The kitchen can be very hard to manage. Between all the busy work, chores, grocery lists and cooking, it’s easy for things to spiral out of control even if you keep a tight ship. But of course, sometimes it’s just a matter of recentering your focus and knowing where to begin.
Today, I want to help you find peace in the kitchen. Whether you’re by your lonesome or working with a partner, it’s important to know how to keep the kitchen a joyful place for everyone.
It can be stressful, absolutely, but I hope I can help you see just how much fun it can be to work in the kitchen – especially with the right company!
“Excellence is not a skill, it's an attitude." – Ralph Marston
When it comes to kitchen chores, we all have that one chore we find unbearable. For some it may be taking away the trash, for others it can be doing the dishes. Regardless, a simple trick is to trade with your partner whichever chore you dislike the most – you do theirs and they do yours.
If you both dislike the same thing, then try switching it up every other day or week. Today you do the dishes, tomorrow your partner does. This way, neither of you is ever stuck with that one chore you hate and the kitchen keeps going.
Rearrange and remodel
Let me tell you a story:
I used to live in a rented apartment and the kitchen sink in that place had a window directly pointed at the afternoon sun. Meaning that when I usually came around to organize the space and do the dishes, the sun was directly in my face ready to kill my eyes.
My routine wouldn’t allow much room for switching this up at the time so after a few months of groaning in frustration every time I walked up to the sink, I eventually installed curtains by that window… and the problem was solved.
Honestly I don’t know why I didn’t do that sooner.
And that’s the lesson I learned: especially when you are in a rented place, it’s very likely that things will not be arranged to your liking. Sometimes the fridge has to be in an awkward spot, sometimes your stove is kinda far from your working station, it happens. But remember that, for the most part, you have the freedom to rearrange this stuff – or at least create solutions that make your life easier.
And if you’re living in your own home by now, then you can always go for a kitchen remodel. If you’re unhappy with the way your kitchen is set up, consider creating a new kitchen plan and moving some stuff around. You will be surprised with the results and how much it changes your relationship with the room!
Clean up after yourself
OK, full disclosure, this is one of my personal greatest flaws.
The easiest way to let your kitchen cleaning plans get out of control is leaving stuff to clean later. It might not seem like a big deal when you’re busy cooking, but little by little it snowballs to insane degrees, to the point where you wonder “How did I let it get to this point?
So you take the time to clean the whole thing, swear on your life to never do it again… and then you do it again.
Or at least, I do.
There’s no secret here: always clean up after yourself and take advantage of the downtime when waiting for something to boil or bake to already wash what you won’t use anymore, such as mixing bowls or strainers. If you make dinner, try to clean what you used on the same night.
That way you will always have a clean kitchen on the way back – and try to coordinate with your partner to help each other out here!
Look, let’s cut to the chase here: putting away the dishes isn’t fun. Taking out the trash isn’t fun. Cleaning grease from your stove isn’t fun. And even if it was fun, it would certainly stop being so after the millionth time you did it.
But I can still find some enjoyment out of it when I’m listening to some of my favorite music. Or just listening to a podcast, or a YouTube video. Some people wouldn’t mind setting up an episode of a sitcom – the perfect 20-minute timer for a session of cleaning.
The point is: yes, doing chores is boring, but you can find ways to make it a bit more interesting for yourself!
Cook like a team
Cooking with your partner is really fun, but it’s wise to determine your roles before starting, just like you would in a professional kitchen. This is just to make sure both of you know what you’re doing without creating conflict.
For example, one can cut veggies while the other heats up the pan. Then one can take care of the pan while the other readies the meat. And so on.
Decide first which recipe you’re following and determine your roles so that the entire process goes smoothly. And of course, have fun!
Keeping a grocery list on the fridge is a practical way to keep tabs on what’s missing for your next trip to the market. Even better if you keep a sharpie with a magnet next to it so that anyone can make a note on items that are missing.
You can also create a digital grocery list on apps like Todoist, Trello, Evernote, etc. That way everyone can do the same but from their phone. This is what I use here, but I will admit that sometimes I forget to add the items until the last minute because phones can be quite distracting and I don’t always have it with me in the kitchen.
So a list on the fridge would be much more practical. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one.
Press the “reset" button
OK, let’s say you landed on this list after a few rough days and your kitchen has already been turned upside down. It can be daunting to take care of everything in one go by yourself, so I recommend what I call a “reset button" – hire a house cleaner.
The idea is to give yourself a clean slate. A house cleaner will take care of the most pressing matters in your kitchen and leave you in a great place to start afresh!
Ready to take care of your kitchen? Get free quotes from house cleaners today to kickstart this project!