For most families the kitchen is the heart of the home. When you have young children this is especially true. Your kitchen becomes an art studio, a playground, a dumping ground for toys and clothes all while you’re trying to cook and serve meals for everyone. So how can you keep the kitchen tidy when there’s always so much going on in there? Here are some easy organisational and cleaning tips that will help you contain the chaos and keep the kitchen everyone’s favourite room to hang out in (pro tip: get some online name tags and start looking for some cool award stickers).
Storage, Storage, And More Storage
Accept that the kitchen is where you and your kids are going to spend most of your time and invest a little money in making it work for you. Look for pieces of furniture with added storage. For example, take away the chairs at the kitchen table and use benches with hidden storage instead. That way you can hide some of that clutter in the storage benches when it’s time for meals. Consider adding a banquette as a kitchen eating area and nixing the table totally.
Repurpose some of the lower kitchen cabinets as a place for toys and games. Move dishes, pots and pans and other kitchen items to higher shelves or add a baker’s rack for storage. If you are using those lower cabinets for storing the kids toys, games and art supplies they can help put them away too.
Use baskets for extra storage on the top of the kitchen cabinets as well. In many kitchens there is lots of room on top of the cabinets that gets wasted. Storage baskets and bins can be used to tuck items that you don’t use often out of the way on top of the cabinets. Just make sure you have a good step ladder handy in case you need to get something from on top of the cupboards.
Work With The Chaos
If you let the chaos in the kitchen get to you then you’ll be stressed out all the time. Go with the flow, within reason. Let your kids get out all their toys on the floor or spread their art supplies all over the kitchen table. But, make certain home organisation rules so that at dinner time all their toys and art supplies need to be picked up and put away. You can get some boxes and give them name tags to make sure everything has its place, and even award your children stickers for remembering to put items away before being asked. But you may need to accept that most of the day your kitchen will be cluttered with toys, books, games and other items.
Do A Sweep At Night
Before you go to bed tidy in the kitchen in one fell sweep. Put away any items that are left out and get things ready for breakfast. You will be much calmer and happier if you walk into a tidy organised kitchen each morning. Even though it will be cluttered again in no time it will help you face the day with a good attitude if your kitchen is clean and tidy when the day starts.
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Also published on Medium.