Preparing Your Kitchen For Clutter Clearing

Today's post is about getting ready. Getting yourself mentally prepared to clear you clutter, physically prepared, and more importantly, ready to find those habits that keep you from success. Plus, your first assignment.

As we deep dive into our kitchen sphere, there may be some daunting tasks ahead. Remember, we have a month. That’s 30 days. I’ll give you some guidelines that may be helpful, but there really aren’t any rules here. Even just 10 minutes a day adds up to 300 minutes over the course of a month. That’s 5 hours!

Getting Started

Here are some guidelines:

  1. Clean first

  2. Declutter second

  3. Decorate and rebuild third

Think of these three like building blocks. Maybe even building blocks that you more or less juggle. You don’t necessarily need to do one before the other, but I do find it’s the most helpful.

#1: Clear The Sink

If the kitchen is the heart of your home, then the sink is the heart of your kitchen. Always circle back to your sink. If you do nothing else this first week, keep your kitchen sink empty. Get the dishes out of your sink. Even if it’s quite literally to put them in a bin so you can start cleaning them later.

The focus here is the sink. First and foremost.

#2: Do The Dishes (After Every Meal)

Obviously it’s dishes that cause your sink to fill up. However, this is a secondary step since you can achieve an empty sink with some creative means, such as filling a bin with your dishes rather than the sink.

But the dishes are the culprit. And this is your first step toward discovering where and why dishes pile up.

I put the words "after every meal" in parentheses because I don't think you necessarily need to make that your goal, but it's going to be my goal. You can aim for that as well, or aim for your own time frame.

#3: Shine A Light On The Bogs

By this I mean, detect where things aren’t flowing well. Where is energy pooling and getting stuck? The dishes are often a perfect example because most of us hate doing the dishes, even those of us with dishwashers. They're a total bog! It’s not something most of us enjoy doing. Most of us are ADD (Avoid Doing Dishes). It will be different for everyone, but let’s figure out why:

  • Do you notice dishes pile up at a certain time of day?

  • Does a certain event cause them to pile up, such as getting sick, or being too tired?

  • Do you live with other people who don’t clean up after themselves?

  • Is it just a bad habit that you’ve gotten used to?

  • Do you think you don’t really deserve a beautifully clean kitchen?

  • Do you hate getting your hands dirty?

The most powerful weapon you have to instigate change is knowing what the barriers are. I know for myself I can be good at self-sabotage. I’ll go along doing a new habit really well and then it’s as if I realize I’m actually doing it, and I have to stop. Almost like I’m rebelling against my own success.

Maybe you do this too?

Or it’s a combination. I know that the end of the day is my danger zone because I’m tired and I don’t want to do anything that feels like “work.” If I can think of it less as a “chore” however, and more like a salute to my own value, it no longer feels like “work.” This is still a "work" in progress mind you.

I do know that if my dishes pile up, everything else in the kitchen soon follows. The sink needs to stay empty for your kitchen to breathe.

get more done in less time

There are a few tactics that help instill new habits.

#1: Find Your Prompt

This is something that reminds you to do your new habit, either something visual like a note on your coffee pot, an alert on your phone. And, the most ideal prompt is one that reminds you to do your new habit right before it’s time to do it.

Say you’re always in the kitchen at 7:45. If you set an alert on your phone for 7:44, that’s an example of a prompt reminding you to do your new habit right before it’s time to do it.

#2: Piggyback Off Habits You Already Have

This can look like any of the following:

  • Tag-Teaming: This is where you already have a habit you do regularly, such as making coffee in the morning or feeding the dog, and you attach a new habit, doing the dishes, to it.

  • Commercial Breaks: Just like it sounds. If you watch television, you jump up and do as many dishes as you can during the commercial break.

  • Drive-By’s: Every time you’re in the kitchen, you do a few dishes.

  • Scheduled: Set a specified start and end time to do the dishes.

The best way to success is usually to attach “doing the dishes” with something else you already do. It starts to solidify in your brain so that “doing the dishes” also becomes just one of those things you do without thinking too much about it.

Give them all a try if you’d like. When it comes to starting a new habit, repetition, repetition, repetition is important. Go through the motions. Build that muscle memory, that brain rut.

The more you see the dishes in the sink, the more it bubbles to the front of your mind, and the closer you’ll be to becoming someone that just “does the dishes.” Theoretically.

Cover photo: huyen. on Unsplash