How are you doing on your first mission for your kitchen this month? I have organized drawers, cleared countertops and took care of my sink area. Are we ready to tackle cupboards, the kitchen table and the dreaded refrigerator?
My mission for cleaning and organizing my kitchen was to make it warm, inviting and efficient. Take a moment if you didn't already to determine what goals you would like to achieve in your kitchen. Is it hard to work in efficiently because there isn't good order? Are you scared at the thought of someone having to open your cupboards or drawers? We have quite a bit of company and I have been thankful for the order I do have when someone else has to work in my kitchen – even if it is my own family. I know they can find things and have some idea when emptying a dishwasher or putting groceries away where items should go.
Our purpose in this series is not to achieve perfection or the kitchen that looks like it came from Better Homes and Gardens but a kitchen that is functional, inviting and ready to partake in hospitality to serve first our own families and others the Lord brings our way.
We have broken our kitchen down into sections since there is more to this room than the other rooms in our home.
We are going to break our kitchens down into sections so it is easier to manage and again we are not to get overwhelmed but take it 15 minutes a day.
Under the sink
In today's post we are tackling the refrigerator, kitchen table and cupboards.
You will be cleaning just a shelf or two a day in your cupboards and refrigerator to stick to the 15 minutes a day goal.
• Timer – we are setting a goal to work for 15 minutes a day
• Garbage bag
• Vacuum with crevice and duster attachments
• Cleaning rags
• Cleaning solution
• Garbage bag & giveaway bags if you have items that can be donated to our local food pantry.
• Take a quick look and get rid of old outdated items
• Empty a whole shelf or door container, wipe it out well, dry and put items back.
• You can use a special solution of baking soda and water but I am a fan of plain warm water.
• As you are cleaning out the door shelves put like items together (salad dressings/ketchup, mustard & mayo/ ice cream toppings/pickles/hot sauces/soy, worcestershire and steak sauces etc.)
• As you are cleaning a shelf remove it to clean good behind it and on the sides.
• Remove the drawers so you can get underneath just in case any surprises found there way down there. Take the time to organize your drawers, meats, veggies, fruits etc. as you put items back.
• Wipe down the walls as you are doing the shelves.
• If you have a tough dried stain it may need a non abrasive sponge to work it out – you can also lay a hot wet cloth to soften the area and then wipe it down.
• Wipe the rubber gasket with a soft cloth around the inside and outside of the fridge.
• If you can pull your fridge away from the wall take the time to do this and dust the coils, clean the floor underneath and remove the lower front panel and wash it well. (I have a side by side fridge and our repairman had me purchase this brush to clean my coils which are on the bottom of my fridge).
• Tidy the outside of your fridge and just keep up on it necessary items. I keep our family calendar, menu plan for the week, church prayer list and usually one handmade art item from a young budding artist 🙂
• We keep a separate bulletin board for missionaries to pray for but you may need to keep this on your fridge so it is a daily reminder to pray.
• Wipe down the front of the fridge and sides well. Use a toothbrush to get difficult places if needed (the bottom of my handles are a little tricky).
• Empty the whole shelf, wipe it down and put like items back together.
• Get rid of unused items either to a food pantry or garbage.
• Picture the grocery store as you organize your food items in your cupboards (beans, tomatoes, soups, spices etc.)
• Organize your spices for how you work – they don't have to be alphabetical!! I keep my frequently used spices on a lazy susan in a cupboard right next to my cooktop in their original grocery store containers.
• Make sure your most used pots and pans are easily accessible near your stove.
• Keep small appliances in places that work best for you. Make sure you keep manuals handy if you refer to them often (although most manuals are available online but I do keep mine in one area of the kitchen.
• I like to keep my flours and sugars in canisters to access easily.
• Organize your cupboards first before you buy any containers – I have had many containers over the years that were more of a nuisance to use than just keeping grocery items in their original containers.
• Keep it clear!!
• Take the time to wipe down the table and chairs well.
• This should be done daily and is a great chore to assign after dinner to a child.
• Homeschoolers may be using the table during the day but clear it off when assignments are done for the day.
• The table should always be available for meals.
• Find a nice centerpiece you like and keep it on the table in between meals.
• Find a simple vase and/or candles for your kitchen table
• Placemats or a runner add a pretty look to the table. We love our silverware caddy.
• Invest in some affordable wine glasses for your everyday drinks
• We love our lazy susan and keep it stocked with table setting items and seasonings.
• I can't say enough about cloth napkins.
• Use placecards the next time you have company for dinner – homemade ones by your kids are fun for everyone too!
• Put your apron on a hook in the kitchen and use it.
• Take the time to set a pretty table for your family every night for dinner.
• Splurge on fresh flowers when it will work with your budget – daffodills, tulips and mums are pretty cheap and add a lot of beauty to the table. Grow your own cut flowers in the spring & summer.
• Pick up candles when you see them on sale.
• Keep cut up fruit and veggies in glass containers in the fridge for easy healthy snacking.
• Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge to drink throughout the day – add some fresh citrus slices for flavor.
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