Just the thought of decluttering, organizing and/or cleaning an entire house can be very overwhelming for some people. But if you take small steps and do little tasks each day, you can make some big changes in your home. Over the next couple weeks and months we are teaming up with Caroline over at Three to a room as we tackle different rooms in our homes. We will be cleaning, selling, donating and trashing anything that is unnecessary; anything that does not serve a purpose or add value to our lives. You are more than welcome to join us along the way… We’d love to hear about your progress! Let’s make our homes clutter and distraction free and create a more clean and joyful space overall!
For this first week we will be tackling the Kitchen. This is a place where we spend a lot of our time… Eating, cleaning and eating and cleaning again… and again. It seems like a never-ending process. Who am I kidding? It is a never-ending process. But it can get a bit busy, cluttered and messy, especially with children. But I guarantee that if we had clean surfaces, minimal utensils in our drawers and an organized pantry, we might be able to enjoy our kitchen even more. Let get started and find out!
Day 1: Clean out all the drawers that have Silverware, Knives, Cooking Utensils and Measuring Spoons & Cups. If you’re like me, you probably have way too many gadgets. Gadgets that promised to make your life easier when in fact they make your life even more unorganized! A lot of these things you’ve never used and probably never will use, so it’s time to get them out of your home!
(Day 1 Cleaning Tip: It is always easier to clean and organize when you eliminate things that are unnecessary.
- After you have removed everything from your kitchen drawers, take your DIY or eco-safe cleaning solution and wipe them clean. This should give you both the feeling of completion and the peace of mind that things are freshly clean and ready for re-organizing.
- Next, start sorting the items according to what you want to do with each item.
- For the next step you will need 2 paper grocery bags or 2 boxes and 1 garbage bag. Label each bag or box as Sell or Donate and use the trash bag for all any of the other items that you don’t plan to keep.
- First – Decide where you have safe space to store items you plan to sell or donate.)
Day 2: Clean out all the drawers that have Plastic Wrap, Plastic Baggies, Foil, Hot pads/Pot holders and Dish Towels. As well as cabinets with Food Storage Containers and of course the dreaded Junk Drawer. First of all, lets try to eliminate a junk drawer all together and focus on finding a home for all the “junk”. As for the rest of the drawers, minimize and organize. Only keep it if you really need and use it.
(Day 2 Cleaning Tip: Follow the sorting and disposing process for this step as well. As you take a look at your food containers, determine if any items need a little TLC. Sometimes our dishwasher misses the mark on getting all of the oil or food particles off of our containers. Determine if your items need to be soaked in vinegar to remove stains or if they need to be scrubbed with baking powder to remove caked on particles. Since both vinegar and baking powder are safe for food prep containers, you will not have to worry about contaminating your containers with harsh chemicals.)
Day 3: Clean out all the cabinets and drawers with Plates, Cups (including children’s dishes) Pots & Pans and Bakeware. Also tidy up under the sink- this one can be a bit scary depending on what you keep down there in the deep dark place! ?
(Day 3 Cleaning Tip: While you are going through each section of drawers, go the extra step and remove the drawer to vacuum the floor under your cabinets and take this time to inspect for any pest problems in your home.)
Day 4: Clean out and Organize your Pantry including all Canned Goods, Boxed Goods, Spices and Ingredients. Throw away anything outdated, take an inventory of what you need to buy or replace and give everything a special place so you know right where to find it!
(Day 4 Cleaning Tip: As you clean and organize your pantry area, consider adding a box or jar of baking powder to help eliminate possible odors and/or moisture that is in the air. This will help keep your dry goods fresh and lasting longer.)
Day 5: Organize and Declutter your Paper Products, including Cookbooks, Recipes and all Paper Goods like Plates, Cups, Napkins, and Plasticware.
(Day 5 Cleaning Tip: As for paper goods, consider eliminating paper towels or paper napkins. If you must use them, try to reduce your use by utilizing cloth napkins and/or microfiber cleaning towels. Microfibers are great for cleaning due to their textured surface, you can often clean or wipe with water only. Plus reducing paper waste eliminates the amount of garbage in landfills. Every little bit helps.)
Day 6: Clean out and Organize your Refrigerator & Freezer. Throw away anything may be outdated or freezer burnt and take an inventory of what you have so you can plan meals accordingly. Use what you have. Sometimes food can be forgotten so this will really help jog your memory!
(Day 6 Cleaning Tip: For refrigerator & freezer cleaning remember again to stay away from the harsh chemicals. Some cleaning products such as Glass Cleaners or All Purpose Cleaners contain Butyl Cellosolve or ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE). These chemicals can:
- Depress the nervous systems and cause a variety of associated problems
- Can affect the reproductive system and has been linked to birth defects)
Day 7: Now that all your cabinets and drawers are all declutter, clean and neat, its time to clean off all Countertops, Tables, Sinks and any other Visible Surfaces. This means, removing anything that does NOT need to be on the counter. A clutter-free countertop makes a world of difference! You will have more space for prepping, cooking and entertaining. Also, make sure your stovetop and microwave are clean!
(Day 7 Cleaning Tip: Unless you 100% know what you are doing, while making DIY cleaning solutions, make sure you purchase items that are not only safe for your environment, but are surface specific products. Use a wood cleaner for wood; tile cleaner for tile and natural stone cleaner for natural stone. There’s no such thing as a “do-it-all product”. Salt is perfect for cleaning some surfaces , you will need a specially formulated cleaner for wood surfaces as well as a non acid-based product that is safe to use on your natural stone. Additionally, you may need a safe, yet heavy-duty cleaner for your tile floors.)