I’m going to be honest upfront here. This is a work in progress for our homeschooling family of six (our oldest is almost ten, youngest being 1.5). But it’s been a thorn in my side for a while, so I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Today on the blog, I’m sharing with you three ideas to go from kitchen explosion to clear counters (for busy families). And maybe one of them is your solution to the explosive kitchen too.

1. Get rid of excess dishes.

This one is a little obvious, but if you have less dishes, then you’ll have.. Well. Less dishes on your counters and cupboards, although you may have to pick up the dishwasher turning on more often or handwashing. So catch 22. But maybe a great option for some families.

2. Wash your own dishes.

This was an idea we threw around and liked, but in the end, it didn’t work for the ages of our younger kids. Essentially, the idea is for everyone in the family to have one set of dishes. You’d wash what you need in between each meal. I personally love this idea and am holding it for the future! You could even get your own color coded set if you wanted.

3. Using a dishes tub (you can find examples in my Amazon shop US + Canadian shop).

This was an idea I was tossing around. I sit in my dining room most of the morning and stare at the kitchen the whole time. So, if the counters are cluttered, it drives me bananas. Using a dishes tub in between dealing with dirty dishes would help reduce the visual clutter. This could also be paired with another strategy.

4. Building habits for clearing counters.

This is the option we settled on for our family. The idea is to pick up the pace for teaching habits with clearing the counters as a family. It requires a plan. Strategy. And consistency. And we were ready to kick up the notch a bit.

And hey? If it’s not working? Tweak it and try something new. Simple is what we’re always going for! Clear counters are always nice, aren’t they (Marie Kondo goals!)?

PS my mail list received a freebie with the current steps we’re taking to build habits with our kids in the kitchen (goal: more consistently having clear counters). If you’d like that freebie, send me an email at simplehomemom@gmail.com and I’ll send that off to you.

A picture of a kitchen with clear counters.

Hi, I’m Kelly! I’m a mother of four children - three boys, one toddler girl - and our family lives on the beautiful east coast of Canada. I’m a past elementary teacher, turned stay at home, work at home mom eight years ago after I had my second child. I’ve found that the busier I’ve become and as my children age, that it’s become even more important to figure out what is most important to me and us as a family. Living a simpler lifestyle has helped us in so many ways in our home life - from better routines to faster tidying up times. It has been through my children that I have been inspired to learn how to effectively manage my time and to simplify in all areas of my home and life. I enjoy helping busy moms simplify home life by teaching flexible planning methods and skills. Enjoyed this blog and think it would be helpful to others? I'd love if you shared it. Thank you!