Kitchen Showdown

Yesterday I cooked dinner in the crock pot, so it is now in the kitchen sink filled with soapy water to soak off all of the food crusted to the inside.  Chances are it will still be there three or even four days from now.  My husband doesn’t want to clean it and neither do I, so this will result in a Kitchen Showdown.

A couple weeks ago, I made tacos for dinner.  When my husband was cleaning up, he put a lid on the dish of refried beans and stuck them in the fridge.  We were never going to use up the leftover beans and both of us knew that.  But as B slid them into the refrigerator, this was the conversation:

B:  I’m just going to save these because I hate cleaning up refried beans.
Me:  Wait.  So you’re putting them in the fridge so I eventually get annoyed by them and clean them up myself?
B:  Yes.

A week after that, we were putting away groceries after a shopping trip.  B always puts away dry goods and I take care of the refrigerated and frozen items.  Of course, as I was clearing out room in the fridge, those DAMN BEANS were still sitting there.  I removed the dish and placed it on the kitchen counter next to the sink.  And I left it there.  As B was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner that evening, he picked up the dish and said, “You left this here for me, didn’t you?”  And then he threatened to just throw the dish away.  After I threatened to throw him away if he didn’t just clean it up, he finally did it, grumbling through the whole process.

Well, it’s a similar story with the crock pot.  It’s always a hassle to clean and neither of us wants to do it.  One of us will at least fill it with water to let it soak, but after that it’s a game to see who gets annoyed enough with it to finally finish cleaning it.

It’s going to be a problem once my maternity leave ends at the end of the month.  I won’t have much time to cook during the week, so the plan is to do freezer dump meals every night—which means the crock pot must be cleaned immediately after each use.  It’s probably time to invest in the crock pot liners I’ve seen or we’re in a lot of trouble.

crockpot

Cleaning Revelations

One of my struggles around the house is remembering all the little things that need to be cleaned. When I think cleaning, I think “big picture.” You know: mopping, vacuuming, laundry, scrubbing countertops and toilets, dusting furniture. That kind of thing.

What seems to slip my mind is the little things. For instance, my hair dryer. I never, ever, ever think about cleaning my hair dryer.

Until one day, I’m putting it away after using it, and I notice a big, thick spot of built-up grime right where my thumb sits while I hold it. Only then do I realize the whole thing is coated in rough, gray patches of sticky, aged dirt.

I’ve owned this particular hair dryer for about two years and I haven’t cleaned it even once. I use it at least six days a week. That’s a lot of use that attracts a lot of filth.

Do you ever notice things around your house you can’t remember ever cleaning? For me, the hair dryer forced me to think about all of the things I don’t clean. I consider myself to be pretty cleanly. Before the hair dryer revelation, I considered myself to be pretty cleanly.   But now all I can focus on are the light switches, picture frames, bathroom trash cans, video game controllers, towel rods, doorknobs, mini blinds, and home décor items that are ignored during my regular cleaning routine.

ICK!

I’ve seen these “house cleaning plans” online before and I think it’s time to adopt one of them. I really like this one from Gone Like Rainbows that breaks down cleaning daily, weekly, monthly, semiannually, and annually. I’m going to give it a shot!

For the record, I did clean my hair dryer. Ladies, do NOT go two years between hair dryer cleanings! Blech.

BEFORE:

dryer1.png

dryer2.png

AFTER:

dryer3.png

Do you follow a regular cleaning plan for your home or apartment? How do you typically ensure you’re cleaning all the easy-to-forget parts of your house?

Sink Woes

We have a white kitchen sink and we hate it.  My biggest beef with it is that it gets so dirty SO easily.  Well, it doesn’t get any dirtier than it would if it were any other sink, but because it’s white, it’s more noticeable.

We’ve lived in our house a year now and NOTHING has gotten rid of these grody stains.  Not even my go-to box of 20 Mule Team Borax did the trick.

IMG_0476

At my wit’s end, I consulted with my friend Google and found a website that referenced this website that swears by a simple bleach-baking soda mixture.  The claim:  two parts baking soda and one part bleach will rid the stains from a white sink.  My prediction:  bullshit.  Far too simple (i.e., “too good to be true”).

I mixed two tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of bleach and spread the mixture around the bottom of my sink.  I tackled it with a cleaning brush and I didn’t even have to put muscle into it.  THIS IS WHAT I GOT:

sink.jpg

I’ve never seen my sink so clean.  I don’t even think it was this clean when we bought the place!

IMG_0485Oh…in case you spotted it, I did not miss a couple of spots.  There might have been an incident earlier this year in which I dropped the crock pot dish in the sink.  It might have resulted in chipping the sink.  And it might have broken my crock pot dish, which resulted in my purchasing a much fancier crock pot.  (A blessing in disguise, I say!)

oopssink.jpg
Now of course I’m obsessed with the bleach-baking soda concoction that worked its miracle on my sink.  I’ve already deep cleaned the bathtub and I’m starting to wonder why I have so few porcelain fixtures in my home.  MUST…CLEAN…MORE!

Truly, I’m excited I’ve found a solution to the dirty sink problem.  A kitchen can only feel so clean when the sink is disgusting!

 

Turning Tables

It’s a strange Saturday. My stepson isn’t here because of a birthday sleepover, and my husband had to go into work this morning. I’m not usually left to my own devices on a Saturday morning, so I normally go for a quick run, take a shower, and spend the afternoon running errands or going to the park with the family.

Having the house to myself this morning meant I glued myself to the couch and caught up on my Dateline recordings. At one point I got up to refill my coffee and realized: my kitchen table is a disaster zone.

IMG_0383I tried to ignore it. Damn it, this was going to be a lazy morning! The TV is allllll mine. I’m still wearing my glasses and my pajamas, and if I feel like spending half the day playing Hungry Cat Mahjong, no one is here to judge me. (If my husband would play even one level of that stupid game, I’m sure he’d understand. He’d have to.)

Anyway, the fourth or fifth time I went into the kitchen, I finally cracked. I can’t remember the last time I cleaned off my kitchen table. We eat dinner at the table every night, and all I do is push everything off to the side to make room for our plates. Something had to be done.

I started to clear off the table and almost immediately I felt better about my life. Until I discovered the table is covered in a blanket of dust and pet hair, and then my contentment crumbled yet again.

I’m not exaggerating when I say it took me half an hour to clean up the kitchen table disaster zone. It looks like a quick job until you consider the stack of old mail that has to be sorted and the fact that every little item seems to belong in a different room in the house.

But here’s what I determined: tidying up the kitchen table makes the entire house seem cleaner. A few nights ago, I went on one of my random cleaning rampages and still felt like the house was a pigsty. I couldn’t figure out why. One of the few things I hadn’t done that night was give any consideration to the kitchen table. Somehow it seems to fade into the background and I don’t give much thought to how cluttered with junk it becomes.

table.pngRight now I feel so much more comfortable than I did a couple of hours ago. Now the challenge will be resisting the temptation to resume using it as a dumping grounds for anything we’re too lazy to actually put away where it belongs.

Personally, I give it five hours max. What can I say? I’m a realist. I’ll just enjoy it while it lasts.

IMG_0395

What types of “little” things do you do around the house to help it seem cleaner?