Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How I clean and organize the house: Part 1 - the kitchen

I was doing the dishes this morning and thought that maybe I should share some of my cleaning techniques here on the blog. I'm a pretty good mom, I'm a horrible housewife. Anything that makes my job easier and my house neater is my friend.

I'm one of those people who has a 30-second attention span. I can't tell you how many times I've started doing the dishes only to end up planting and mulching a garden. I start the dishes and then the phone rings. Or a baby cries. Or LOOK OVER THERE! Or I suddenly have to blog about doing the dishes.

We don't own a dishwasher because Sean and I are pretty anal about having clean dishes and so even if we had a dishwasher we would probably rewash them to make sure there was nothing left behind. Our house can be a huge mess but at least our dishes are overly clean.

We've been known to go for a few days without doing the dishes and I think I figured out the secret--at least for us--to getting them done faster. We started a nothing in the right side of the sink rule. This leaves the garbage disposal and one sink free for hand washing, food dumping, paintbrush rinsing and the like. This also means that we have to wash the dishes more often because there is less room to make messes. If your shopping cart is smaller, you buy less. Same goes for dishes.


Definitely try the one sink only rule, it rocks.

When I first had Kate, a dear friend came over with lunch and did our dishes for us. And she blew my mind. Let me remind everyone that I am a horrible housewife. I didn't realize that our dish drainer had these little doohickeys:


Which hold all of your (sippy) cups!


Mmmm, organization.

And if you have a baby who uses bottles, get yourself a nice drying rack. This is essential to space saving for us because we drown in bottles. This one was about $10 at Target.


And the last tip is sort of a PSA. Both sets of grandparents did not know that you actually have to pull the valves out of sippy cups and wash under them or else gunk and mold form and can make your child sick. I'm sure I wouldn't have thought to do this either except I happened to read the instructions on the cup when I first bought it.


These little tricks are ridiculously elementary but I need them to get things done or else I'll get overwhelmed with crap and find myself writing a children's book before I finish the dishes. Tomorrow I'll show you how we do bathroom toy storage and the dreaded-in-our-house truck storage. We have a million toy trucks, I'm not kidding.


In the meantime, this is how we've been spending the day. I washed Dylan's old walker and set it up for Kate. She's still too little to use it but Dylan LOVES to push her around. They did this for about two hours today. She enjoyed the ride and he loved to drive the "motorcycle".

I realize that this video is way too long but I love watching them play together. We always talk about redoing our floors but in the end decide not to touch them until the kids are older because then we would worry about scratching them and our dogs would need to wear slippers. Instead, we ride bikes and scooters in the house which is way more fun than having nice new floors.

Sam isn't too sure how to react to all of this action.


Later on, we changed into racing pants for our very own race team uniforms.


Complete with drool.