The kitchen is the number one place people hang out in the average home. You get your coffee there in the morning, eat a quick breakfast before you head out the door and then you’re back again for dinner. Mix in a few conversations and that occasional family gathering or dinner party and you’ll see that your kitchen is a space that you’re constantly spending time in.
While you might love your kitchen, there’s a good chance it could use some tidying this time of year. That’s what spring cleaning is all about. This spring, take the time to really get your kitchen in tip-top shape so you can enjoy cooking gourmet meals for your guests or making quick grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids.
Use these spring cleaning tips to guide you even if you’ve only got a few hours to make your kitchen sparkle.
Organize the Pantry
Open up the pantry and gaze deep all the way to the back shelf. If you’re like most people, you’ve got stuff in there that you bought with the best of intentions that you just never got around to using. Don’t worry – getting organized is what spring cleaning is for. Here’s how you can get your pantry in shape for baking, cooking or just storing cans of soup and boxes of crackers:
- Find food items that are past the expiration date. Discard them. Nobody wants old food!
- Look for things in your pantry that you know you’re not going to use. Maybe you bought some cream of tartar on a baking bender, but now you’ve realized that you prefer to buy your pies at the grocery store. No sweat! Give that stuff to friends, family or neighbors. You can also donate unopened food items so they don’t go to waste.
- Name your shelves. While you probably don’t need to break out the label maker, giving your shelves a purpose and stocking them with a plan is a must if you want to stay organized until next spring. For example, make sure all your baking goods go in one area while your quick meal and ready-to-eat essentials go in another.
- Try storing regularly used items in labeled bins. Got four bags of flour in the pantry? You’re not alone. Grab an airtight storage bin and make that the place where all of your all-purpose flour lives. You’ll save space and your pantry will be much neater because of it.
Revive Your Refrigerator and Freezer
Your refrigerator is a modern marvel, and without it, you’d still be milking the cows and churning your own butter. The freezer is another innovation that makes your life so much easier! So why don’t you treat them with more respect?
The fact is that everyone’s refrigerator and freezer gets messy. While we all go for a cursory wipe or a relatively deep clean once in a while, it’s hard to find the time and energy to really take on a complete refrigerator and freezer revival. Here’s how you can get started:
- Discard all that food that’s past it’s best-by date. You can also discard stuff that’s open that you know you’re not going to eat. Clearing the fridge and freezer clutter is a good start!
- Wipe down your refrigerator to remove obvious spots and stuck-on food. You can use a handheld vacuum to help you pick up hard-to-reach crumbs so they don’t end up on the floor.
- Remove produce drawers and shelves to give them a quick wash. Warm soapy water works well for all but the most stubborn bits of food. Dry them off with clean towels, especially if you’ve got glass shelves. Otherwise they’ll streak and spot. Put your food back in the refrigerator and freezer!
- Wipe down the exterior of your refrigerator and freezer. Warm soap water can work, but special finishes like stainless steel typically benefit from readymade products designed for a beautiful shine.
Finish with the Floors
Your floors are something you probably clean regularly in the kitchen. After all, it’s easy for crumbs to end up wedged between your baseboards and the fridge. When’s the last time you really cleaned your floors with vigor though?
You don’t have to work up a big sweat, but giving your floors a sparkling finish can set you up for major spring cleaning success. Try these steps to make your floors look their best:
- Use a broom or vacuum to pick up crumbs and debris.
- Mop with a wet cleaner designed for your floors. Use wet cleaners sparingly and avoid soaking flooring materials like hardwood and stone.
- Polish your floors with a dedicated polish. Go easy on the polish or you could create a residue that looks cloudy before too long.
Quick Cleaning 101: A Busy Beaver’s Guide to Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a crazy chore that takes over your life. In fact, you can whip your home into shape whether you’ve got ten minutes each day or you can dedicate a whole weekend to working on your house. Here are a few different ways to start your spring cleaning for the season:
Got 10 minutes? Try any of these tasks:
- Get rid of items that are old or you know you won’t use in your pantry. Straighten up your shelves.
- Get your pantry organized. Do you really all those different jars of cocoa powder? Consolidate!
- Clean your kitchen rug if you have one. It takes less than 10 minutes to shake out a rug and vacuum it so it looks brand new again.
Got an hour? Try any of these spring cleaning must-dos:
- Clean the inside of your refrigerator and freezer. If an hour isn’t enough for both, focus on the refrigerator first.
- Give your stove a quick wipe-down. When you’re done, give the inside of the oven a clean too.
- Vacuum and mop the floors in the kitchen. Just doing this can make your space look like it has been completely transformed.
Enjoy a beautiful home this summer by tacking spring cleaning now. Whether you know you need a serious deep clean or you’ve just got some tidying to do, this is the season to get started. Even if you’ve only got a few minutes each day you can get the spotless, stylish home that you want!