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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's Spring Cleaning Time! Part 1 - The Kitchen

I have been inspired! At the Library, I get to do all of our seasonal decorating. I try to do something new every few weeks. This month, it's all about Spring, of course. One area gets the gardening books display, another gets some Chick Lit, and another gets the cleaning and organizing books display. This last one has inspired me the most. I checked out a book called "How Clean Is Your House?" Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie had a show by the same name on LifeTime that I enjoyed watching. I'm going to share some of their tips (and my own), as well as my free printable checklists for Spring Cleaning one room at a time. 

Today is all about Spring Cleaning the Kitchen.


Spring Cleaning the Kitchen Checklist

Step 1: Remove clutter from surfaces. I don't know how it happens. I always have good intentions to keep my counters clear, but things seem to magically appear. Why is there a toothbrush? Where did those ink pens come from? There are also extra appliances that I can put in a drawer or cabinet. I don't use the George Foreman Grill or my toaster every day. There are some baby items that I can give away, too. We don't need the bottle warmer or bottle rack any more. (sigh) Once the clutter is gone, it will be easy to wipe every thing clean.

Step 2: Clean refrigerator and freezers. I try to empty out my refrigerator weekly when I get groceries, but I don't do the deep cleaning that needs to be done every now and then. My plan is to take everything out, clean the shelves, drawers, and walls and put everything back in an orderly way. Plus I will get rid of anything that is outdated that I've missed in my weekly clean. I will also clean the top and sides of the refrigerator. The top has become a storage area of baby items that I can now give away. (another sigh - my baby turned 1 today.) There are things in my freezer that either need to be thrown out or used right away. I have strawberries and blackberries to make into jam, for example. Another month, and they will be over their use by date. One of my freezers is self-defrosting. The other is still fairly new so it doesn't need to be defrosted yet.

Step 3: Clean oven and hood. I have a self-cleaning oven. I'm very thankful for that, but it sure will stink the house up! I don't really have a hood. It's an over-the-stove microwave. The filter needs cleaning and any built up grease needs to go.

Step 4: Wash walls. I have a confession. My poor walls need more than washing, but it will be the first step. One wall still needs painting for the first time and the other walls need repainting. That is on the list, but it will have to wait a few weeks at the least.

Step 5: Empty, clean, and reorganize the cabinets and pantry. I will not only clean the inside, but also the sides and top. This will be a good time to get rid of outdated food and items that are stale or half empty. I try to do this every so often, but it's time to do it again. I have deep shelves in my pantry. I would love to purchase rolling inserts so that it will be easy to use all the space. I also want to get some new containers to hold food items like sugar, flour, cornmeal, tea bags, etc. that will make organizing easier. If you have any suggestions please comment below.

Step 6: Empty, clean, and reorganize the drawers. I don't know about you, but my drawers collect junk that I really need to get rid of! Lids to jars I don't even have, the medicine cups that come with Children's Tylenol, utensils that I don't (and never will) use, and you get the idea, I'm sure. I will also lay down new liners before I put stuff back in. I'm thinking about getting drawer organizer trays like the one I have for the silverware. I haven't decided yet.

Step 7: Clean dishwasher. I will run it with only a cup of vinegar on the top rack, then wipe down the inside and outside of the dishwasher, and clean out the food trap on the bottom (this has to be done often).

Step 8: Clean small appliances. The toaster, the coffee maker, and the George Foreman Grill get used fairly often. They collect crumbs, smears, grease, etc. This will be when I take the time to do more than a quick clean. I will empty the crumbs out of the toaster and wipe it down. Our coffee maker tells me when it's time to clean it so I will just wipe it down. I clean the griddles of the George Foreman grill after using it every time, but the outside of it will need wiping down.

You will have different needs in your kitchen than I do, but I hope I have inspired you to do the old-fashioned Spring Cleaning like I have been. Next up: The Living Room.

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