The Kitchen Is The Heart Of The Home. It's the one space that gets used everyday, all or at least most of the day by everyone in the family. It's the place where we meet and eat. Queen Afua, Author of SACRED WOMAN: A Guide To Healing The Feminine Body, Mind And Spirit; refers to the kitchen as our Healing Laboratory! I Love That! It's the place where we prepare healthy, delicious meals and holistic teas and remedies for what ails us and our families. It's also a teaching/learning center in our homes. So we must take great care with this sacred space as we use it, then prepare it to rest, breathe and shut down for the night. If that's a little to ethereal for you, then think of your kitchen at home as a restaurant or commercial kitchen. These are heavily used throughout the day, then cleaned and tidied each and every night.
Many years ago when my children were young, about 10y and 7-1/2y, I started doing what I call, "Closing My Kitchen". After dinner was done, the kids tidied their rooms, baths were taken and they were tucked away in their beds; I would begin the process of "Closing The Kitchen". It was on! Me and my kitchen. It was like a Cathartic Rite of Passage/End-of-my-work-day-ritual. A mind-body-spirit connection. I'd start out tight and dead tired. Then, little by little as I went along, I started loosening up and breathing as I wiped away the stresses and remembered the little joyous things that happened that day. Sometimes I felt so grateful that I even had a kitchen to close and I would do a little dance with my broom or my mop! By the time I clicked off the light, I was dead tired, but in a good way. I felt accomplished and ready to "Bring It All The Way Down", MY TIME! Woohoo! My work was done! For today anyway :-) If I was Gifted A Tomorrow, then I'd do it aaaalll over again!
Below is my checklist of Supplies and Tasks for Project Closing The Kitchen!
___AMMONIA/WATER SOLUTION IN SPRAY BOTTLE (2 parts water to 1 part ammonia)
___VINEGAR/WATER SOLUTION IN SPRAY BOTTLE (2 parts water to 1 part white vinegar)
___BROOM & DUST PAN
___MOP or SWIFFER
___PUT DINNER LEFT OVERS NEATLY IN FRIDGE (Either in the pots you cooked in or transfer to storage containers)
**USE SPONGES or DISH CLOTHS (to wash) and DISH TOWELS or PAPER TOWELS (to dry)
___WASH DISHES and POTS
___DRY DISHES and POTS
___PUT DISHES and POTS AWAY
___LOAD DISH WASHER (if you have one)
**FOR WIPE DOWN AREAS BELOW...
-SPRAY NEW PAPER TOWEL WITH CLEANING SOLUTION FOR EACH AREA BELOW (If you cook with meat)
-SPRAY 3-4 PAPER TOWELS FOR THE WHOLE WIPE DOWN JOB (If you cook vegetarian or vegan)
-IF YOU USE SPONGES, CLEAN SPONGE AFTER EACH AREA. I RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT USE SPONGES IF YOU COOK WITH MEAT. MEAT CARRIES BACTERIA THAT IS EASILY SPREAD THROUGHOUT YOUR KITCHEN VIA YOUR CLEANING TOOLS.
-DISCARD PAPER TOWELS IN TRASH CAN AFTER USE
___WIPE OUT MICROWAVE
___WIPE DOWN STOVE TOP
___WIPE DOWN OVEN DOOR and HANDLES
___WIPE DOWN BACK SPLASH
___WIPE DOWN COUNTER TOPS
___WIPE DOWNCABINET DOORS and HANDLES
___WIPE DOWN FRIDGE DOORS and HANDLES
___WIPE DOWN TABLE TOP
___WASH SINK BASIN WITH SPONGE & CLEANING SOLUTION
___SQUEEZE EXCESS WATER OUT OF SPONGES AND PLACE THEM NEATLY BY THE SINK
___WIPE SINK DRY WITH PAPER TOWELS or DISH TOWEL
___HANG DISH TOWELS ON CABINET DOORS UNDER SINK
___TAKE OUT TRASH, SPRAY PAPER TOWEL WITH CLEANING SOLUTION, WIPE DOWN TRASH CAN and PLACE NEW BAG IN CAN (throw paper towel in)
___TURN ON DISHWASHER (if you have one)
___TURN OFF THE LIGHT
**THE KITCHEN IS NOW CLOSED FOR THE NIGHT!
After the kitchen is closed, Food, Snacks & Drinks are done for the night. If you like, you may leave out plastic or paper cups for water, or give everyone their own water bottle to take to their bedrooms for those thirsty moments during the night. Yes, this goes for hubby too (but use your judgement :-)! As Homemakers, Moms and Wives, we are Home Economists! The Directors of Human Resources and Household Management, creating systems and teaching our families how to use and follow them. That's our job!
This is a wonderfully practical way to stay up on your housework and have peace of mind. It's also a great family exercise in TEAM WORK and COMMUNAL LIVING. An important HOME-SCHOOL LESSON in LIFE SKILLS! Teach your age appropriate children how to do each checklist task then assign them to your children by grouping the tasks into what I call, "Activity Circles" to get everything done. As my daughter, Nakkiyya and my son Hasaan grew through their teen years, we got to the point where I could say, "CLOSE THE KITCHEN." And as they began the checklist, I would go somewhere to sit down and transition with my tea and a book, my fave TV show or my thoughts! I checked in on their progress a little here and there in the beginning :-) But I figured, 2 Kitchen Closers could do just as good a job as one! Click the link to read more about my Activity Circles concept!
Even for those homemakers living on your own...
Honor and Close your Kitchen EVERY NIGHT!
Never Wake Today To Yesterday's Mess!
Happy Mindful, DYNAMIC Living!
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