Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Doin' Things

It's a few hours after lunch on a Monday morning. Today I've cleaned our kitchen, done two loads of dishes, washed all my dirty clothes, cleaned the toilet, and even done a little reading.

Our house is at its worst on Monday mornings. Housework tends to pile up over the weekend, but on Mondays we simply must get things rolling again. And, for the past several years, I have been given Monday mornings as my major housecleaning day. We all take turns with the housework and, while everyone has minor chores to do every day, on Mondays I am in charge of the major housework area: the kitchen. Yes, I asked for this. :) I figure if I can handle our house when it's messiest, I can handle it any time.

There are so many womanly skills that I need major work on, but I think I can say without boasting that I have kitchen-cleaning down to a science. Here's what I do to conquer a messy kitchen on a Monday morning (you'll notice that I don't include things like mopping, cleaning the refrigerator, or organizing the cupboards - those are weekend jobs):

#1- I roll up my sleeves and pray for enthusiasm. It took me a long time to learn that dishes won't wash themselves if I just sit and stare at them with glazed eyes. I put on an apron to get me in a cleaning mood. If I'm feeling really lazy and depressed, I sing something "bouncy" and full of praise to the Lord.

#2-I take care of trash first. Nothing makes a kitchen look messy like trash sitting around. I throw away the wrappers that didn't quite make it to the trash, the paper cups someone forgot to throw away, and the napkins that fell on the floor. I also take care of all dirty towels, dishcloths, and potholders. They go into a small basket that sits on the floor of our kitchen, and gets emptied regularly.

#3- I collect all the dirty dishes and stack them on the table. It always surprises me how many different places dishes can hide, but I dig them out, rinse them, and stack them neatly on the table according to what will be washed first. I always like to see what I'm up against in the beginning, rather than thinking that I've cleaned everything, and then discovering that I left two pans sitting on the stove.

#4 - We don't have a dishwasher (well, my Dad says we have 8 living washers), so I run a little soapy water and begin scrubbing. I wash the "shallow" things first, like cups and silverware, and rinse directly into the wash side of the sink - that way, I don't waste my rinse water, and the wash water stays hot. The more I rinse, the deeper the wash water gets, so I can clean the bigger dishes.

#5- After I wash the dishes, I wipe down the table and counter tops, and the stove, if needed.

#6 - A quick but thorough sweep of the floor and

....I'm done!Whew! I love to see a clean kitchen. Too bad lunch is always so soon.....

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