I am not a Perfectionist. I just want a Clean Kitchen!


A few years ago my family and I came up with a great solution to “whose turn is it for dishes?”

We write on our calendar the kids’ names (initials), rotating them throughout the week. Simple. Effective. It has worked!


But lately, maybe it’s because I have a new kitchen and I want it to sparkle, I am not happy with the results when I go to bed! I’m finding I want …

– A kitchen clean so when I wake up for coffee, it feels good!
– Counters wiped off, thoroughly!
– Pans in the sink to be scrubbed and up on a towel to dry.
– Sink scrubbed out.

I am not a perfectionist. Rarely do things have to be perfect in my mind for me to be happy. But there is something about waking up in the morning to a kitchen that is a dirty disaster that just puts me in a bad mood.

Kitchen Sink

So we came up with a simple solution. (By the way, I found this SIMPLIFY sign in the craft store. A reminder to me, this year, to do what the sign says!)

At the end of each night now, our 3 teenage kids are going to get our “approval” (counters, pots and pans washed, etc.) and we’ll check them off. In other words, just tossing the dishes in the dishwasher ain’t enough!

I’m just a hardworking mom who wants a clean kitchen!

Who does kitchen duty in your home? And how does it affect your mood when you wake up to a dirty kitchen?

32 comments on “I am not a Perfectionist. I just want a Clean Kitchen!”

  1. Lately, my husband and son have done clean-up duty, as I am having total knee replacement on Friday and by the time I am done preparing and cooking supper I am pretty much done for. That being said, I still want to get up in the morning to a very clean kitchen. Under the present circumstances, it just ain’t gonna happen! I have to lower my standards just a bit and be happy and grateful for a kitchen where the dishes are done, the counter is cleaned off a bit, and I just deal with the rest in the morning when I am rested up! In a few more days they will be responsible for ALL of it….the prep, the cooking, AND the cleaning…and for that I am VERY thankful!!!

  2. I do the kitchen every time. I did however start having my 11 year old son unload the dishwasher now and then. I also had him try out cleaning the whole kitchen by himself once over Christmas break…it wsn’t perfect but nice to have the help. Thanks for reminding me lol, I need to keep that going. :)

  3. I do a lot of the cleaning, but my girls each a have a night of their own, and one night that they must work together. I keep check on it and call them back until it is completed. My son handles the scraps and trash everynight.
    I can’t stand going to bed with a dirty kitchen. It just bothers me, as if I really failed for the day. Waking up to a fresh kitchen just feels right. If the clutter builds it stresses me out when I go to cook…it is not nearly as enjoyable.

  4. I tend to be picky about cleaning. But, I’m getting better. We all pitch in to clean up the kitchen. Everyone is responsible for their own place setting, but then we all pitch in to get the rest done. The details always seem to fall onto my lap though.
    I definitely prefer a sparkly kitchen – much more calming to see that in the morning than dishes in the sink and on the counter and and and…

  5. I am with you. I would like a clean kitchen too. But, since hubby does the primary cleaning after dinner, sometimes it isn’t up to my standards. I just have to decide to love him anyway and realize that a good marriage is better than a clean kitchen. :)

  6. Funny that you should blog about this, cuz I awoke to a very dirty kitchen this morning and it really bummed me out. I love to see a sparkle clean kitchen when I wake up too Sandy :) I don’t think that’s asking a lot. You inspire me to get my family more involved in the clean up each evening after dinner.
    Love your sink Sandy. I gotta know where you got it. Did it come with that gismo that you can slide over the sink? Please blog about your kitchen!! I need the scoop on everything! We’re starting our kitchen remodel soon.

  7. My seven year old is on a kick to do the dishes lately. I am glad she wants to help, but it is kind of making me crazy, but I don’t want to discourage her from helping.

  8. We eat late, unfortunately, because my husband is never home before 7. Everyone has crazy schedules but we do eat together. Then it’s the mad dash to finish homework, evening meetings, play practice, etc. So the clean up is usually me often interupted by driving to these things. I just find that I get it all done and things get left out. I wish the kitchen would stay closed!

  9. I have the same little ‘Simplify’ sign. Having it around really is a great reminder.

    Kitchen duty is me {because I live alone} but I take a few mintes after dinner to get it all spiffed up and feel at least like I accomplished something that day.

  10. Amen! to waking up to a clean kitchen every morning… but if I want it that way it’s on me to do so. My hubby and little ones (2yrs & 15months) enjoy helping to clear the table (littles: carring things to the kitchen from the dining room like the hotpads, or ketchup, etc.). My little helpers!

    Some nights though – other activities take over time of doing kitchen duty… and ugh, what a chore for the next morning. I then (usually) have to wash the dishes in order to eat breakfast. Not funny, and no there is no appliance, I am the “DISH WASHER” – call me Whirlpool, Speed Queen or Hot Point (it’s whatever mood I’m in) thank God, my name is not “Gen”…;)

    Good post~

  11. I love me a clean kitchen! Being empty nesters the responsibility usually falls to me :0)

  12. Goodness, my husband thinks I’m crazy but it really grinds my gears when I get up in the a.m. to a sink full of dirty dishes with gunk dried on ’em. Yuck. I like to have everything cleaned and dried so when I come down in the morning to have my coffee, I have a clean sink (to fill again!)

  13. Amen and amen!

    I mess it up, my husband cleans it up… sometimes, if I cook then he volunteers to clean up and bribes the boys, I mean, then my boys graciously without needing to be asked, always pitch in.

    Nothing like waking up to a clean kitchen!

  14. I do the kitchen duty… so that effects how I feel about it in the morning. I’m not so hard on myself in the am, if the pm was so busy, or I just didn’t feel like doing one more thing, and sat in front of the computer, instead of sweeping the crumbs up from dinner.

    I love the feeling of tidyness, but it doesn’t bother me if it’s less than that every couple days. Of course, having 3 little ones under foot probably has something to do with my attitude right now. lol.


  15. I do all the clean-up. My daughter is only 8 1/2 months old and my husband doesn’t clean. My resolution this year was to get my chores and priorities in order. Every night pretty much, after I cook, I enjoy the time with my baby and once she is in bed it’s my time to wash dishes, clean off table, clean counters and sweep and mop, or watch my recorded soaps from the day. It doesn’t really affect me to wake up to a clean kitchen because the only thing I do in my kitchen of a morning is fix a bottle and rice cereal. I leave for work at 7. But when I get home at night it is great until I cook and mess it all up again.

  16. We all share the duty of dishes and like you and many others I like a clean kitchen. Always have! I hate waking up to a messy kitchen. I still have to prod everyone to do the job all the way, and often I go back through and finish it off but I also call them back in and explain what it means to me to “clean” the kitchen. My oldest made the comment that when their small group gets together she and another friend are the only ones who ever do the dishes and actually do them all the way!

  17. Sandy! I just now figured out you have a new URL. I have been missing you and now I have found you again. I usually do kitchen duty at our house, though the kids do put their dishes in the dishwasher. I actually enjoy kitchen duty oddly enough. And I never ever wake up to an untidy kitchen. My OCD requires me to clean it up every single night before bed. Happy New Year!

  18. Amen sister. :) You’re absolutely right, there is something about stepping into a clean kitchen in the morning that starts the day off on the right foot. My honey is usually the thorough cleaner while I am the “pick up the mess” cleaner. It makes for a good balance. Thanks for sharing!

  19. I agree with you! I want a clean kitchen. But, it isn’t usually the way I like it either. My kids have kitchen duty. They rotate after a full week. My five kids range in age from 14 down to 5 so I can’t expect it to be the way I want it;) I am working on getting them to be more thorough but I think it will take a while!

  20. Well, believe it or not my husband does the dishes!!! Our children are still pretty young (although they help out) and my husband and I adopted the idea a long time ago that whoever cooks…the other ones cleans up! It works!

    Your method of “checking” things reminds me a lot of something my mom did when my sis and I were teenagers. We, like most teens, didn’t like to keep our rooms clean and tidy. My mom would not say a WORD about our rooms all week…but on Fridays before we were allowed to go out with friends, boyfriends, ANYTHING our rooms were to be spotless. And she CHECKED! That meant our closets, our drawers, dusted, vacuumed, etc.

    Looking back I think it was a great way to handle things….especially because the rest of the week she put up with the mess!!

    Take care girl!!

  21. Just the two of us, I do the after dinner clean up but I happen to like washing up. We share/alternate cooking and my sweet Big Guy cleans the stove and ‘fridge and mops the floor once a week while I go grocery shopping. After all these years we have the routine down pretty well.


  22. I am loving your method of checking. While I am just a newlywed here, but I always have to clean the counters and dishes before we go to bed. Although you do have a much much nicer kitchen than me so I could see why you would want it sparkly!

  23. Just last month I had enough with half done or undone jobs in the Kitchen that I took them over temporally until I can come up with a better solution. I did assign them other chores, but I noticed they are leaving dirty dishes all over the kitchen and using dozens of glasses a day. (ughhhh…) Keep us posted if something works for you.

  24. Sandy, where can I buy that simplify sign? Love it.
    My kids moved out along time ago, so its up to the 2 of us to have the kitchen cleaned up every eve. I’m with you…walking into a messy kitchen can start off our day wrong. I even make the coffee (on a timer) in the eve and set out our cups. I love mornings in our cleaned up kitchen.

  25. Yep we run into this all the time in our house as well. I hate coming into a messy kitchen in the morning, a big pet peeve of mine. My daughter (12) has gotten much better this past year at cleaning up the kitchen though I must say.

  26. I hate coming down to a dirty kitchen in the morning, it just makes me feel defeated before the day starts. I do the kitchen clean-up myself and pray that DH doesn’t sneak a late snack and leave the mess behind.

  27. I can’t wake up to a dirty kitchen. Everything must be clean and put away before I tackle another day!
    sandy toe

  28. I do the clean up. Since I’m home now, and no longer working 10 hour days, it is my responsibility to keep the house in order, cook, and clean up the kitchen. Hunter is too young still, and lets face it… he’s a feisty boy who likes to drop the dishes into my porcelein sink, and that isn’t a great combo. He does help with other things around the house, because aside from crashing dishes, he is a great helper. But kitchen clean up is all me. I hate going down to a dirty kitchen in the morning. It is tiring to wake up, clean dishes, then get to other chores. I hate that.

  29. When our three lived at home they took turns, rotating nights. Their father did the final walk-through, checking to be sure everything was done correctly, and often there were some call backs to redo part of the chore. There’s nothing I hate more than getting up in the morning to a sink full of dirty dishes in cold yucky water. It’s well worth the work of that last chore being done so I can completely enjoy that first cup of coffee taken out of a clean kitchen!

  30. AH, if only LL could do the dishes. Maybe in a few years. I like your system. In our house, its a team effort b/w my husband and I. I am the wiper and he is the loader (for the most part).

  31. The entire family participates in kitchen clean up. It allows me to give the final “okay” before they leave. :-)

    It also often generates and allows for continued discussions that began during the meal.

    Nothing like having that morning cup of coffee in a clean kitchen!

    What will we do Sandy when they are all grown and gone and it is just us to clean it up? But then, I guess there won’t be quite the mess and truth be told we will probably miss it! *sigh*

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