Sunday, July 11, 2010

I cleaned my kitchen in 14 minutes! - Streamlining your cleaning

So, why should you care? I know I'm a dork, but I actually think about things like how to make cleaning more efficient. I love cleaning. Before I was a mother, I could spend hours and hours cleaning. Cleaning was my passion and I was very thorough! It wasn't unheard of for me to be up until the wee hours of the morning on a weekend reorganizing the junk drawer or taking apart the fans and scrubbing them clean.

I'm still passionate about cleaning, but now that I have a daughter, my focus has shifted somewhat. Of course I think having a clean and orderly home is important in raising children. I was raised in a VERY messy and chaotic home (my mother is a hoarder) and know how difficult it is to function in an environment like that. I don't want that for my daughter! But, I also don't want to spend so much time cleaning the house that I end up neglecting her. I struggle sometimes to find a good balance. So, I've actually been thinking about how to make cleaning more efficient. Specifically, my kitchen.

My kitchen is kind of a thorn in my side. Being a stay at home mom and preparing all the meals for our family, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and it gets really messy. One huge pet peeve of mine is waking up to a dirty kitchen. The kitchen MUST be clean before I go to bed. The last thing I want to have to do after getting my daughter up from 12 hours of sleep is to tell her she has to wait another half hour so I can have some workable space in the kitchen to make her breakfast. She wakes up super thirsty and hungry, demanding a banana ("nana") immediately.

The only real "me" time I get is after 8, when my daughter goes to bed. I had been spending up to an hour cleaning the kitchen, which meant I wouldn't even be able to sit down until 9. So, in order to have more time for me in the evening, and honestly, to watch Big Brother, I came up with a plan to hopefully help me get the kitchen cleaned quicker but still thorough. Approach it methodically, I though! Here's what worked for me:

1. gather all the trash and recyclables and put them in their containers, we also collect food scraps in the bucket to be put in the yard waste bin
2. throw all the dishes in the sink (to be rinsed and put in the dishwasher in a minute)
3. packed up all the leftovers and put them in the fridge along with the condiments and milk
4. put dishes in the dishwasher and/or hand wash
5. wipe counters
6. sweep/vacuum and spot clean the floor (yes, I do this every night)
It might sound simple, but before I was dashing around picking up trash, washing a dish, wiping a counter...etc But, using the above method I was able to clean my kitchen in 14 minutes (and we even barbecued and ate outside)! There's not many other household chores I can do in under 15 minutes.
Take it or leave it, hope it helps someone!


HappilyDomestic said...

Thanks for the tips! I was just thinking of going through each room in my house and setting the timer for 10 minutes. It is amazing how fast and efficient you can be on a time crunch. We had a showing of our house on Sat. so we had gotten it spotless, now after a lazy day on Sunday it is somewhat messy again. :-(

Tamara said...

I understand the frownie face! Another one of my pet peeves is having the house messed up JUST after I've cleaned it.

Michelle @ Flying Giggles said...

I love having a clean kitchen because you can see it from so many angles in our house. When the kitchen is a mess, I feel uneasy. Well, I guess I feel that way when anything is a mess. You must have it down. I will have to time my kitchen cleaning skills!