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Kitchen de-clutterization

anyclean
by Nick Vassilev
05 Jun 2007

Every season I begin what I call the “de-cauterization process in my kitchen.” What is that? Well, most people believe in just doing a though kitchen cleaning in the spring, but from my own experience I notice in my own home that the kitchen clutter, dust, and dirt builds up quickly. Therefore, what I do is in the beginning of each season I go through my kitchen and give it a through cleaning. One that I normally would not do.

After a short amount of time, you will notice that your cabinets begin to clutter again, dusty refrigerator top piles up, and an oven that smokes every time you bake are not the components of an ideal kitchen. If you look in your oven, you will see the grease and oils all build up (ugh).

To make your kitchen and feasible to eat in clean this important room in your home with a systematic program I have created for kitchen cleaning.

1.    Begin with a kitchen clean up that should take you 15 minutes.

This will eliminate the clutter and dirty dishes, and give you room to do the actual kitchen clean up. Do not worry about cleaning the floors yet we will do that later.

2.    Dust down the ceiling and corners of walls. Decide if the walls need washed in dirty spots.

Spot wash, remembering air vents, doorknobs, doors, switch plates. Walls will most likely need to be washed more often in this room than in others. Take your kitchen cleaning time now to clean the grease, grime, and spilled food from your walls.

3.    Dust and clean all art and photographs along the wall.

Be careful when cleaning framed art and photographs. Never spray cleanser or water onto the frame. The liquid can seep behind the glass and damage the pictures. That is happen to me quite a few times. Instead, lightly wet a clean cloth to wipe the frame and glass.

4.    Dust and clean the ceiling fan.

You may need to use a gentle cleanser like Murphy's Oil Soap. I like that product. Take down any light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing. You will may notice dead bugs and lots of dirt built up in the fixtures.

5.    Take down draperies, curtains, and blinds to wash or have cleaned according to the manufacturer's directions.

Vacuum and clean windowsills and corners. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.

6. You can apply oven cleaner to the oven and clean the refrigerator.

Leave the windows in the kitchen open to avoid the overpowering smell. Do not forget to vacuum the coils of your UNPLUGGED refrigerator. This is a great time to sweep and mop underneath it too if you can find some help to move it. Be careful of scratching your floor. Watch what oven cleaner you use. Some have hazardous chemicals and can be dangerous to pregnant women. In addition, some can make you gag. I bought an oven with a self-cleaner. I did not want to clean the oven because I have not found a cleaner that has not made me gag yet.

7.    While the oven cleaner works, begin sorting through the freezer and refrigerator.

Throw out any expired food, mostly empty containers, and items that you bought and never used. Put the items you are going to keep on the counter. Take out the refrigerator shelves and drawers. Wash them down, being careful with glass shelves. Wipe down the entire inside of the refrigerator and freezer before replacing shelves and food. Wipe down and clean out the oven according to the directions on the oven cleaner.

8.    Take the knobs, burners, burner covers, and spill catchers off the stove.

Follow your stove/oven owner’s manual for information on proper cleaning methods for your model. (The one you carefully filed, when you bought the stove, just for an occasion like this.) Some stovetops lift up to allow easy access to spills and crumbs. Wipe down the entire stove.

9.    Wipe down and clean the toaster, blender, and other small appliances.

Wipe down and clean the microwave. If the spills in the microwave are fossilized, try bringing a water-filled glass cup to boiling in the microwave. The steam should help loosen the crud. If the microwave smells, boil lemon juice. Unplug all appliances first. Do not forget the turntable.

10 .   Clean out kitchen cabinets.

Reline if needed. Remove mismatched lids and bowls. Take out anything that is not being used on a regular basis. Reorganize and wash down the insides and outsides of cabinets.

11.   Run the dishwasher empty.

Try adding vinegar or baking soda to the empty dishwasher before running it. If your dishwasher has a food trap in the bottom, clean it out. Wash down the outside of the dishwasher.

12.    Wash down the countertops in your kitchen.

Do not forget backsplashes.

13.    Wipe down and clean out any drawers.

Organize your flatware. This is a great time to install drawer dividers to better organize your kitchen drawers.

14.    Wash down the sink. If you have, a garbage disposal now is the time to pour baking soda with warm water and/or a lemon peel down the disposal to freshen the drain. Put ice cubes through the disposal to sharpen the blades.

15.    Sweep and mop the floors.

Do not forget baseboards. One of the best ways to get a floor clean is to use a rag or towel while on your hands and knees. If this is not an option try going barefoot and scooting a large towel around the floor with your feet. It provides more contact and pressure with the floor. Press gently, and be careful and slow. This is the best way I get all the dirt off the colors. The mops work, but not as well.

Tips:

  1. Gather first thing. Trying to sort through the pantry cabinet for your oven cleaner might make you frustrated enough to uncluttered the cabinet. It is easy to forget what your initial goal was.
  2. Reward yourself by ordering in for dinner tonight. Forbid anyone to touch your spotless kitchen at least until breakfast the next morning. Any longer is probably cruel, but they can handle it overnight.
  3. Listen to music. The time will pass a lot more quickly if you have an enjoyable environment. This is a great time to use the stereo for what you want to listen too.

On the other hand, do what my girlfriend does and get a cleaning service!

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