Gourmet Veggie Mama

Sparkling countertops for everyone!

I may be a good cook, but my dirty little secret (har) is that I’m not that awesome as a housekeeper. Back in the day, when we were a DINK household and I worked 60+ hour weeks, we paid a cleaning service, and that worked out just fine. But… life has changed since then. The hubby, for all of his good qualities, could not be described as a neat freak, and, as the at-home half of the couple, most of the cleaning responsibilities tend to fall on me now.

I do my best. For about the first year of Nora’s life, I treaded water and tried not to worry too much about the mess. Taking care of an infant is more important, after all, and the first year is hard. I did a mad-dash cleanup when I expected people over, and apologized mildly for the mess if we had an unexpected guest. People understand, after all, when you have a baby.

Deep into Year 2, though, that excuse is wearing thin. You can blame lots of things on a “toddler tornado,” but not everything. I’m getting better at keeping the mess in check, though. The best cleaning advice I ever got was, “Don’t put it down, but it up,” and I really try to follow that. I have a solid routine, with a general cleaning project to tackle each day of the week (floors on Monday, cleaning out clutter on Tuesday, etc.), and I usually do a pretty good job of sticking to it. However, the kitchen has stymied me.

Our kitchen is really the center of our home, which I think is wonderful, and which is one of the main reasons we bought this house. However, it also means that it tends to collect a lot of mess, as a primary family meeting place. We often sit at the bar to eat, and Nora’s high chair is there. Although she doesn’t (usually) throw food anymore, she is still not the world’s tidiest eater, and sometimes the big people are lax about cleaning up immediately after her meals (usually because she’s anxious to be on to bigger and better things). Add in meal prep for three meals a day, plus snacks, plus the general accumulation of stacks of mail and various odds and ends, and you have a cluttered countertop.

It bothers me. So, I instituted a Clean Countertops rule. I do love my gleaming granite, and I found a daily granite spray cleaner that helps to keep them that way. Every night before bed, I must clean the kitchen countertops. That means the countertops must be free of clutter. And, being the person that I am, if I make a rule, I follow it.*

* Well, at least until I don’t… but nobody ever accused me of not being stubborn.

Check out that shine.

It’s a whole lot easier to keep a kitchen clean than it is to clean it once a week. And, if the kitchen really stays clean, then the bigger projects, like cleaning the stove top or microwave or wiping down the appliances, really aren’t that big when you do them by themselves. So far this is making my life easier, and I’m happy every time I go to bed with a clean kitchen… and wake up to one.

Now if I can only apply this philosophy to all the other rooms, we’ll be all set!

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10 Thoughts on “Sparkling countertops for everyone!

  1. I have a thing with countertops. They have to be clean. The floor can go to hell and there can be a few dishes in the sink but as long as my countertops are clean, I can breathe. Emmet is a food thrower. The floors are my weakness. Wet wipes under your feet = a pretty great spot cleaning tool :)

    • Oh, the floors. I am not good about floors either. Sweeping and mopping is the hubby’s chore b/c he doesn’t mind it as much as I do. I’ll vacuum, but I really don’t love mopping. It’s just such a process. This is why I hated having a crawling baby — you could tell how clean (or not) the floors were at all times!

  2. I feel the same way about my countertops, although I have crappy formica countertops that have a 70’s era yellow splashed throughout them in my lovely duplex rental. What I would give to be able to replace them…

    I keep them as spotless as I can though.

    • Lovely! I felt the same way in our old house (which we rented) — it had circa-1960 original tile countertops, and they were horrible to clean. Now that I have countertops I actually like, I have no real excuse not to keep them as spotless as possible!

      Thanks for visiting!

  3. Some things you just gotta let go. My husband could never be accused of being neat or tidy. On the upside, once the kids get older, you can get them to help out. My littlest loves to vacuum and my oldest is motivated by money.

    • I can’t wait for the actually helpful ages to come! Nora loves “doing chores”, but at this point she is really more of a hindrance. It’s awfully cute, though!

  4. Katherine laughs at me, because we’re both pretty clean, but I’m obsessive about the kitchen. Toilets, not so much. Beautiful counters.

  5. We have an ant infestation. I just scrubbed the living shit out of a 20 year old countertop. I clean house rarely. In fact never. Scott cleans, then I come through and deep clean .But. If I had a new beautiful kitchen? Hell yess I’d have sparkling counters every night.

  6. I LOVE method products. But for some reason, I wasn’t highly impressed by the granite cleaner. I use their bathroom cleaner, stainless steal cleaner, but the granite cleaner and I could never get along. So I started using this( http://www.amazon.com/Naturally-Its-Clean-Kitchen-16-Ounce/dp/B003JM0NF8), and now my countertops are much happier…

    ps: good for you for sticking to the plan. I find it hard to clean with a toddler. I read a quote on Facebook the other day that pretty much summed up my housekeeping journey nowadays…”Attempting to clean a house with a toddler around is like brushing your teeth while eating oreos”. Couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • Ooh, I will have to try that out! I’m a sucker for Method stuff, but I have noticed that the granite cleaner tends to leave streaks and water spots, so I’m certainly open to other options.

      Brushing your teeth while eating Oreos — ha! That’s pretty much it.

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