I know we should deep clean more then once a year but finding the time to actually do it can be difficult. We basically live in our kitchens and food goes in and out on a daily basis. We host parties, kids come and go, cooking is non stop and I just might lose my mind most of the time in there.
I recently took the challenge of cleaning for 6 weeks (1 challenge a week) and first one is the area in my kitchen. I took on my Pantry. Why… cause my pantry is always messy. Lots of expired food and tons of bags!! How many shopping bags do I need to have? I also found that I needed new tupperware. Geez, you really get embarrassed when you start cleaning an area. Cake mix that expired in 2012, Ooops!
Oh my, the straws. Gabillion straws! When I needed a kabob stick before I could never find one. Now I found 3 bags. My pantry was stealing them from me!! What was that smell in there too? Hmmm… how about my sons lunch from a year ago that ended up in one of those reusable grocery bags that ended up being rehung with the other hundred ones that we had. Open spaghetti bags, candy from Valentines (a year ago), Halloween, Christmas and Easter candy (embarrassing!). Maybe cause my kids don’t eat candy that often… so I feel better about that. Better to be in pantry then in their tummy. LOL
- Remove the items: Take everything out. I did it in sections as I didn’t want to overload my kitchen and brain with it all. I placed it on countertops and other tables.
- Cleans Pantry Shelves: Always nice to clean the areas before replacing them. I used a Clorox bleach spray.
- Check the Dates: Lots of things probably could be thrown away. Check those dates. No need to keep things that you can’t eat.
- Get Rid of Unwanted Items: No need to keep things that you don’t need. Declutter! If you haven’t used the item in over a year (non food) then get rid or donate. Lots of internet sites have sites where you can donate for free or have online sales. I like to ask friends if they would like first.
- Display: You want to walk in your pantry or open the doors and be happy to see what you have. Display your items so you can see each one. Do hide your food or you won’t see it.
- Lighting: Make sure you have it well lit. Lighting up your space can really change what you see. A dark space can be depressing. Make sure you change that whether it be the bulbs or adding more with touch under mounts or wiring more.
- Space for Everything: Doesn’t cost much to be organized. Just takes a minute to figure out how and what you want to do. Label bins, trays, etc… place smaller things in them so it doesn’t clutter. There’s so many small things that need to be in something. Just make sure you label it all. Really makes it look nice and neat!
- Easy Access: Make sure that things that you use the most are available to you at reach. Don’t make it hard for you to get to. If you have kids and need kids snacks for them to get to then have a certain section just for them. Appliances that are too heavy for you to lift then put them lower. Everything should be in the right spot. That once a year item can be in a spot that no one can reach and needs a ladder.
I also realized that I had mops and brooms that I didn’t even know that I had. Totally forgot actually. Same with the food. Serving/party stuff still in boxes never used, and I had so many coffee accessories packet things (that you get from the hotels)… why the heck do I save those cause I never use them!
I do organize all my paper plates into one bin and napkins into another. I actually have two bins for plastic silverware. Cause most of them are spoons and knives (of course) and I won’t git rid of them even though no one uses them. LOL But if you need hot pink, black, green, brown, orange, purple, red, basically any color… I got them!
Whether its a cupboard, fridge or pantry. Keeping your food and cooking appliances organized is important. I still have to tackle the rest of my kitchen but this is a start. I love to walk into a clean space. I think it does something to the soul. Plus I know what I have now. I also know that I need to go grocery shopping, YIKES!
Get your kids involved too… have them help with throwing things away. Looking at dates. Organizing lids, bags, placemats, etc… Remember its not just your house its everyone that lives there. They’ll appreciate it more as well if they help out too. 🙂
For help try out The Container Store’s Six Weeks of Spring Order Challenge!