The Terror of the Kitchen: lessons in accepting the mess

FullSizeRender (34)I’ve been grappling with my kitchen lately. Maybe the boys are both in growth spurts, and that’s why they’re dirtying every dish until they’re piled all around the place.

So I’ve been trying to clear the clutter, to lessen what’s taking up space. I’m pinning organization ideas on Pinterest and I’m staring down my countertops, but I’m not winning the battle.

But then I looked in a book that I bought from a library book sale in Missouri last summer before we moved to Georgia.

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It’s called New Country Kitchens, and it rests between Jan Karon and Martha Stewart, two of my favorites. It has pictures of homes with big hearths and hanging dried herbs; with space for family and friends, even in all the collecting dust.

I’ve been looking at these blogs of spotless kitchens, women who claim that clean countertops, totally bare spaces with no sign of any foods and barely any utensils, is the ticket to a successful kitchen experience.

But I’ve found that I’m not looking for a sterile room without signs of life, without soot.

What we have is open shelves full of mason jars and spices in our old green bread box.

What we have are cookbooks lining shelves and big baskets to store all those snacks. We have a dish rack to dry the never-ending flow of plates and pots and pans, and we have a refrigerator covered in toddler artwork.

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We live out of necessity. Out of the pleasure of having a family space that brings evidence of being alive and well, cluttered mess and all.

I think I’m going to open up that book a few times a week, just to remind myself to relax and keep cooking, because life never stops, messes never cease, clean up is never easy, and I really wouldn’t want it any other way.

2 thoughts on “The Terror of the Kitchen: lessons in accepting the mess

  1. My kitchen is nowhere near as sparkly, neat and ordered since having kids, but now its more adventerous and spontanous. I love my herbs in the window, utensils on the side and drawings on the fridge. Its a kitchen that is full of fond memories 🙂

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