The Secret to Always Having A Clean Kitchen!

3 months ago I gave birth to our 5th child- and it's been a little crazy around here to say the least. Don't get me wrong- I adore my children and love them with all my heart, but a little chaos is definitely to be expected when you have 7 people living in the same house- 5 of which are under 8 years old! But I wouldn't have it any other way. Life is good :)

My husband and I have been making changes to help our lives run smoother- and we came across a concept that has been life-changing for us!

My husband in the past has referred to certain chores as "zombie tasks". The idea is that there are certain things we set aside to finish 'later' because we're too busy at the moment, so it becomes a zombie task- not really dead and done, but not really alive because we're not actively working on it. Then we came across someone with the same concept, but they called it "finishing". For example, are you really "finished" with your dinner if there are dishes in the sink? Are you really "finished" with your shower if your towel isn't put in the hamper where it belongs? Have you "finished" coming into the house if you haven't hung up your keys instead of setting them on the counter?

I LOVE this concept of finishing. And I can say it's truly been life-changing. For the first time in our 8 1/2 years of marriage, our kitchen has stayed clean- and I'm not just talking about 2 or 3 nights in a row! We have gotten in the habit of doing dishes after every meal, having the kids help us wipe and sweep, etc. And it's not just the kitchen- our kids put their toys away (for the most part ;) ), we put the laundry away- our house has never looked so put together! And it's all thanks to the concept of "finishing". Instead of thinking "I can take care of that small task later", I've started adopting the attitude of finishing everything I'm doing- whether it's folding the baby's laundry instead of just setting it on the bed, or taking a toy upstairs instead of just walking past it.

So really the secret to always having a clean kitchen- always "finish" your tasks. It's a paradigm shift. There's definitely going to be crazy days and there may be a time or two when life happens and you're not able to "finish" something- but these should be the exception, not the rule!

Coincidentally, I was doing some reading just the other day and came across these words by Charlotte Mason that fit in perfectly with this concept: "What is worth beginning is worth finishing, and what is worth doing is worth doing well... it is worth while to make ourselves go on with the thing we are doing until it is finished... Let us do each bit of work as perfectly as we know how, remembering that each thing we turn out is a bit of ourselves, and we must leave it whole and complete; for this is Integrity. The idle, the careless, and the volatile may be engaging enough as companions, but they do not turn out honest work, and are not building up for themselves integrity of character. This rests upon the foundations of diligence, attention, and perseverance. In the end, integrity makes for gaiety, because the person who is honest about his work has time to play, and is not secretly vexed by the remembrance of things left undone or ill done". I love this, and think it is absolutely true!

What do you think of this concept, of "finishing" your tasks? Do you have a house full of finishers, or does your household look like a bunch of unfinished tasks? I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments below!

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    Camille Hoffmann
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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