The first change was to stop using the dishwasher completely. Now we wash the dishes two to three times a day or whenever the dishpan in the sink is full. I leave the dishpan out all of the time and people place their dirty dishes in it. When it is full, I fill it with soapy water and let it soak for a few minutes. Then I put on my gloves and wash the dishes. A full dishpan takes about six minutes, if there is a stubborn dish or pan in the mix, although it can take less than that if it is mostly cups and silverware. My gloves hang over the sink to dry and the dishes dry on a towel. When you do dishes in small batches, they are easier to put away quickly. I find it easier to find two or three minutes to do a chore than finding ten minutes. It is simple, quick and there are no more dish traffic jams.
I love looking at homes on the Internet and in magazines. I love to see all of the beauty in those showcased homes, but I really wouldn't be that comfortable living in one. There is beauty in the domestic home as well. A house that is truly working for its family is going to stay tidier and be more comfortable. The gloves hanging over the sink don't bother me a bit. Their presence mean my kitchen is clean and my hands aren't chapped.
I created a breakfast-making area right next to the sink. Everything is at arm's reach. The coffeemaker, toaster, fruit bowl and cereal jars are on the counter. The cupboard above the counter has dishes in it, and the drawer below the counter has everyone's medications and supplements. Of course, the medications would have to go up if we had little people in the house. The cutting board no longer has appliances on it, so fruit can be cut up right there and left on a plate for breakfast stragglers. The black cutting board is right next to the under the counter trash and recycling area that my husband installed this past weekend. I love it. Most of my kitchen trash is created when I am prepping meals. Now, the trash is right there, and I don't need to walk across the room dripping gross stuff.
The baking area is now in a spot that used to be the disaster zone in our kitchen. It used to hold the coffee station, spices, water filter and miscellaneous "projects" such as thawing meat for dinner. Now, it is devoted to baking only. The drawer and the cabinet below the baking area hold everything I need to make our baked goods. All of the flours and mixes are above the baking area. There are no more wasted steps to find the items I need all over the kitchen and I have enough space to whip up bread or biscuits whenever we need them.
I also switched the cabinet contents under the breakfast bar and the stove top. Now all of the pots are under the stove and all of the entertainment items (less the china which is still up high) and rarely used items are under the breakfast bar. Now, we have a large cabinet that we rarely have to go into which helps prevent things getting "lost" in the kitchen.
There used to be a day almost every week that a few or all of us would break down and get pizza or eat crappy fast food, because the kitchen was a disaster or we just didn't feel like we had time because an item was lost in the kitchen or we forgot to follow the meal plan for the week and thaw meat. Now, I look forward to working in the kitchen, which is half the battle. The new kitchen layout has already saved us from ordering pizza or eating out this past week. That is a huge savings to our family. I can see that it will continue to save us $20+ a week, if not a bit more.