I should probably start off by saying I really am not qualified to give advice in this area. Thankfully, I have watched others and continue to work on this in my own home. Maybe someday I can come back and write a post that says MY KITCHEN is clean and my kids helped and I didn't have to yell at them once. So here are some things that do work for us in trying to maintain cleaning our kitchen.
1. Clean up your plate after you eat and rinse it off!! (You can also have everyone load their own plate, silverware and cup in the dishwasher) This one simple action will help keep the table cleared off and make the sink not pile up with dishes.
2. Work together. After a meal if we all pitch in the job is easier and doesn't take as long.
3. Divide up the work in small tasks: Nancy has a great idea here.
- Put the food away
- Wash off the table
- Sweep the floor
- Load the dishwasher
- Wash pots and pans
- Wipe off counters
- Empty Garbage (if needed)
4. Make it fun. We turn on music while we clean up.(We also do a little singing and dancing during clean up)
5. Be consistent. This one simple principle makes all the difference. It doesn't matter what chore chart you use the only way to keep a clean kitchen is set your rules and stick to them. If the rule is to clean off your plate and put it in the sink than make sure that happens. I heard a quote about exercising but that can really apply to anything....
"Never let 2 days go by without doing it." After the second day it is just easier to slack and that's what gets us in trouble.
6. My sister-in-law is really great at this one..... Always start your dishwasher right after dinner and empty your dishwasher before you go to bed. After breakfast the next morning, you can immediately load your dishwasher because it is empty. This prevents dishes piling up in the sink.
7. Use paper products during busy times. When I had a baby my friend brought me a box of paper products. (Paper plates, cups, silverware, napkins) It was so nice after dinner to just throw away the plates and just wash the pans.
8. Be Grateful. When cleaning up remember that you had food to eat, plates to eat on, a table to sit at, a stove to cook on, a sink with running water, a dishwasher, a FAMILY to cook for. It could always be harder!!!