by Scarlett Lovitt
(Houston, Texas, USA)
When you come home from a busy day at the office to find dishes piled up in the sink, a ton of laundry in the hamper, bathrooms that need cleaning, and beds to be straightened up, don’t you start to envy your neighbor who is a stay-at-home mom for having enough time to deal with the mess?.
The thought may only be very fleeting, but the fact is that manyworking mothers find it very difficult to juggle the responsibilities of looking after the home with holding down a full-time job. And as more and more women go out to work than they ever did in the past, this is a widespread dilemma.
One of the worst rooms to tackle is the kitchen, so here are some tips on how to keep your kitchen looking good when you do not have much time at your disposal:
– Clean as you go!. Get into the habit of cleaning up as you go. Rather than leaving the mess until you have finished cooking, wash the utensils you used for preparing the food as soon as it is made – not after you have eaten, when you have all the plates and silverware to clean as well.
Similarly, put away everything that you have used, such as flour, tomato paste, etc, as soon as you have finished with it.
– Write a list. When you are rushing out of the house in the morning, you may well not have time to clear up before you leave. However, make a list of basics that must be done before you lock the front door behind you: scraping off and piling the breakfast dishes in the sink, putting away all food items so they don’t go bad while you’re out, a quick sweep of the floor.
– Use materials that are easy to clean. For example, the area rug in the kitchen should be washable, such as an acrylic rug, or easily shaken out, such as a small oval area rug.
Kitchen towels should also be easily washed, and if you can choose countertops, select ones that are made from an easy material that can be quickly wiped down, such as formica or marble.
– Love those fridge magnets!. Discover the world of the fridge magnet. Leave reminders to yourself pinned to the front of your fridge door (next to your child’s drawing from kindergarten). It will make things much easier for you when you are in a rush. You can buy some very cute varieties that will also make your kitchen look and feel more homelike.
– Use smellies!. Banish bad kitchen smells with scented candles and potpourris. These don’t only make the room smell better, but they also make it look good.
– Get organised!. Apply some of your office skills to running your kitchen. Schedule certain tasks for yourself in your personal calendar or palm pilot in the same way that you would at the office.
Remind yourself at the end of the week to go through the refrigerator, throwing out moldy vegetables and the ends of cans that you don’t need, for example.
This will help prevent a buildup of clutter and mess and tasks that never get done!