7 Steps to a Clean and Organized Kitchen
1. Just Like You Wouldn't Go to Bed Angry You Shouldn't Go to Bed With a Dirty Kitchen
I mean seriously what did your kitchen ever do to you? Isn't a clean kitchen in the morning more enticing than a dirty one? Waking up to a clean kitchen is like waking up to breakfast in bed. It practically makes itself...well not really but it takes a lot less time to create and it is way more enjoyable because your not jumping through hurtles trying to get to the peanut butter.
Your kitchen is where you make beautiful creations in which to nourish your body. Help your kitchen out by cleaning up as you go so that it can keep inspiring you and your cooking shenanigans!
Do things gather in your kitchen that shouldn't? It's as if they mysteriously migrate in the middle of the night! Do you have a junk drawer in your kitchen that could be better utilized for something kitchen-ie? How does your window sill that's above your sink look? Sort through it all, everything. If you haven't touched it in 6 months donate it or toss it. If it's expired recycle it or toss it. Usually things that gather in the kitchen are office type things, pens, pencils (if you still have those) notepads, bills etc. Create a space in your office area for them to live and organize it.
3. Display Your Food
Now that your kitchen is clean and decluttered, gather some clear glass containers and hit up the bulk section of your local grocery store or your favorite online shop for your supply of dry ingredients. I personally like a variety of mason jars including half pints all the way to the larger half gallon ones. Fill your newly acquired jars with bulk dry goods that you use often or that you would like to utilize more such as oatmeal, rice, lentils, beans, nuts, spices, teas etc.
Trust me once you fill some jars and put them on display in your kitchen on your beautifully decluttered counters you will find them needing to be refilled due to a higher amount of use. You might also notice some cupboard space has opened up for some of the more unsightly ingredients or even smaller appliances.
Next, make sure your fruit feels included! Do you have a nice fruit bowl or hanging fruit basket (Oh! more counter space!)? Put it out in the open, the more you see it the more you will eat it.
Now that your dry goods are on display and organized it's time to clean out those cupboards! When was the last time you looked into the depths of your kitchen cupboards? When we "clean" our kitchen (hopefully) on a daily basis or at least every other day it does not normally include cleaning out the cupboards or the appliances for that matter. I mean really who has time for that anyway! So guess what? It's time to do it now. Right now. Stop reading and go organize! Just kidding keep reading, like my post, comment on it and then get your organization on! ;-)
Let me tell you, it's amazing the things one finds back in the nooks and crannies of cupboards. "Oh hey! We have a coffee grinder even though we gave up coffee over a year ago. Could probably sell that on Craigslist for $25 bucks or so and pay for the jars I just bought!" Seriously though what about expired items or goodies that you know you probably shouldn't be eating anyway...toss them. Toss them all or if they are unopened and unexpired donate them to the food bank. What a great service that would be!
Oh! Make sure you wipe down the outside of your cupboards too! Especially your lower cupboards and around all the knobs and handles. Gunk can really build up in these areas and go unnoticed. For general cleaning and disinfecting (like for the top of your fridge, countertops, bathroom, etc.) I LOVE Better Life's all natural cleaner called what-EVER!
5. Clean Your Appliances
Now that you have organized cupboards (including the one underneath the sink) get your cleaning on because your appliances now feel left out! Seriously. They called and complained.
Refrigerator: Clean out your fridge and freezer if needed and organize contents.
Microwave: My favorite way to clean a microwave is to take a sponge and soak it in vinegar water. Then place that sponge in the microwave and turn it on for approximately 30 seconds. Once the time is up use that sponge to wipe down the inside of the microwave, previously stuck on and splatter food should almost fall off. (Make sure the sponge isn't too hot before you go full boar and grab it like your a boss.)
Dishwasher: Run an empty load with just vinegar and scan the floor of the dishwasher to make sure there aren't any fugitive food chunks that managed to slip by.
Stove/Oven: Clean stovetop and set your oven to it's cleaning mode and let it be.
Also, speaking of cleaning and appliances...don't forget to clean the outside of them (including the top of the fridge)! Better Life cleaning company has a great natural stainless steel cleaner called EISHINE. I've never had better success cleaning stainless steel than with this cleaner.
Now that your kitchen is clean and organized inside & out go ahead and give it a little bling. Maybe your awesomely clean kitchen could use a couple indoor plants? You could place them on that nice and clean window sill, they could even be herbs! For the oh so lonely walls maybe some food artwork or a drawing of your favorite recipes?
7. Cook Away And Do It Again
Cook an amazing meal for yourself. You deserve it after all that work! Feel free to make enough for everyone else in your family too...if you think they deserve it...Once you've consumed your wonderful meal make sure you clean up before you go to bed. I mean seriously what did your kitchen ever do to you? ;-)