Monday, September 9, 2013

The Intentional Home, Week Four: Monday

For an Introduction and Table of Contents for The Intentional Home, click Here.

Week Four: Monday

A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:10-12

You are now on your fourth week to a clutter-free clean home! How does it feel so far? Have I worn you out? I hope not! I hope you are energized as you see the fruits of your labor! Just a reminder, I want you to be finished with your bedroom, the bathrooms, living areas and eating areas before starting this week. If you haven’t finished any of those areas, just repeat the week and then head back here. I don’t want you to add anything else to your plate at this point.

This week we will focus our attention on the kitchen, pantry and laundry room. Will will make our kitchen as efficient as possible and definitely get those counters cleaned off for good.

Our home’s kitchen is such an important part of our lives. It is where food is prepared that nourishes our bodies and at times even our souls. These meals bring family and friends together where memories and connections are made that last a lifetime. I may be more of a “foodie” than most, but so many of my childhood memories revolve around food. I can almost taste the homemade ice cream and homemade chocolate pie that my grandmother used to make while my cousins and I spent a week at their lake house in the summer. Of course, so many of our holidays revolve around food as well. I also think preparing meals together as a family is so much fun.

Alas, if your kitchen is cluttered and uninviting to cook in, I’m thinking you will “outsource” preparing meals to restaurants or resort to frozen “pop in the microwave food”. Of course, a meal out is a treat to be enjoyed from time to time, but like I said in our dining room makeover, sitting down to meal together, breaking bread, and thanking God is so important to a high functioning, close family.

So, that is the why and here is the how. Just like we’ve always done, we will take this one step at a time. Today, we will tackle the cabinets and drawers, except for the so-called junk drawer. It will come later in the week. I suggest choosing your least cluttered drawer or cabinet to start with to gain momentum. 

Let’s part with the obviously never used items first. I’m guessing you will see things tucked in the back that were wedding gifts or spur-of-the-moment-we-really-need-that-smoothie-maker items! (The two smoothies we actually made in ours were delicious!) Since, I have easier access to my blender, I tend to use it for smoothies, so the smoothie maker is just not useful and takes up space. Also, if you have multiply items that you don’t need more than one of, perhaps you can bless a young person just starting out with those extra items.

Dig through those cabinets and drawers. Think of what you actually use and part with the rest. Yes, there are a few specialty items that we do need for Thanksgiving or ice cream making, but the rest you really can do without. This will free up space in your kitchen. Things that you use daily will be easier to access.

Some criteria for what to remove from the kitchen cabinets:

-If you have any teflon or non-stick pans, they need to go as they are extremely toxic (especially if they are scratched).
-Any specialty item that you never use, like a juicer, smoothie maker or a Mickey Mouse waffle maker. Never mind, if you have a Mickey Mouse waffle maker, you’ve got to keep it!
-Any cups, plates, or bowls that are chipped or cracked
-Duplicates, like two coffee makers
-Too many of any items, like plates, bowls, glasses, etc.

Those are just a few suggestions to help you get started! Yes, this is a daunting task so you will get two days to do it. Pace yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, step away and come back refreshed later. As always, take the time to wipe down your cabinets and drawers when they are empty. Also, if you have any organizers in the drawers, take them out and wash them as well. If they are plastic, you can just wash them in the sink with dish soap and water.

As you begin to put things back, don’t feel like they have to go right back where they came from. Put the most used items in the easiest to reach places and the less used items toward the back. Place like items together, for instance all the glasses on a shelf, all the plates on another shelf and so on.

This may be a tough week for you or an easy week depending on how much you use your kitchen. If you are ever feeling too overwhelmed to do the rotating daily chore, just skip it for the day. This “decluttering” task is the most important to finish. Once your house is clutter-free the daily chores can become a part of your life and so much easier to accomplish. 

Daily Chores: 
One load of laundry from start to finish
Make your bed
Unload the dishwasher in the morning, load and run it at night
Wipe down the kitchen counters and sink
Monday’s daily chore of vacuuming


  1. Jennifer I laughed when I read this because of the time when I did my week of the kitchen. I opened the cabinet door above my refrigerator. I had about 20 coffee mugs that I did not know I had. I must have put them their 16 years ago when we moved into our home. Now it houses all my things I use at Thanksgiving.

    1. Too funny, Karen! Using it for all of your Thanksgiving pieces sounds perfect! Thanks for sharing!


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