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Scene 1. Papa the Farmer comes into the kitchen mid-afternoon for a glass of water. This son-and-brother-of-professional-housekeepers looks around himself in unbelief and wonders aloud, “How does the kitchen get this dirty so fast? Three hours ago it was sparkling clean and now it looks like it hasn't been cleaned in a week.”
Scene 2. It's 1 – o'clock in the morning and I am still up washing dishes. Our house guest comes out of his room and starts rummaging through our pots and pans, wanting to fry some potatoes for a “midnight snack.” I know from experience that he's not going to clean up after himself. I refrain from slapping him, give up on washing the dishes and go to bed. The dishes will have to wait until morning when I'm in a better mood.
Scene 3. My super-organized girlfriend is visiting and she helps me wash the dishes after supper. We stay up way too late chatting and don't go to bed until the wee hours of the morning. We may be tired, but at least we'll wake up to a sparkling clean kitchen! Bright and early the next morning we're chatting again when I look up and realize my 7 year old son has been “helping” and now EVERY dish I own is piled up in the sink. “HOW did this happen?” I moan. “Four hours ago this kitchen was spotless!” “I don't know,” my friend replies. “But this is my worst nightmare.”
Why Is Keeping The Kitchen Clean So Hard?
These are all true stories that have actually happened in my home. There's no doubt about it. The heart of the home is truly the kitchen. Some much happens in this room. If you are in your kitchen preparing meals for your family, the kitchen is going to get messy. Staying on top of the mess and keeping it clean can seem impossible and overwhelming sometimes.
I've been watching the free Homemaking mini ecourse: 4 Steps to Stress Free Homemaking. An entire lesson is devoted to the topic of keeping the kitchen clean. In the lesson, Holly Dvorak explains why the kitchen poses such a challenge:
The reason it's such a big deal, it's such a heavy hitter is because it's 3 meals a day. It's not like you can get this done and move on. The Kitchen Never Closes. – Holly Dvorak www.thespinwithin.com
And that got me to wondering…
What If The Kitchen Did Close?
Wouldn't the kitchen be so much easier to keep clean if there wasn't a constant stream of traffic in there?
I have a friend who closes her kitchen at night. She washes the dishes, puts everything away, then turns the light out. Woe unto anyone who dares to enter the kitchen and make a mess after the lights have been turned off!
I started spending a lot more time in the kitchen when we began eating a whole foods diet. It takes an hour to prepare a meal, half an hour to eat and about 45 minutes to clean up. That's more than 15 hours a week, just making supper! That doesn't include breakfast and lunch! There's no reason anyone needs to be in the kitchen leaving a mess behind after dinner is over. I turn the light off and the children know that they need to keep the kitchen clean. The best part is that I wake up every morning to a kitchen that is still clean from the night before!
What a great idea! But my kitchen is in a place where it's not very convenient to turn the lights out. So I have a sign that I hang on the fridge at night to remind everybody that the kitchen has officially closed for the evening.
It's super-cute and it gets the point across! In the morning I can flip it over and the back side says “The Kitchen Is Open!”
Download Your Free “Kitchen Is Closed” Sign!
Now you can have your own “Kitchen Is Closed” sign, too! I'm offering a free printable to my email subscribers. Simply subscribe here to receive our blog updates in your inbox. After you sign up you will be taken to a page where you can download the sign. (There are also a few extra surprises there for you!). If you are already a subscriber, the link is located in the footer of the emails you are already receiving.
How To Hang Your Sign
I printed the sign double-sided on cardstock and laminated it with my home laminator. Then I used a simple magnet to hold it onto the fridge.
Alternatively, you could print each side of the sign on a separate sheet of paper and then place them back-to-back in a page protector.