It’s challenge number two! Today we’re looking at cleaning and organising your kitchen. If you’ve missed other posts in the series you can catch up with the full list here.
Kitchens can be considered the heart of the home, and as such they get a lot of use both for cooking and as a family area. As a result it’s all too easy for them to get messy – from cooking food or just being a general dumping ground for kids’ school stuff, work stuff and odds and ends. Let’s start off with looking at how you can clean items in your kitchen.
Don’t worry if you’re still working on Autumn Cleaning Challenge 1 – Office & Desk Organisation – I am too! These posts are merely meant to serve as a guide as to what sort of things you should be looking at cleaning, the timing of the posts is in no way a timetable for starting or completing a challenge!
Now, on with how you can clean and organise your kitchen!
Cleaning Appliances & Surfaces
It’s all to easy to think that the only items that need cleaning in the kitchen are the worktops and the floors – every item needs regular cleaning to stop the spread of bacteria that can cause all sorts of nasty illnesses. Below we take a look at some of the more common items and how to give them a good clean – remember if you clean “Little and Often” it means that you’ll only need to do a big clean a couple of times a year say in the Spring and Autumn.
Work Surfaces & Cupboards
How you clean your worktops will depend on what your surface is made of. Harsh cleaners can damage certain surfaces whilst some other weaker cleaners may not get rid of all the nasty bacteria. Depending on your surface you may need to use bleach, anti-bacterial spray or just warm soapy water – there’s even recommendations for different cloths for different surfaces! Don’t be worried though, there are a couple of great resources I’ve found to help you out!
The Dummies Website Section on “Cleaning and Stain Removal For Dummies” has a great chart on what cleaners you can use on different surface types, there’s also another comprehensive list at The London Cleaning Agency
I don’t know about you, but cleaning the oven is the job I hate most in the kitchen. I’ve started to use an oven liner now so the bottom isn’t getting too messy, and I normally put everything on baking trays so the shelves stay relatively clean, the door though is a whole different matter!
Oven cleaning sprays do the job but I find that they can leave a nasty smell hanging around and I’m always wary of putting chemicals around food – not matter how well I may have scrubbed the surface afterwards.
If you don’t mind a bit of elbow grease and don’t have to use your oven for around 12 hours you can check out this post from The Kitchn which shows how you can clean your oven with just vinegar and baking soda and for an overview of cleaning your oven with some useful health & safety tips check out this article from Cleanipedia. TipsBulletin also has some really fantastic tips on oven cleaning and cover all oven and hob types so you’ll have no excuse not knowing how your self-cleaning oven works now!
Refrigerator & Freezer
It’s easy to forget about that soggy salad hidden in the back of the vegetable drawer, or the milk that was spilt a couple of weeks ago. Even though your fridge is cold it won’t stop the spread of bacteria and cross-contamination so I’ll let the legend that is Martha Stewart walk you through how to clean your fridge.
The freezer is one of those jobs you tend to put off until you can’t get anything in it or shut as it’s all frozen up, or something’s leaked and there’s a horrible smell.
Before you clean your freezer, defrost it first if you need to – Quick and Dirty Tips has a good guide if you’re not sure where to start. To clean your freezer follow these 6 simple steps from How To Clean Stuff
I’m always dropping stuff on the floor when I’m cooking – luckily I have two cats who hoover everything up and an easily washable floor but it does need a good clean every week or so. The folks over at Naturally Bubbly have some great advice on kitchen floor cleaning with advice for all floor types.
Toaster gather crumbs and over time can be a bit of a fire hazard, they’re also not easy to clean as we’re not supposed to poke anything into them (spoil sports!) Clean My Space has a great video showing how you can clean Toasters and Toaster Ovens so now you have no excuse!
I mentioned cleaning microwaves with just a lemon and water in my “17 Cleaning Hacks” post but check out the Appartment Therapy blog which has some great pictures to prove it really does work!
Organising Draws & Cupboards
If you’ve got a small kitchen then keeping things organised is a must, however a large kitchen is no use if you can’t find anything! Grouping similar items together (pans in one place, plates in another) is a sensible place to start but with the examples below hopefully you can get some inspiration to re-organise and revitalise your kitchen space.
Just to prove that I’m not shirking away from taking part in these challenges that I’m setting you I have sorted out my kitchen draws – I must admit that I did this a few weeks ago whilst I had some time off work but it did help as serve as inspiration for these challenges!
Before I started there were similar items in different drawers, items I hardly used in prominent places and the whole thing was – well as you can see from the pictures – a complete mess!
If you don’t have any kitchen draw separators – or maybe you have odd shaped drawers or utensils then Kevin & Amanda have a great post on making your own DIY utensil organiser which doesn’t take too much skill and only really requires some wood, a ruler, a saw and some “No More Nails”, there’s also this video post from Alejandra.TV which shows you how to organise your drawers. The video does focus on a specific product The DrawerDecor which can be customised to any draw and looks great, but you should be able take some of the tips (such as labelling spaces) and work them into whatever system you decide to use. If you don’t want to go down the drawe divider route you can use containers to organise your draw – watch the video at VideoJug to see how.
You don’t have to just use drawers though to organise your utensils, check out these “9 crafty ways to organise kitchen utensils” from Good Housekeeping.
This post from the Kitchn has 15 great ideas for cupboard organisation. Some of these ideas are really practicle, other just look nice – but I do find that if my cupboards and their contents look great I’m more likely to keep them tidy.
If you’re in the market to buy a few gadgets and new storage solutions check out this inspirational post from Better Homes and Gardens which even shows you how to organise that mess under you kitchen sink!
Over To You
Do you have a kitchen drawer that needs taming? Use the tips above to get your cutlery under control!
Perhaps you’ve got a tip or technique to pass on, do you need some advice? Drop us a line in the comments.
Other Articles In This Series
- October Autumn Cleaning Challenge: Introduction
- Autumn Cleaning Challenge: What Needs Cleaning When [Infographic]
- Autumn Cleaning Challenge: 17 Cleaning Hacks To Make Your Life Easier
- Autumn Cleaning Challenge: Challenge 1 – Office & Desk Organisation
- Autumn Cleaning Challenge : Challenge 2 – Cleaning And Organising Your Kitchen
- Autumn Cleaning Challenge : Challenge 3 – Bedroom Organisation
- Autumn Cleaning Challenge : Challenge 4 – Bathroom Cleaning & Organisation
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