It all starts with the kitchen....

After years of watching home improvement shows, I know that kitchens sell houses. If that is the case I have no idea why we bought our house. It had sat on the market for a staggering 3 years ( the former owners were fighting ) and was still in it's original early 1970's glory- mirrors, multi colored shag carpet, paneling, tiny rooms and electric heat. But it's on an interesting lot and sits on the water. I knew the minute we walked in and saw the backyard view my Mr. was going to buy this place. And I knew from the moment I saw the kitchen I was screwed.

Originally this place had dark fake wood cabinets, a weird Little House on the Prairie type of pink and blue wall paper, and the ugliest carpeting (yes, carpet) in the kitchen. Did I mention that the entire kitchen is 8 X 10 ? That is had paisley countertops ? That is has 3 ,yes 3, undercounter cabinets (and one of those is the undersink cabinet) and it that it has 3 large upper cabinets and 2 tiny upper cabinets. THAT'S IT. When we moved in it had a avocado green dishwasher that didn't work and a white fridge that we were told didn't work either (it did, but we didn't find that out until we bought a new one ), and an off white stove. (we are still using that stove because it works great ) It's only saving grace that they had converted a small closet right off the kitchen into a pantry. That thing is a lifesaver.

We moved in and I thought that I could make the kitchen work. Silly me. I had come from a house in Texas where my kitchen was 20 X 26 WITH another another room attached that was 14 x 10 (where my walk in pantry was located). When you have a kitchen and pantry of that size, you have stuff to fill it. I sure did. Even after purging I still have too much stuff for this kitchen. I do what I can, but I have stuff. I also have a Mr. who is not the most tidy in the world- and a 3 yr old with the eating habits of a 3 yr old. (Right now he is in the hotdog, goldfish, macaroni and cheese diet. )

Keeping this kitchen clean is hard. You would think that it would be easier- after all it's tiny. But no, that's not how it works. We got a new dishwasher which is a lifesaver, but we do tend to stack up the dirty dishes in the sink. The dishwasher doesn't get emptied in a timely manner most days. Run yes- but then no one empties it. So dishes stack up. I get CRAZY if there are dirty dishes on my tiny little countertops- there are 3 small countertops in my kitchen each about 2 ft square. When there is dirty stuff on them it makes me furious. Dirty stuff belongs in the sink or dishwasher only. I have to have clean countertops. I wash them about 3 times each day. We also tend to pile up items that need to go back to the pantry, instead of walking the 4 steps and putting them back. Or- if the item is put into the pantry- it's a rare sight if it's put away where it needs to go. So then, the pantry gets junked up and it's useless to me. Do I sound like I hate this kitchen- because I do.
  • The dishes need to be done
  • the counters need to be cleaned
  • the fridge needs to be organized and cleaned
  • the sink needs to be cleaned and the disposal run
  • the floor needs to be cleaned
  • the piles to go into the pantry need to be taken care
  • the pantry needs to be organized
  • the trash needs to be taken out


Are you kidding? I just want my kitchen cleaned so I don't go insane. I am not Mrs. Cleaver. Cleaning this is not going to make me fulfilled- just sane.


Organization. I need a better organizational program. Daily, weekly, monthly. A pantry list to help in the food buying. A little more help from the family. (HINT HINT- I know you are reading this honey)

So here it goes.


  • load or unload the dishwasher whatever it takes to keep the dishes out of the sink and off the counters
  • wash the counters.
  • wash out the sink and area around it- make sure the disposal is run
  • put away the piles of stuff for the pantry- in the right spots!
  • wash the floor- I do it after dinner everynight
  • keep the fridge cleaned


  • garbage (every few days- maybe more than once a week)
  • wash out the fridge area- and check for outdated food
  • clean the pantry floor and shelves
  • clean the cabinet doors
  • grocery shop


  • clean the light fixtures
  • clean the inside of the dishwasher,
  • clean the disposal
  • clean the underside area of the fridge
  • touch up any paint


drwende said...

Just being small does nothing to make a kitchen easy to deal with! You have to have a workable cabinet layout for your cooking style, which is a long way from being a no-brainer.

lorijo said...

the kitchen has a nice work triange- but no storage (outside of the pantry) and no countertop prep area. There just is no good way to prep veggies and meat at the same time, and there is no where to plate the food when it's done. What this place needs is an overhaul- and that just won't happen financially for a good long time!

Alana in Canada said...

Your list is exhausting. Wash the pantry shelves once a week? Twice a year should be sufficient--especially when you live in a climate where the winter kills the bugs. And you wash your kitchen floor every night? My hat's off to you. I'm lucky to sweep it! But that's me. (And my floor is so old and awful that it's demoralizing to actually give it enough attention to clean it.)

My kitchen, though, is only marginally better than your in terms of space and layout. You can see my counter top space here on flickr, though it sounds like I have a bit more than you do. I've made it as functional as I can, but it's my particular peeve, too.
PS--about the dishwasher, when we had one, I found that if I loaded it up and was sure to run it at night (maybe after you've washed your floor) I could unload it in the morning with ease. We only needed to run it about every other night: but just having a set time to run and unload it made life immeasurably easier than just doing it whenever.