepping for the next! Just after this photo was taken all the dishes went in the cabinets or the dishwasher, pots and pans were scrubbed, then lunch was made for my Mom by my husband, my son made his lunch then he made a batch of brownies for later. Late in the afternoon I cleaned the kitchen once again before I made dinner, then again after dinner. And so begins another day.
There was no point in the day when my kitchen looked even remotely like the ones in the pictures. Okay, well maybe about 5 minutes! All day there were dishes clean or dirty on the counters, ingredients being prepped, things drying, and of course floors in various stages of clean/dirty.
Clean tidy kitchens are an ideal, a much longed for Kitchen Utopia like the ones in the model home pictures that will just never arrive no matter what you do. Of course, unless …
I think this is exactly how many sparkling home kitchens come about, lol!
Our working home kitchens should more closely resemble a commercial kitchen with tons of activity, things in process, and a mix of clean and dirty utensils about, all of which are on there way to the stove, the table, or the dishwasher.
Clean as you Go Can Look Different Depending on your Situation
If you live alone your kitchen probably does look pretty tidy most of the time. Or if you live like me with several adults, most of which cook, then well, things will probably always be in a state of flux.
And if you live with several little kids, well, all bets are off 😉
Clean as You Go means do whatever cleaning you can as you are cooking and prevent as much in-between meal work as you are able. But try as you might, cooking still leaves evidence that will have to be handled in between cooking. But keeping it to a minimum is a huge contribution to keeping your kitchen cooking ready.
So relax, drop the perfectionism …
Life is messy, and food is life in a way 🙂 . Enjoy your kitchen in all it’s glorious chaos … just try to keep it in check enough to be ready to make the next meal!