The Heart of the Home
Do you think that’s still true?
People used to say that the kitchen was the heart of the home, but I think that was when women mostly stayed home instead of going to work. There were way more home cooked, made from scratch meals, and the whole family gathered around the kitchen table, not only to eat, but for other reasons too.
Regardless of whether it’s the heart of the home or not, the kitchen is still a pretty important room in any home.
And I don’t know about you, but when I’m looking at “dream homes”, it’s mostly the kitchen I’m focused on.
Why It’s Important
You probably already know this, but the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house for a number of reasons:
- Food is kept and prepared here
- It’s often the hub around which family activity occurs
- Your family’s health can be affected
- If it’s not functioning properly, it can throw off the whole household
Think about it: adding something new and more functional to your kitchen has more of an impact than doing the same anywhere else in the home, except for maybe the bathroom.
And like the bathroom, keeping your kitchen clean should be a top priority.
The only problem is, like the bathroom, kitchens get a lot of use, and sometimes it can seem like you’ve just finished cleaning it when it needs it again!
Let’s start with some basic ideas before we get down to actually cleaning the kitchen. And since I have no idea what kind of kitchen you have, I’m going to start with some very bare bones things.
My daughter and her husband are living in their first home. They’ve been there for several years, but like most starter homes, it’s older and needs work now and then. For that matter, all homes need work now and then, regardless of age.
Anyway, the floor in the kitchen was tiled, and for whatever reason, it was coming up. The grout was loose, and there were times when you could literally pick up a piece of tile right off the floor.
Now, kitchens and bathrooms are foremost about hygiene. You want them as clean as possible, for your family’s sake.
So, despite the fact that they weren’t completely ready to retile the kitchen floor, they wisely removed the one they had, and lived with the subfloor while they choose and purchased new flooring.
Not the best thing, looks wise, but very smart when it comes to cleanliness.
And if you have any sort of similar issue in your kitchen, do the same. Live with ugly in favor of something you can clean, until you can get it fixed.
If it’s a bigger issue, such as an appliance or kitchen fixture, do the best you can to keep things clean until you can fix it.
The Daily Clean: A.M.
I love to cook, and I’ve somehow passed that on to my kids.
I don’t think of myself as a messy cook – maybe I’m wrong – but my kids sure are! My Aunt Sallie was the same – one of the best cooks around, but when she got done, there wasn’t a clean dish in sight!
Even now, I think my kitchen is dirty about as often as it is clean.
And when I say “dirty”, I don’t really mean dirty as much as cluttered.
As long as we’ve lived here, you would think people would know where things like the garbage and the dishwasher are located. And I actually figured it up about a week ago – I’m always saying “if I had a nickel for every time I’ve shut that pantry door when I didn’t open it…” – well, it turns out I’d have over $5,000!
Anyway, daily cleaning.
My dishwasher gets emptied first thing in the morning. I have to wait half an hour after I take my medicine before I can eat breakfast, and I’m not hungry right away, so the dishwasher gets emptied and ready for the day.
There is more cooking that goes on in my house than most, so cleaning up the counters and putting things away, sometimes washing a pan or two, gets done more than once at times.
We have a dog that sheds a great deal, so I either do a quick vacuuming or Swiffering in the morning as well. Kitchen and living room.
If you work, then emptying the dishwasher before you leave and a general straightening up should do it until you get home.
The Daily Clean: P.M.
After dinner is the major clean up for me.
Everyone loads their own plates and utensils into the dishwasher throughout the day, dinner included (Mr. Dishwasher to the kids when they were little).
The food gets put away, and then I wash anything that needs hand washing. Dawn dish soap is my go to for tons of stuff around the house, but unless I’m washing something really greasy, I like to use Caldrea’s dish soap because it smells so good! The hand lotion and countertop cleaner from them are nice too. (I order them from Grove) Number 23 is my favorite!
So after I wash the things that need hand washing, I spray down the countertops and stove with countertop cleaner. I think there’s a recipe in the Library, but as I said, I often use the Caldrea.
Here’s the trick: spray everything first, and let it sit a couple of minutes. Especially the stove. Let the cleaner do it’s job before you wipe everything down.
I tend to wipe down the tabletop with either a damp cloth (just water) or sometimes with a little counter top spray. Our tabletop is marble.
Next, I empty the garbage – every night, without fail – and sweep the floors again. Usually a broom this time.
Finally – I don’t know why I do this last – I clean the sinks. We have stainless steel, but this method works for any kind of sink.
First, I sprinkle some baking soda in the sink. If you save a lid from the Parmesan cheese jar, it will fit on a Mason jar and you can use that for your baking soda. It makes it look nicer.
Then, drip just a tiny bit of dish soap into the sink.
I wet a scrub brush I only use for the sink with a little bit of water and scrub the sinks out, then rinse well.
I also keep a candle in my kitchen at all times. My mom was a big fan of candles, and I love nice scented ones.
The candle is lit when everything is done.
With my nice clean kitchen, and the lights out, it makes everything seem so cozy.
Here’s another take on cleaning a kitchen. She goes into more detail than I do, but hopefully that’s not her daily routine.