What I Learned While Cleaning My Kitchen

It wasn’t until after I finished school that I realized a) how unbelievably overextended I was, b) how badly the house needed to be cleaned {you know cleaned, not tidied}, and c) how much I’m still getting used to the idea that I don’t have to sit at the computer and write discussion question answers, papers, and Power Point presentations.

I’ve decided that instead of tackling every last fire at once {a favorite past-time of mine}, I would just take the cleaning and organization one step at a time.  After all, I have enjoyed sitting and reading, sitting and watching TV, sitting and doing nothing, sitting…

Today’s fire was the kitchen. Kitchens are wondrous places where all sorts of tasty creativity takes place.  I love my kitchen.  It’s on the smallish size, but its layout and design are conducive to some serious palate-pleasing pursuits.

When we bought the house, I decided on a very sleek and stylish black counter-depth fridge to go with the black microwave, oven, dishwasher, and toaster.  I was overjoyed; I love black appliances.

Now, while I still love my black appliances, I came to the realization today that really and truly, they are only designed for one of six people:

  1. those who have a maid to clean their appliances,
  2. those who do not have any other form of mammal in the home besides themselves,
  3. those who do not homeschool and spend every moment while their children and spouses are away obsessively cleaning their appliances,
  4. those who think their kitchen is a beautiful display piece in their home, meant only for looks and not for actual use,
  5. those who really don’t care if you can see your reflection in the opulent onyx, or
  6. those who obsessively go behind everyone and everything, throughout the day, cleaning the appliances after everyone and everything.

Can you guess which one of these people I am?

Yep.  Not a one.

So instead, I choose to love my appliances all the same, clean them several times a year, admire the purity that lasts for a few hours, then pretend like I don’t notice the fact that the grime on each one has distorted my reflection beyond all recognition the rest of the time.

Oh, of course it stresses me out, because that’s just who I am.  But, I just don’t have the time to do anything about it, and I refuse to spend all of my time keeping them super clean.

I realized a few other things while cleaning the kitchen today:

  • Every square inch of a dishwasher gets dirty and no, running the dishwasher doesn’t clean it.  How in the heck does all that grotty stuff get in all those nooks and crannies?
  • Never commence cleaning right before lunch prep begins.
  • Never commence cleaning when all you’ve had to eat for the day is one-too-many chocolate chip muffins {lovingly made by your daughter}, a glass of milk, and nothing more.  Those carbs might seem like a suitable driving force when you’ve begun, but they quickly bail on you and leave you stuffing your face with enough junk food to feed a small army while you wait for the water to boil for your fiber-rich whole grain pasta.
  • Remember that you should probably clean out the inside of the fridge while you’re doing the rest of the kitchen.  Should.  Or you can clear it of the old stuff and call it a day.
  • To do the job right, it’s going to take some time.  Time that halfway through you’ll wish you were doing something, anything, else.
  • Listening to music would probably make the whole ordeal much more enjoyable.  Or TV.  Or books on tape.
  • Determine what actually qualifies as “kitchen.” If you don’t, you’ll soon find yourself in the breakfast nook scrubbing down the island while realizing the blinds need dusting and the seldom used pots and pans stored there could probably be reorganized.

Despite all of these epiphanies, I am truly happy the kitchen had a good scrub-down.  It needed it, and I feel just a bit better inside.  Yay for small victories!

I was going to take a picture of the kitchen for you guys, but the kitchen is now dirty