Neat Freak Chronicles: Keeping some order in the kitchen one glass at a time

For the seven weeks my kids are at camp, my house is neat.  There is no sign of a scissor being used, socks being removed, or noses being blown.   I have visions of neat house co-existing with children, but once the kids are home, the scissors are always missing and socks are on the kitchen counter, usually next to a pile of dirty tissues.  No matter how many times I remind my little people to clean up after themselves, there is always evidence of their actions strewn across the counters and floors.  Take for example the drinking glasses:  I take a glass, I have a drink, and when I am done, I put it in the same spot so I can re-use it the next time I’m thirsty.  Not so with my kids.  They will take a drink and leave their glasses on the table, but then won’t remember which glass belongs to whom so I end up loading the dishwasher with half a dozen glasses a day.  It drives me insane.

In order to manage the cup chaos when we have big crowds of kids, I use plastic cups.  But with every plastic cup, I feel the guilt of the land fill (even though I recycle them) and hate to use more plastic than is necessary.  One way I keep order with plastic cups is to leave a permanent marker by the cups.  That way, everyone can write their name on their cups.  While this works great for plastic, but I will not use a permanent marker on my glasses (although my mother once did in her house and my brother and I thought she had really lost it).   So last week I had had enough of all of the glasses and the number of times I was running the dishwasher.  In the interest of the earth and my sanity, I came up with a mini on-the-spot craft project to solve this problem and I thought I would share it with you.

I needed to create a solution immediately and I couldn’t get to Michael’s or to Home Depot, so I had to search the house for supplies.  The one thing my kids despise more than being nagged to clean up is having to run spontaneous errands with me.  So I went on a search and found a set of six coasters that I had in the house.  I used my label machine and put each family member’s name on a coaster along with two for guests and set them up in the corner of the kitchen counter.  This way, we can all put our glasses on a coaster when the glass is not in use.  Ahhh….


A little label, a lot of order


It’s working already!


One of my favorite neat freak toys

If you don’t have an extra set of coasters hanging around, there are other supplies you can use.  If you have leftover tiles from a DIY project you can write family names with a pen, or use a label maker.  Another coaster substitute is an old placemat (preferably a coated one, rather than a fabric or woven one).  Cut it into 4×4 squares and use stickers and assign everyone an image.  Or if you have access to a laminating machine, you can laminate photos of each family member and use them as glass place holders.   So many options!

Let me know what DIY project helps keep your kitchen in order.




6 thoughts on “Neat Freak Chronicles: Keeping some order in the kitchen one glass at a time

  1. Great idea! And, oh how I can relate to the 7-week break from house mess when my son is away at camp. Five minutes after he came home, the house was a disaster!

  2. We had the same problem but magnified – with 15 children, you can imagine the chaos that would result without a system!

    We bought a special cup for each child – some had stripes, others a fave color or a special character or decoration. That way they always knew which was theirs and they all kept them on the counter next to the fridge when they weren’t using them.

      • It’s funny, when you’re living it, it doesn’t seem very remarkable, but looking back, I realize we really did work on streamlining our days and working toward a more efficient household. Perfectionistic tendencies tend to take a back seat, for sure. :) That’s why I like posts like yours. Not only is it pretty, but very useful.

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