I realized something last night. Although possibly not a truth universally acknowledged, it is definitely a truth in my universe. Here it is.
When my house is clean but my kitchen is dirty, I feel like the whole house is dirty. The opposite is also true: When my kitchen is clean but my whole house is dirty, I still feel like my house is clean.
Is this true for you, too? I have found that my kitchen is truly the heart of my home. It is where I spend the most time, during hours that I am awake. It is the place where we are most often together. Even though our dining table is not in there and family meals take place in the dining room (when Andrew is home), the kitchen is still where I find myself almost all day long.
As I have struggled to maintain a clean home and "make [my] sacred home a house of the Lord," (Gary E. Stevenson of the Seventy - wasn't that an awesome talk?), I have found a few stumbling blocks. Mostly, they come in different parts in the kitchen. This week, I am working on one of those: the dishwasher.
I am pretty good at rinsing dishes after they have been used. The dishes don't often pile up in the sink...unless the dishwasher is full of clean dishes. Which is often. I am REALLY good at loading and starting the dishwasher, but I have been known to leave the clean dishes sitting in there for a REALLY long time. Why? I don't know. I suspect it's mostly due to my nature of being a non-finisher. Like putting away clean laundry, I struggle with putting away clean dishes.
There is no reason this should be. It takes all of 5 minutes to put the dishes away, leaving a home for the dirty dishes in the sink. It's really just a mental thing. It's like a chore that looms over me until it becomes this big deal and blocks my productivity by making my kitchen a disaster. It's like the pride cycle in the Book of Mormon, only slightly less destructive and far more frequent in rotation.
So this week, I am trying to unload the dishwasher first thing in the morning, or as soon as it is clean (if I run it in the middle of the day). So far, so good. There are no dishes in my sink. My counters stay cleaner. I feel better about my home as a whole. Now if I could just become a consistent sweeper...