Spring Cleaning ~ The Kitchen

 

The kitchen is a really busy area of most homes and its hard to have the kitchen out of order for very long so I will clean around my cooking times. Isn’t that a pretty kitchen there in the photo? Its in an Amish museum. I don’t have a photo of my kitchen right now, I guess it was lost when my computer crashed.

When the children were small, everything happened in the kitchen. We are home educators, so everything from science experiments, meals, heart-to-heart talks and food prep all happen in the kitchen. Even now with 2 grown children and 2 nearly grown still at home, its a busy place.

The kitchen is where our meals are prepared and is the place where we are most subject to bacterial and viral contamination so for that reason I want my kitchen to be really CLEAN. For the sake of my family’s health I feel like I must be clean and tidy in the kitchens. My habits include frequent hand-washing and keeping my hair out of the way… though I mist admit it falls out at the most at the most inconvenient times.

I use only freshly laundered or bleached wash cloths and clean dish towels daily. Sinks and counter-tops should be sanitized every time food is prepared there.

My plan sounds simple, keep the kitchen clean and uncluttered. But its hard to do because everyone is in there AL.L the. time.

I also try to keep my tools stored conveniently and keep junk out of the kitchen. I don’t have a junk drawer anymore. One of the things I did a while back was get most of the decorations and nicnacs out of the kitchen. They’re just dust catchers and space takers.

Here are three quick ideas that I use to keep my kitchen in order throughout the week…..

  • Every morning, start your day by drawing up a sink of hot soapy dish water. This sink of very hot soapy water will serve you all day long. You may have to change it once during the day depending on how many dishes you usually do. Use the sink of water and a clean dish rag to clean spills, wipe up after work, and to keep your sink wiped down during the day. Put all dirty dishes in the sink as soon as you have used them.

 

  • Clean as You Go – You’ve heard it before and it’s true. You must clean as you go in order not to overwhelm yourself with cleaning at the end of the day. Teach yourself to wipe down and clean all day long while you are in the kitchen. This is something that no one can do for you, you have to discipline yourself.

 

  • When you bake or cook, don’t be haphazard. So many cooks have ingredients every where, tools slung here and there….. You don’t have to cook that way. Get all your ingredients out, measure them into small containers and put away the ingredients as soon as you are finished with them. This will help you to not only be an organized cook, but will keep your kitchen cleaner, longer.

OK, so here’s how I clean my kitchen……

First
* Take out trash.
* Pick up countertops
* Take everything out of the kitchen that doesn’t go in the kitchen.
* Take down curtains – wash if possible.
* Take up rugs – wash if needed.

The kitchen can become a catch-all if you’re not careful. If your family has a habit of depositing things in the kitchen, and you’re OK with that, try to have a receptacle for all their stuff. Baskets are great for keys,
change, pocket contents. Mail really clutters up kitchen counter tops! Try using a box or basket to hold mail, both outgoing and incoming. Move out furniture and take everything off your countertops that you possibly can. I will use my living room to store these things while I am cleaning because I have just cleaned my
dining room and I don’t want to mess it up!

I use laundry baskets to hold everything while I am cleaning. Two two big areas to clean in most kitchens are the refrigerator and the oven. Here are steps to cleaning out the refrigerator.

* Make a sink or large tub of hot soapy water.
* Empty the refrigerator.
* Throw away outdated, old food.
* Pull out shelves and drawers that can be taken out.
* Wash all the shelves and drawers with your hot soapy water (WARNING: Don’t put a cold glass shelf or glass drawer in warm or hot water!!! Don’t ask….)
* Wipe down the inside of the refrigerator with your natural cleaner or cleaner of choice.
Rinse well.
* Wipe down gaskets and outer portions of the door, also clean the vent under the door.
* Replace drawers and shelves.
* Wipe down jars and food containers.
* Replace food.

On with the Kitchen Cleaning…
1. Sweep down cobwebs.
2. Make a sink of hot soapy water or use your chemical cleaner. Get out your rags and start washing down.
3. the ceiling if needed, door frames, window frames, baseboards and walls. Wash windows.
4. Put a load of dishes in to wash while you work, or go ahead and wash all the dishes by hand.
5. Clean the top of the refrigerator, the stove exhaust hood, all large appliances. Go ahead and use oven cleaner in the oven if you’re adventurous. Take out the drip pans and put them in a pan of hot soapy water to soak. Take out the exhaust filter over the stove and clean it in a pan of very hot water with baking soda added (add the soda slowly or you’ll have a volcano on your hands).
7. Clean of shelves and inside cabinets. Wash them down. Order and organize your pantry food and your pots and pans.
8. Wash inside your cabinets while they are empty.
9. Re-line cabinets if needed. Did you know that in the “old days” we used to use newspaper for this?
10. Replace everything that goes in the cabinets, washing and dusting off as you go.
11. Wash down the outside of the cabinets, use de-greaser if needed or a wood soap. Dry them and then polish them with lemon oil if they are finished wood. This is going to be the really hard, arm-breaking scrubby part for me today. My cabinets just need a really good deep scrub. But when its done, it will make the whole kitchen look better!
12. Don’t forget the areas over the stove!
13. Change your wash water if needed.
14. Wash down all the bottles, canisters, containers, etc. that sit on your counter tops and clean small appliances.
15. Scrub the counter tops. Wash and replace the drip pans.
16. Sweep the floor. Make up your mop water and get to scrubbing. I will use a scrub brush this morning and scrub under the stove and all around the cabinets. Then I’ll mop the rest of the floor.
17. Can you move the stove and clean under it? That would probably be a good idea.

Consider setting up a Baking Center if you cook and bake a lot. I sat mine up in one of my cabinets. I put these items in the
Baking Center:
•Mixer
•Food processor
•Flours
•Yeast
•Baking powder and soda
•Salt
•Cornmeal
•Shortening
•Oil
•Spices

You could put more in it, like measuring spoons and mixing bowls. It really is a time saver for me because everything is there together when I’m ready to bake.

And then, to add a little finesse…..
* Put all your curtains and dry rugs back down when the floor is dry. Give the appliances one more look and a polish.
* Rearrange all your counter top things.
* Light yourself some candles, make some tea and enjoy your kitchen!

About Sylvia

Sylvia is the owner of the Christian HomeKeeper Network website and ministry. She and her husband Mark live in Tennessee. They are the parents of 5 children and grandparents to two so far. They have homeschooled since 1990. Sylvia is a Christian and enjoys mentoring women, writing articles for several magazines, gardening, Bible study and creating a peaceful holy home. Follow Sylvia on Google+ or check out her 21st Century HomeKeeper podcasts on the Preparedness Radio Network.

Comments

  1. I love to involve kids in the process to help them understand the importance of cleaning. It isn’t just a chore, its truly a survival skill for their home and their health. My mom didn’t quite have “the touch” and I feel like I still struggle to do it well. Thanks for helping us find the skills we didn’t learn early!

    • You’re very welcome Charlie. Glad to help. I agree, children need to know that their contributions are important to the whole family!

  2. I am going to have to send my family on an all-expense-paid hotel staycation for a 3-day weekend in order to be able to Spring Clean my kitchen. There are 15 cabinets and a deep kitchen island to de-clutter, wash and reorganize. This takes a day and a half. I’ll need another day and a half to finish up. It really is impossible for me to do when everyone is at home. Maybe we wukk blessed with nice and warm days where they can go to the park and play while I get to gettin to my Spring Cleaning. Your detailed instructions really help a lot, Sylvia. Thank you so much for doing this.

  3. Sylvia you are a GREAT motivator! I’m going to be getting started with my Spring Cleaning any day now, and I love the way you list everything step-by-step. When I put on some nice uplifting music the time flies by, and before I know it, our home is clean.
    I loved the Spring Cleaning Event over the last couple of years, and my well thumbed E-Book is a great way to keep on top of all things on my to-do list.
    Thanks again Sylvia,
    Blessings and {{HUGS}}