06 September 2010

Fall Kitchen Cleaning

I always start with the kitchen, it gets the most abuse! Luckily weekly maintenance will keep the kitchen nice and sparkly for all those big holiday's coming up! What things in the Kitchen take the most abuse? The Fridge, Cabinets, Oven and the Pantry here! So those are the things I am focusing on because everything else (dishes, outside of cabinets and the microwave) gets handled every week and aren't too bad.
My method is start with the things that need to soak or take a long time and I work from the top down! I take the screens out of the vent, the shelves out of the fridge (usually 1 side at time) and wash them in the dishwasher!
The cabinets are my 2nd least favorite job, but maybe the most rewarding!

~First the top of the cabinets if they don't go to the ceiling, I use a swiffer duster and the vacuum!

~Once that is done I take everything out of 1 cabinet at a time, wipe down the shelves and put ONLY stuff I will use back in! Purging clutter might be hard sometimes but it is SO much better in the end! I just go around the kitchen 1 cabinet at a time until it's all done and put back together!

Once all the cabinets are done, I move onto the Fridge.
~While half the fridge is empty, I go through ALL those condiments and toss anything that is expired or about to.

~Then I use a magic eraser and some vinegar/water mix and clean the side that is empty. I do the other side when it's empty too.

Same thing with the freezer, anything that is close to expiring will be dinner soon, no need to waste it! All those left over otterpops (pretty much all purple and green here) get moved to the deep freezer.

~I empty everything out and give it a quick wipe down with the vinegar and water and magic eraser. That's it for the inside of the fridge and freezer!

~Once that is done, get the fridge pulled out and vacuum the coils and behind the fridge, if the coils are dusty, your fridge isn't working as well as it should and costs more to run!

~I wipe the sides and top down with vinegar/water mix

~And lastly, fish all those toys out from underneath!

Then the Oven  

If you have a self cleaning oven, go for it! We do, and I am scared to use it still! I've tried 1 time and it was SOO smokey, I am afraid to use it with the kids at home and I am not about to leave the oven on when we aren't here.. so instead I use the spray oven cleaner and some elbow grease!

Since the oven has to be heated up first, I start that then work on the stove top!

We have a glass stove top and I ALWAYS let stuff boil over, seriously just about everyday! So ours is usually in need of a deep clean!

~First I start with a sponge and get all the big loose stuff off.

~Then the scraper (razor blade) to scrap all the burned on stuff, takes some work but will look great once you are done!

~Once ALL the stuff is scraped off I use baking soda and water paste to finish the job.

There are some commercial cleaners that work well, but they stink and they are expensive.
The Pantry!

Lucky for me, mine is done already! I have a 5 year old who would rather "organize" something err anything, than play with toys or color or play outside! He really is a great little helper and had been begging to organize the pantry after every nap for the last week, so I gave in and let him help me! But if you can't find the flour, or don't know what is IN your pantry, now is a great time to get it holiday prepared!

~Take everything out

~wipe down the shelves

~use some baskets or cute boxes if it helps keep stuff in the right area for you.

~ When you are putting stuff back make a inventory list so you don't end up with 5 cans of sweet potatoes!

~ Check the expiration dates and make a plan to use what is close to expiring.. Find anything that expired in 08?! I did the last time I cleaned ours out!!

~Make foods that are ok for your kids to eat for snacks within their reach! We keep our fruits and snacks just at their level, they sure think they are grown up when they can get their own banana!

~Having all the baking stuff together, all the breakfast stuff together and the canned goods together makes it MUCH faster to make a grocery list, meal plan and let the littles help!
Then lastly if you are going to use vases anytime soon for your holiday get togethers or because they haven't been washed well in a while, do it now, while you don't have to worry about what is in the oven, the kids are getting into or anything else! Now is a good time to take care of silverware, holiday linens the toaster full of crumbs and give your mixer and coffee pot a good scrub!!
The kitchen usually takes me 3-4 days if I am good and a week if I am lacking motivation! I don't clean ALL day, I clean while my kids are napping or when I find an activity near me they can do while I do what I need to. The only thing I don't want them around is the oven cleaner, it's nasty smelling, everything else they can usually "help" with. It's much less stressful if they are involved, I don't feel guilty for wasting time instead of spending time with them, and they learn that it takes a little work to make things nice. Their jobs this time are going to be fishing out otterpops (and maybe having 1 or 2) and I think their silverware needs an overhaul. I will probably set them up on the island with a basket and dump their basket out, so we can get rid of the baby spoons and anything with a wobbly handle!
And once I am all done with the cleaning I usually pick up a couple new candles or plug in to get in the yummy fall smell! My personal favorite is Bath and Body Works Caramel Pumpkin. They change the name of it every year, but it smells about the same, creamy caramel, vanilla pumpkin.. one of those!  I can't wait to start baking and having the kitchen all nice and clean and organized makes it even better!

Come back Wednesday for what I think will be my favorite project for Halloween this year!


Related Posts with Thumbnails