Live From Our House, It’s Saturday Night

Yup, it’s another random weekend post about stuff on tables (remember this one from a few weeks back?). I have a new mission in life: to keep our kitchen table clear of junk.

Okay, maybe “mission in life” is a bit strong. This goal ranks far below real life missions like to be a good husband and father, put food on the table, and avoid aspartame (I’m mildly allergic). But just like my resolution last fall to make the bed everyday for a month, I recently decided I was fed up with how our kitchen table was increasingly becoming a not-so-temporary landing pad for shopping bags, unread mail, sewing supplies (notnaminganynamessherry) and other clutter. Meaning it was becoming less and less functional as a dining spot (and less and less pleasant to look at).

So without even telling Sherry (she’ll probably learn about this goal when she notices this post at some point this weekend) I’ve taken on the task of clearing off the table each night before heading to bed. Since keeping it clear 24/7 would be unrealistic (not to mention counterproductive – what’s the use of a table that you can’t put things on?) I decided if I could just clear it at the end of each day it would avoid becoming overrun with random items. And in the morning it would look nice. At least for a moment.

I’ve only been doing it for about a week (and I’ve already fallen off of the wagon a couple of nights) but so far I’m liking the results. For one, it’s forcing us to actually deal with some of our clutter (i.e. sort the mail, unload shopping bags, put away dishes). And I’m no psychologist, but there’s gotta be some mental health benefit to starting your day off with a cleared-off, ready-for-anything table. If nothing else, at least I’m enjoying the fact that I don’t have to push aside magazine piles to feed Clara breakfast first thing every morning.

Do any of you have nightly cleaning routines? Or are you currently planning your own cleaning resolution? I’m proof that they can stick. Yep, believe it or not, I still manage to make the bed every single day since last fall’s resolution. And Clara helps. Burger, on the other hand, does not. He still does this:

And this (same deal, different bed):

Oh well, you can’t win ’em all.


  1. says

    I like this idea a lot. I think I will suggest it to my husband. He has a problem with all the clutter and mess.
    I would suggest to him about the bed thing too but he is already gone and I’m still asleep. I guess I could always do it. Thanks for the good ideas :)

  2. DanielleR says

    I like your new goal … I just had a “porch cleaning” party tonight with my husband after we copied your herb garden idea (yay for fresh home grown herbs!). We have a big farmers porch and I tend to throw things out on the porch and then not pick them up for a while, random flower pots, shovels, rope, paint from painting our living room like 3 weeks ago etc. So tonight after we made our new herb garden, we cleaned everything off the porch so it looks oh so pretty there now. Thats my new goal, keep the junk off the porch each day :)

  3. Carol N. says

    Love the Burger videos! I have a thing about the newspaper being in the recycle pile every night and the magazines should be in a happy pile on the coffee table as well as the sink being cleaned out. I’ve tried to break my husband of the ‘leaving mail on the counter’ habit but he still does it after 29 years of marriage so I probably need to give up on that one!

    • Callie says

      Yeah Carol! Your nightly preferences sound like mine – I go through and do a quick “clutter bust” on the living room, dining room, and kitchen – newspapers, dishes/bags/randomness, any furniture not aligned at my preferred angle ;) I love having a clean slate every morning!

      We have had that problem of mail too but kind of fixed it by having a special basket near the door that it tries to go in. Haha. At least it’s somewhere I can always move it to and he knows where it got “organized away” to. ;)

  4. Erin C. says

    I’m allergic to aspartame too…does it give you migraines? I never knew anyone else that has to avoid it!

    I try to clear our coffee table (of remotes, baby supply stuff, cups, etc) before bed.

    • Krystal says

      Aspartame is the leading causing of restless leg syndrme, leg muscle depletion (which causes significant pain), and IBS…EVERYONE should avoid it!

    • Grace says

      I’m also mildly allergic to aspartame! Funny to find two others right here, as I never knew anyone else who was.

      My clutter catcher seems to be the chair in my bedroom; I can’t remember the last time I actually sat there.

    • erika m says

      Aspartame is also a known carcinogen. Its in some chewing gums too *I’m talking about you Orbit*

    • threadbndr says

      Nope, you’re not the only one; count me in the ‘allergic to the Ubiquitous Junk Sweetner’ crowd. One diet soda and my ankles look like the StayPuff Marshmallow guy. It’s disgusting and my fingers swell up too = ouch.

      Re the daily pickup. I try to have all the dishes done and in the drainer, the table cleaned off and the laundry folded before I hit the rack. There’s something about having a clean slate in the morning that just gets the whole day started off better.

  5. says

    My resolution is the kitchen sink/counters. I live alone and don’t have anyone to blame for the clutter … and it seems that by day end this is always lots in the kitchen. I’ve recently tried to end the day by cleaning up the clutter, particularly the things in the sink. It makes starating the morning so much nicer.

  6. Cassie says

    Couldn’t agree more, John. I try to empty the kitchen sink of dishes and glasses every night before bed. Days definitely seem to start off better when clutter isn’t in sight!

  7. Kate says

    Yes! Just this past week I’ve been making it a priority to clean up the kitchen! I am tired of waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes and a dishwasher full of clean dishes to put away. Keeping the sink and counters clean has actually spilled over to the kitchen table and the family room… It’s all staying cleaner now.
    Much easier to do a little each day than be faced with a mountain of junk at the end of the week.

  8. Stefanie says

    It’s ridiculous how easy it is for the flat surfaces in a home to get overrun with random things.

    I used to be the same way about my kitchen table (and every other surface in my house to be honest) but then about 3 years ago I started this thing where EVERY NIGHT I clean for 20 minutes. Even if it just means picking up a few things or putting some clothes away. It’s amazing how much you can get done in such a short amount of time. Sometimes I’ll vacuum my entire house in the 20 minutes. It seems to really keep things from building up to the point where it’s overwhelming and when I get up in the morning and things are already in their place it does start my day off on a happy note.

    Stay on the wagon John. =)

    • Callie says

      Yeah Stefanie! Me too. It’s so ingrained (and enjoyable to get the clean rooms/surfaces) that I barely notice anymore.

  9. says

    My hubby and I were painting a coffee table I found at goodwill for 25.00 recovering a foot stool that I also found at goodwill for 7.00, painting an antique bench for the bathroom. Then we also painted a bunch of little pieces too oh yeah and a door! I also supervised the kids pulling weeds…a family affair. Wow we were busy!

  10. says

    Love this goal and may even adapt it for our house as well. As I started reading this post, I immediately thought of your goal to fix the bed every day. So impressed you are still keeping up with it! As far as nightly cleaning routines ’round here, polishing off a bowl (of ice cream) and making sure the dishwasher gets turned on gets big high-fives. :)

    Chris Loves Julia

    • Rachel says

      Make sure you aren’t turning on the dishwasher RIGHT before bed. Remember John and Sherry’s post a while back about that awful fire that happened to that woman’s home? In it they gave fire safety tips like not running the dishwasher or dryer right before bed (or right before you leave the house) so that if it catches fire you can be alert and out of the house. That post changed my life! I’d always run the dishwasher right before bed, turned on the dryer before leaving the house, etc., so not only did I stop those things, but I also permanently assembled the cats’ pet carriers and placed them in different locations throughout my home so that I’d be ready to get them out in a hurry no matter where the fire is. Anywho please just keep that tip in mind for your safety. :)

    • Callie says

      Good point Rachel! I know someone that had a similar tragic circumstance, and I try to always run the dishwasher/washer/dryer when I’m around to notice what’s going on. Worked out the one time I accidentally set leftovers on fire in the toaster oven – I was “around” in the kitchen and had time to run it outside with the fire extinguisher. :P :)

  11. says

    What a good resolution! Our kitchen table can be a catch-all most of the time, also. Just like the picture in your post – our table & dining room look so nice when the table has been cleared. It does make just as much difference to the room as making your bed each day (which, btw – I conquered late in college & am thankful I did!).

  12. Sarah says

    I have a whole new respect and love for Burger, now.

    Always liked the little dude, but… now… that I know he is waiting for you to disappear so that he can tunnel, burrow, and nest in your warm bed… well, he is a way-cool pup.

    And very very very very smart.

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