“These leftover herb-crusted carrots will be delicious for lunch tomorrow,” I think to myself as I rummage through my Tupperware. Pushing lids aside, I search for the right size bowl. Then I dig through the lids as I hunt for the matching size. Three minutes later, I toss the container in the back of the cabinet and pick another size that might have a lid… after seven minutes, I finally grab a Ziploc and throw my carrots in the fridge, where all the good Tupperware is being used for science experiments.
If this sounds like your kitchen, Spring is the perfect time to clean it out!
Spring is time for renewal, revival, and happiness. For busy parents like us, grabbing a container and matching lid in under 10 seconds is happiness. Follow this step-by-step guide to get your kitchen cleaned out and cleaned up so you can enjoy spring! If you can, get your family involved. Check out 6 ways to Motivate Your Family to Deep Clean from Colorado blogger Carlie Kercheval!
Step 1: Gather materials
- Three boxes – put away, food donation, item donation
- Trash bags
- Step stool or designated chair
- Cleaning Rags
- All-purpose cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Oven cleaner
- Sponge such as magic eraser
- Mop and cleaner
Step 2: Prep your kitchen
Put everything away. No dishes in the sink, no cups left in the kids’ rooms, no random utensils in the back yard (what, your kids don’t do that?) If you’ve got items in the dishwasher, start a cycle.
Start the oven self-cleaning cycle if it has one.
Gather washcloths, hand towels, curtains, and other linens to start a load of laundry.
Get everything out of the kitchen that doesn’t belong and put it in the box to put away later.
Step 3: Attack the refrigerator
Declutter and clean on top of the fridge. Then move from the top down through the refrigerator and freezer, clearing each shelf, wiping clean or washing in the sink. Toss expired food and keep a list of what you need to replace. It’s easy to know what you need when you meal plan or have theme nights like this article from Colorado blogger Jennifer Mason.
Clean the outside of the refrigerator, paying particular attention to the handle. Remove the air intake grill at the bottom of the fridge. Dust or vacuum the coils underneath. Wipe the grill or clean with warm soapy water. Dry and replace.
Perform maintenance such as replace the light bulb or clean the water line according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 4: The pantry
From top to bottom, clear each shelf, sort the items quickly and wipe down the shelf and walls. Remove and clean drawers, organizing containers, or racks. Replace items as you go. As a final touch, take your wet rag and wipe down the door and handle.
Step 5: Check in
Time to check in with the laundry/dishwasher/oven. If your dishwasher is dry, empty it. Fold the laundry. Leave your oven until Step 8.
Step 6: Cabinets and other storage
Clean cabinets and storage as you did the pantry. Pick a space and start at the top. Remove items, wipe down the inside, and then put things away.
Food storage: match up lids and containers. Donate or toss unmatched pairs. Throw out cracked or broken containers and make a list of sizes to replace.
Spice rack: check spices and toss anything past the date. If you have multiple bottles of a spice, throw away one or combine them into one container. If you are running low, put it on your list.
Step 7: Drawers
Start with your junk drawer. Remove items that have another home. Throw away the trash. This also refreshes your memory of what lives in the drawer.
For the rest of your drawers, remove the contents, wipe out the crumbs that somehow accumulate, and replace items. Collect measuring cups and spoons to ensure you have proper sizes. Add anything you need to your list.
Step 8: Large appliances
If you started your self-cleaning oven earlier, sweep out the ash and wipe the inside. Otherwise, use the oven cleaner to clean, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Then move on to the stove top.
If needed, remove the coils and drip pans. Wash or replace drip pans. Clean underneath the stove top, then replace the drip pans and coils. For a glass stove top, you can follow these steps from Colorado blogger Karissa Ancell. Wipe down the entire face of the stove and oven.
Dishwasher filters, drains, nooks and crannies should be cleaned regularly; check with your user manual to wash correctly. Instructions for deep cleaning with vinegar and baking soda can be found here. Wipe the outside of the dishwasher and make it shine!
Follow your user manual to clean other large appliances.
Step 9: Small appliances
Clean the appliances that live on your counter and are used frequently. Many coffee makers have a cleaning cycle, so refer to your user manual for specific instructions. Most toasters have a catch pan for crumbs. This can be removed and cleaned easily.
For microwave cleaning, I love my Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner (you can buy one on Amazon here). If you don’t have one, you can find detailed instructions for cleaning your microwave here. For other regularly used appliances, clean them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 10: Finish your superficial deep clean, top to bottom
Time for the duster, broom, mop, and vacuum! Start with the ceiling and light fixtures and dust them off. Wipe down the walls. I love the magic eraser for these jobs!
Clean the counters. There should be nothing left on them other than the appliances you keep there. Clean your sink and faucet and dry them to wipe away water spots. Wipe down the cabinet faces with a wet rag. Vacuum all the rugs, sweep the floor, and finally, mop. To top off your clean, spray your favorite air freshener!