Everybody has their own way of a cleaning a kitchen. Sometimes, it's one so imperceptible you don't even realize it's happening. Sometimes, it follows a strategy that is in stark contrast to your own. Always—I would argue because I like to argue (not in a mean way) and because I'm obsessed with Myers-Briggs typing—it's got something to do with your personality. If you don't know what I mean by Myers-Briggs, and those letters below make no sense to you, please do yourself a favor and take this fun little interactive quiz. Then read on to realize that however you clean a kitchen is A-OK. It just is.
Clear the table, send a text, load some dishes in the dishwasher, play with the dog, make an espresso, pick at leftovers, load the other half of the dishes, fill the pans to "soak." Indefinitely.
Quickly, competently, running through a list of mental checks. Before "closing the kitchen" for the night, pack up lunches for ALLLL the people and chop vegetables for tomorrow's dinner.
Slow to start until you remind yourself—firmly—that you have a job to do. Then you get that shit done and go out for drinks.
Fast and furiously, with lots of loud clanking and HAACP-approved disinfecting tactics.
Saunter from dining table to dishwasher balancing dishes stacked far higher, and more precariously, than is prudent. Sure, the result may be more smashed plates than seen at Greek wedding but life's not worth living without taking risks.
Delegate, delegate, delegate and see that every player satisfactorily completes their task. Then, tackle the greasiest pans yourself. With gusto.
Belt out "you put the lime in the coconut"—in an outdoor voice because wooden spoon isn't actually a mic—while clearing food scraps. Continue dancing until the job is done. Likely by someone else. Who wants you to stop singing.
Clear, clean, and, when that's all done—sometimes while people are still eating—make a pot of coffee and and put out chocolate for all of the people who didn't help.
Consider a variety of approaches to getting the job done. Settle on none. Retreat to the next room to work on something more interesting.
Draw a sink full of sudsy warm water. Submerge your hands and mindfully cleanse the dishes for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
While rinsing dishes, imagine sink set-ups that will make kitchen-cleaning efficient; immediately start drafting plans, oblivious to the running water spilling onto the floor.
Clean as you go. Leave no trace. Not even for a minute. Contemplate systems that will enable the room to reset itself.
Dive in. Get it done. No fuss. And should it happen that all of those veggie peels some ENFP shoved down the garbage disposal f*ck up all the pipes and cause a big messy scene, you deal with that too. Done.
Get right to it. Demand (politely) that others retire to the next room to relax—and get the hell out of the way so as not to mess up your dishwasher-loading protocol.
Critically assess the dish collection and storage space. Rearrange the cabinets, taking a time-out to head out to the Home Depot, for the "right" shelf liner should the job require it.
Kindly wave everyone else off to do what they need to do—or what they want to do: homework, work work, relaxing with a glass of wine and a book. Embrace the quiet moments of creating calm from chaos.
SHOUT! OUT! (Can you guess my type?) I'd like to thank the subjects of the study that produced the data from which I was able to extrapolate, reimagine and, ultimately, produce this statistically insignificant, highly non-scientific publication: the Facebook friends who proudly shared their hot tips for, or hot-mess tendencies toward, kitchen care taking.