I have a simple tip that has made a huge difference in the tidiness of my home.
When Lochlyn was a baby I had such a hard time with the disaster that was my kitchen. My mornings were a chaotic flurry of nursing, feeding myself, and trying to get laundry done while hauling around a baby. In the middle of all the chaos, was my disaster of a kitchen. Dishes were all over the counter, the dishwasher was usually full of clean dishes, my floor went unswept. It was so overwhelming I often just left the mess for when my husband got home. At least there was two of us to tackle it together (sorry Josh).
When my second baby, Malcolm, was born, my kitchen never got so messy. We had some bad days. Some sleep-deprived, constant crying and teething days. We also had some two-year-old tantrum and screaming fit days, yet my kitchen stayed relatively presentable. I didn't feel like I worked overly hard, neglected my kids, or went crazy trying to keep it that way.
The thing that made the biggest difference for me was such a simple, effortless task.
I implemented a dishwasher routine.
I started making sure that every single night, we ran the dishwasher. It takes 30 seconds to turn it on, and guarantees that your dishes are clean in the morning. This along with establishing a routine of emptying the dishwasher, makes life so much simpler. My husband empties the dishwasher in the mornings before he goes to work, so I wake up to a clean kitchen.
This simple schedule works well for us. We don't have dirty dishes pile up on our counters, as they go right into the dishwasher. We don't wonder whether the dishwasher is clean or dirty, as it is always dirty unless we are sleeping and it is running. It gets emptied first thing in the morning before anyone even has breakfast.
Putting dishes away in the morning might not work for you, and thats okay. Figure out what routine fits your schedule. Some options are running the dishwasher after dinner and emptying it before bed, or running it while you are at work and emptying it when you get home. It is also a great way to get the kids or husband to help out!
If you don't have a dishwasher routine in place I challenge you to try it out. Set a reminder if you need help remembering. It has made it so much easier to keep the kitchen clean for my family. Starting your day without the added stress of a messy kitchen makes mornings more enjoyable.