And, well, it was. And it used to be the norm here.
I never liked it, but I was sort of used to it. Dishes would be stacked in the sink, mixed with kale stems, pear peels, and red-pepper innards—all sitting there until I did the dishes so I could get to the disposal and stuff all that glop down the drain.
It had an impact beyond the sink. I was hesitant to wash any produce in there that we were going to eat raw—I envisioned water splashing back up off all the decomposing gunk, laden with the microbes that were likely multiplying in the soaking dishes—so we didn’t eat as much salad or fresh fruit as we might have. I didn’t want to get any more dishes dirty than I already had, so I prepared fewer home-cooked meals than I otherwise would have. And there was the little issue of my husband’s disgust.
I’ll blog someday about my bindweed system of housekeeping and how it dovetails with the FlyLady’s theory about shining your sink. But sometime last fall, I put both into practice and started keeping my kitchen sink and counters clean. Not perfectly clean, mind you. Not clean all the time. But functionally clean.
If you don’t have ADD or have seen the volume of clutter at my place, it may seem a small thing. But it’s had an effect beyond the sink and counters as well. I’ve been serving a lot of fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries lately. The can openers and water-bottle lids are clean almost anytime I need them. My daughter and I can chop shiitakes or measure out oats for cookies at the drop of a hat. And tidy areas have been advancing out from the sink, albeit with intermittent retreats.
Last fall, my daughter, then eight, spontaneously shot the following piece of video (turn on your sound to watch it). It’s been the best reward of all. And it reminds me how important it is to notice and celebrate our progress. Even when it’s only in one small area of our lives. And even if it doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment to the outside world.