Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Try It Tuesday!!

It's Tuesday and that means time for another Try It Tuesday!!

First, how did you do last week? Were you able to fix meals completely out of what was already in your kitchen??

I did very well actually. Towards the end of the week I needed to buy milk and found bacon on sale (the really thick kind that DH loves sooo much) and bought it. Of course when he saw it, he wanted me to cook some so...I feel that I learned two things:

1) No matter what you go to the store for, you put yourself in the midst of temptation of buying things you really could do without.

2) When you're doing a challenge that has to do with food, don't let DH (who already has you wrapped around his little finger) influence you to cook something you bought on sale until the challenge is over!! :o)

Now, on to today's Try It..

Sometimes I know early on what I want to do for Try It Tuesday. Other times, like this week, it hits me just in time. Last night as I was washing my dishes I was thinking to myself how much better the next day begins if I wake up to a clean kitchen.

I wake up, come in the kitchen and turn on the light over the sink and if the dishes have been washed and put away and the floor swept, if the counters are clear and there are no shoes piled at the back door, I'm immediately in a better mood. I feel like it's going to be a good day. But on those days when I come in the kitchen and there's dirty dishes all over every counter, cookie crumbs and dirt in the floor, garbage climbing the wall and 62 pair of shoes at the back door....I immediately get a heavy feeling within myself. I'm behind before I even get started and quite honestly, I don't feel like doing anything at all.

For me, and maybe for you, waking up to a dirty kitchen has far more repercussions than you might think.

I love to cook and I love to do it frugally, but if I begin my day with a messy kitchen, here's how it pretty much goes:

Wake up, find a messy kitchen (sounds like little elves dirtied it while I slept, huh??), mood turns tired. Get DH out the door, look around at the kitchen...I'll get it when I finish my devotions. Finish devotions, go back and look at kitchen...well, I really need to check my e-mail and do a post and check out my bloggy buddies sites before the kids get up.

Finish that, kids are up. Kitchen can wait, DD has to be at work in 2 hours want to catch up with her and let her know her school work for the day.

DS is out the door to his job..."I love you!! Be safe!!"

DD leaves for work. Need to get out of these pj's, make my bed and clean the bathrooms.

Hmm..feeling hungry, need to make a bite to eat. Walk into kitchen..ughhh..still messy, quick bowl of cereal (have to wash a bowl).

Now it's past noon. Mail ran. Go through the mail, straighten the living room, finally out of my pj's.

DS will be home soon, need to get his lessons ready. DS is home, want to hear about his day..get him started on his school work.

Look at the clock---3:30!!!!!! DH will be home in an hour!! Kitchen is still a mess and I haven't planned anything for supper!! Crazy woman takes my place and by 5 we're sitting down to a quick meal (you know, those things you keep in the freezer for real emergencies??)

This is not much of an exaggeration at all. It seems as if my whole day is frittered away and I've accomplished nothing. I feel like I have let everyone down and especially myself.

Now, when I've gone to bed with a clean kitchen I get up, go in the kitchen. Coffee is already made because I remembered to program the coffee pot the night before. Counters are empty and clean, I'm not tripping over shoes.

DH leaves for work, I do my devotions and check my e-mail.

Get my bed made and straighten the living room. If the kids don't have to be to work early, I go wake them up. While they're waking up, I decide what I'm going to fix for supper and lay that meat out. Am I going to make bread? Sure! I've got clean counters to work the dough on.

Kids are up, eating breakfast. I've got a sink of soapy water waiting on their dirty dishes. All they have to do is rinse and stick them in the dishwasher.

Get out of pj's, make bed, hang out some laundry. It's only noon??? Check the mail, eat some lunch.

Kid's off to work, I'll grade schoolwork. Turn on the tv....oohhh, I LOVE this Little House rerun. Watch Little House.

4o'clock time to start supper. DH comes home to good smells wafting through the house. DS home from work (DD is closing at her job, make her a plate). I get to enjoy a meal and my family in a calm spirit.

Quite honestly it does amaze me at how much smoother my day goes if I wake up to a clean kitchen.

Here's what I've found:

1) Waking up to a clean kitchen saves me time. It is so much quicker to wash a dirty pan if it hasn't sat all night and the food cemented itself in.

2) Waking up to a clean kitchen saves money. I am able to bake and cook more frugally since I'm not relying on quick convenience foods to bail me out. We eat healthier too!!

3) Waking up to a clean kitchen puts me in a better frame of mind, I don't feel behind or defeated before I even get started.

So here's our challenge for this week:

Do not go to bed with a dirty kitchen. After your evening meal, go straight in and do those dishes. Dry and put away the ones that don't go in your dishwasher and stick that drain board under the sink. My family usually has an evening snack, so I'll run a small bit of soapy water and leave in the sink for those snack dishes to be rinsed in and then put in the dishwasher.

Wipe down all of the counters, the cabinet doors, the stove and the range hood.

If you get a collection of shoes at your back door (like I do), get the attention of the owner and have them come claim their shoes before you decide to auction them off (or let the Lab have them for chew toys!)

Check the garbage can. If it's full, take it out (or get the one in charge of garbage detail to do it).

Take up the throw rugs, give them a good shake and sweep the floor.

If I find spots on the floor, for example if somebody spilled something or dropped something, I use my swiffer thingy and a wet pad and just spot mop the floor. (No, I don't buy those expensive pads. I make my own cleaning solution and let a few rags soak in it. Then when I need to spot mop, I just pull a rag out, use it and toss it in the washer!)

Believe it or not, all of this usually takes less than 30 minutes!!!

Right before bedtime (I'll let the soapy water out of the sink and rinse it out) give a final check to the counters (put away the cereal bag (DS) and the chip bag (DD), and head off to bed where you can go to sleep with a smile on your face knowing that there isn't a huge mess waiting on you when you get up in the morning.

I promise you, you will see a big difference in your day and in your attitude and what better way to be a better wife and mom than to greet your family with a happier you!!

Are you up to the Try It challenge?? Can't wait to see how your week goes!!


Lisa said...

I completely agree. I hate getting up to a dirty kitchen and I'm currently avoiding the one the dear family left for me (it was clean when I left it after dinner) when I went to bed. Guess I need to get a move on. Thanks!

Civilla said...

Speaking of using what you have in your kitchen, I once had to feed myself, my husband, our 2 college-aged sons, and a couple of their friends on a moment's notice. We don't live near any stores.

I made a "garbage pizza" out of water/yeast/salt/sugar/flour for the crust (greased the pan with Crisco, and dusted it with corn meal). Then, when the crust was risen, I stretched it into the pan and topped it with: leftover shrimp coctail sauce, a can of refried beans, slices of American cheese, leftover cooked ground beef, leftover cooked cubed ham, a chopped onion, and a can of sliced black olives, and sprinkled with Parmesean cheese. Baked at 450 for about 20 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.

I got RAVES! Now, I make it especially for us. Tomato sauce is better than shrimp coctail sauce, actually, and chopped chiles are great on top!

momstheword said...

Oh I so agree. I can't stand waking upto a messy kitchen. Often I will stay up late if I have to just to get it cleaned up. But sometimes I will let it go if I'm not feeling well.