The tidy kitchen.


That is one thing we try to achieve before going to sleep. Tidy the kitchen. Most times when rising from a sound sleep, the kitchen is what I head to first. There have been many times in the recent past that the kitchen was left in disarray from previous night’s events with the remnants of tea-cups, wine-glasses, even a plate with half eaten crackers or the detritus from fruit with glutenous grape pips, plum, apricot and peach stones tucked in sticky tissues or sometimes just brazenly left naked on the timber coffee table or even left to drown in the wine-glass itself.  There was a wantonness about it all. One could argue that that sort of recklessness ought to be accepted between grown adults and that surely after over fifty years of dalliance together, little offence could be attached to what really ought to be looked upon by most mature adults, as a domicile freedom. There never was any offence. Both of us are not addicted to domestic fanaticism or keeping things in scrupulous order. We do enjoy beauty and domestic architectural simplicity.

But, as of some weeks ago, I decided, without making it into a big deal, to tidy the living room and kitchen before the good-nights.  The dishes were always washed before the start of the evening, usually while the weather report is on the TV. The tidying up of the evening remnants was left till next morning. Not anymore now.

This recent tidying up had an immediate and amazing result. Each morning now before I reach for the kettle and coffee maker, all is free of clutter. The sink is clean with the sun streaming over the polished stone bench-top, playing around the beauty of a dark blue vase while giving a pleasant contrast to the Valencia oranges and deep magenta purple plums all held on a large multi-coloured ceramic dish.

It is nice to lord it over the morning’s ritual, and the coffee and tea making is done in an uncluttered environment. It really starts the day on a positive note. I make the coffee in an Italian coffee maker. It is in three compartments with the bottom holding the water above which is the holder of the coffee and on top of that again the actual coffee pot.  The last coffee device was similar but the rubber ring had worn out. We went all over Sydney trying to get a replacement ring but none fitted the pot. We ended buying another pot with three replacement rings for the future. Helvi always know when the coffee is being made because the air-conditioning is spreading its fragrance through the bedroom. It’s not always made at the same time which adds a kind of spice and adventurism to our domestic life.

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25 Responses to “The tidy kitchen.”

  1. berlioz1935 Says:

    I too like coming into a tidy kitchen in the morning for the same reasons you gave. But alas, in the evening, especially when late after a long conversation, the will to clean up has gone to sleep long before us.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    A beautiful write of a beautiful life, Gerard! Your descriptions get my senses going. I can even smell the coffee!

    I like a house that looks comfortable and lived in. I fall somewhere between mess-of-all-messy-messes and perfect. Ha! I don’t like to walk into a perfect house, ’cause I know I will be the first to spill something or such! 😮 I want people to feel at home in my home…take off their shoes, put their feet up, help themselves to food and drinks, take a snooze, etc. 🙂

    But, I do like a tidy kitchen welcoming me every morning so I do all of those chores before hitting the hay. 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Oh, Carolyn. The perfectly clean house usually is occupied by people with some kind of grudge and they take to the broom and vacuum cleaner to vent their simmering anger.

      When we lived in Holland a woman across the road married to a Shire counsellor, would take down the curtains each week in order to wipe and wash her windows with a fanaticism never seen since. All day would be spent on a step- ladder washing the windows, including the wooden frame around it.

      Still, it takes all kinds, and I should not be too critical and endeavour to be more tolerant.

      Liked by 2 people

      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        HA! So true! 😀
        Besides, I think it was Einstein who said, “A messy desk is the sign of genius.” HA! 😀
        Wow, on the window-cleaning-woman! I’ve never been THAT meticulous! I figure the rain will wash the windows and the sun will dry them! 😉 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  3. lifecameos Says:

    Yes I have been through days of letting dishes pile up and the consequent trauma of having little space for putting a meal together. Nowadays I too make sure dishes are all done before I go to bed, usually during the sports news. it is such a relief to meet an empty kitchen each morning.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the sports news gives great opportunity to do household chores. I noticed that ABC news includes sport where beefy men and sometimes big girls, roll around with a ball that’s not quite round, while SBS concentrates on sports where the ball is normal and round.
      It’s a pity that the weather report does not come before sport as I could then switch it off and do some more chores.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. bkpyett Says:

    What delightful setting. Sounds very like my routine of tidying up before going to bed. Beautifully written Gerard.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the mornings with that fatty grey water in the sink really did it for me, Barbara. I now clean up and even hang the dish-cloth and arrange the washing up tools in a nice order. I don’t know why I have changed, but it gives me satisfaction to look upon a task well done.
      Helvi seems to think I should apply the same passion to vacuuming. She reckons I miss the bits under the chairs, couch and generally miss the tops of skirtings. On the other hand I always carry the indoor plants outside during rain so the leaves wash clean from dust and the plants like it very much.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Yeah, Another Blogger Says:

    I’m drinking a cup of coffee as I read this. It’s about 7:30 AM where I live. Coffee makes the day better. See you!


    Neil S.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, that first coffee is important. It used to be first cigarette but that habit disappeared decades ago.
      Our neighbour opposite who is retired and a bit stooped, will sit down on his veranda at the same time each afternoon, light up a cigarette and sips his first glass of white wine.
      You can tell he relishes that moment and I relish with him, albeit from my upstairs room across the yard and without cigarette or wine.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. auntyuta Says:

    Hurray! Tomorrow, Sunday, Peter and I can wake up to a tidy kitchen! Usually we feel too tired to do the dishes late at night. I am so glad that tonight we were able to tidy up the kitchen. Peter prefers doing the washing up, while I wipe everything and put it away. Yes, I like wiping everything, except for the plates that can dry in the tray!
    Wishing you, dear Gerard and dear Helvi a good night! 🙂
    We hope some time soon we can see you again in Bowral.
    Last week’s trip to Victoria we found pretty exhausting. But slowly we’re recovering now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      My washing up is done in two stages, Uta. First I wash up and let everything dry in the trays with the task of putting all the utensils back next morning in the cupboards. I now do both at once after eating, usually when the sport is on TV. Th short of it is; next morning there are no utensils or any kitchen stuff lying about.

      Of course, during the evening, new washing up gets created. We rarely go to bed before 11pm, and it is surprising how all those new things turn up near the kitchen sink all on their own accord and that is when my second task kicks in just before going to bed, and I clean again for the second time.

      I survey the situation in the kitchen area before turning the lights off. Very often there might be a pair of scissors lying about. All of a sudden we seem to have a lot of scissors. Two jars full of scissors. In the past we were happy with two or three scissors. Now we might well have about 15 scissors. I can only explain it because so many food items now need cutting open by scissors. The parmesan cheese package now needs cutting, so does the meat and bacon packages, the zucchini and capsicums all need freeing up from plastic, so do the potatoes, onions and apples, and scissors are the tools for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. shoreacres Says:

    After reading your post, the first thing I did was tidy up the kitchen. Your approach is so good, and there have been periods in my life when I was faithful to the practice, but from time to time I grow slack. No more! You’ve strengthened my resolve — at least, for the time being.

    It is great to wake up to a neat kitchen, just as it’s wonderful beyond words to come home to a clean house after travel. When I recently flew the coop for a couple of days, I managed to get the laundry done, run the dishwasher, and generally tidy everything before I left. Coming home was pure pleasure. Making that sort of practice a daily routine has some benefits, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, it takes a strong will and resolve to remain on the alert for any weakening re keeping things in reasonable order.
      My latest added to the kitchen tasks are to take the flowering cyclamen outside now that winter is knocking on the door. Cyclamen love cold and don’t generally thrive in heated environments. With getting older we like to be warmer than before, so our heating is going up in direct tally with ageing.
      I forgot to do that last night which Helvi pointed out. I have to stay on the alert, Linda.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Curt Mekemson Says:

    We are with you on the pleasure of having a clean kitchen, Gerard. We take turns. Whoever cooks, the other person does the cleaning. The pleasure of clean and organized applies to other places as well. A couple of weeks ago, I tackled one of our sheds that had become something of a mess between tools and storage boxes. It’s amazing how good it feels to walk into it now that it is organized and clean! –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I do most of the cooking and Helvi does ‘the rest.’ She cleans our tool-shed very well and it is always a pleasure to go in there knowing where everything is.
      We have a dish-washer but it has been un-used for many years now. I reckon washing by hand is quicker and far more satisfying than the hours of rumbling noises from a dish-washer.
      With the tools, I have some that belonged to my dad. I have slowly taken to giving them away to a neighbour who loves fiddling with his car.


      • Curt Mekemson Says:

        I never had many tools, Gerard. Working on cars has always had zero appeal to me. And I had never owned a home up util the 90s. Now I am a home owner with five acres, my life has changed somewhat, however. 🙂 –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

  9. rangewriter Says:

    You know, I’m not that great a housekeeper. I don’t vacuum or sweep or dust often enough. But I do like order. I have found that I simply must tidy up the kitchen before bed each night. I can let the mess go between dinner and bedtime, but before I turn in, I need to take 5 or 10 minutes to put food away, clean pots, and put dishes in the dishwasher or wash them, whichever way it’s going to be. And in the morning, I’m always so proud of myself when I come down to a nice, tidy kitchen. Even after entertaining and messing up every dish in the cabinet, I find great solace in washing the fine china by hand and putting it away before I put myself away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, We too like order and the simplicity of having nothing superfluous lying about. Helvi, being Finnish, particularly loves for things to look nice so anything that takes place in our domestic environment has to be aesthetically pleasing.

      It was a shock for her after arriving in Australia to see so much man-made ugliness around. ‘Don’t people have eyes, she used to wonder? Those awful shopping strips and all that crude signage. It must de-sensitize people.
      Of course, the beauty of the Australian bush more than makes up for the man-made ugliness.

      Yes, you are right. There is solace in washing and drying the china.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Lovely post. I’m erratic, but an the nights when I clear, wash and wipe surfaces, I enjoy my morning tea-making ritual that much more.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. gerard oosterman Says:

    Our first tea or coffee are the highlights really. I try and have the kitchen clear just for that event.
    How are you going, Hilary?


  12. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    If you celebrate…
    Happy Hoppy Easter!
    HUGS!!! 🙂


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