I used to be embarrassed about my kitchen. Even if a neighbor didn't stop by in the middle of the day to oogle my mess, I'd look over the countertops of pots and pans and scold myself. Naughty me. I should learn how to be cleaner.
I have since learned a few tricks for keeping my kitchen tidy. But, better than tricks, I've found that framing my kitchen in a different way helps me embrace the dirty dishes and scrubby bubbles that often join me late in the night, working their magic until all the grease and dinge is wiped away.
I no longer think of my kitchen as a kitchen. I think of it as an artist's laboratory. One part creative studio, one part science classroom. In my kitchen, I whisk and gather and stir and taste. My hands are busy sprinkling just the right amount of parsley atop a plate of parmesan noodles. My feet move about the floor with inspired measure. I take notes on how two different ingredients combine. I observe boiling pots and the fluff of colored frosting. You can't do these things while you are likewise concerned about bleaching the kitchen and keeping it photo-worthy and pristine.
And so, my kitchen is a disaster from time to time. More often than I dare admit, actually. But it's warm and full of fun tastes and textures and colors. And it smells like fresh-baked cookies. Which, as it turns out, isn't much of a disaster at all.