Thursday, November 17, 2011

7 Days to a Clean and Organized Kitchen

There really is no right or wrong way to clean. Whatever works best for you is great. Be very careful that you do not get stuck in the details of these projects. Do what you can and then move on! Don't spend this week cleaning and organizing your spice cabinet. We'll spend some time down the road de-cluttering this room and you can focus on those areas at that time. Your main goal for this room is to end up with a clean, functional, and easily maintainable kitchen.

I must admit that for me the kitchen is the zone that requires the most work. If my kitchen looks clean I feel more relaxed and in control...and vice-versa. My family (myself included) can tend to use the kitchen as a dumping ground. Attempt to come up with clutter-busting solutions to fit your home. If you have an area that seems to accumulate clutter, try to come up with a system to get rid of it (or at least contain it).

Break this job into small tasks. Each day you should plan to spend between 15-30 minutes. I do best if I set the timer.

Below is a sample of my list: (Please keep in mind to break up your job into tasks however it suits you best)

Clean refrigerator (inside, outside, and above)
Clean Stove
Clean cabinets
Dust walls, ceilings, corners, ceiling fans
Thoroughly sweep and mop of the room including corners and under furniture
Take down curtains and wash according to directions
Clean area carpets
Clean windows & windowsills
Purge and clean knick knacks
Wash baseboards, radiators, doors, etc.
Decorate for fall

Now break the large list into daily checklists:

Day 1:
Grab a bag and purge! Set the timer for 15-30 minutes and purge what you can. If this is a project that requires more than the time permits, just write this down for a project to do when you have a chance. Don't let yourself get stuck!

Day 2:
Clean ceiling fan, walls, doors, ceilings, and baseboards. If you have time left, try to tackle a bit more purging.

Day 3:
Clean your fridge. This means inside, outside, and on the top. Also clean your oven. If your oven is not a self-cleaning type, you may want to do this at a later date.

Day 4:
Take down curtains and wash
Clean the windowsills and trim
Windex windows, mirrors, and all glass surfaces
Hang the window treatments back up

Day 5:
Completely clear off your countertops and wash them down thoroughly. Clean small appliances and decorative accessories and make an effort to be very selective which items get placed back. Appliances which are not used much should be tucked away. If you are like me and seem to accumulate clutter in one area of the countertop, place a basket there! Old habits are really hard to break! If you have a table in the kitchen, wipe that down as well.

Day 6:
Wipe down all the cabinets and try to wipe inside as many cabinets as possible.
Sweep and mop floors
Treat yourself!  Decorate for fall; new tablecloth, placemats fall flowers, etc.

Day 7:

Before you start any of the above projects, make sure you start with a straightened room.

Some of the tasks may need more time than what you have this week. An example of this would be if you really need a thorough de-cluttering of plastic ware, spices, freezer, etc. For larger tasks, skip it for now (or do what you can without making a larger mess for yourself) and make a to-do list. At the end of our 8 weeks (or during, when you have the time) you can go back to the list to see what needs to still be addressed. I don't want you to get stuck and lose your momentum.

Happy Cleaning!!

This is not a contest, and your goal is not to get your home the best it can be, rather you want it to look better than it did before you started!  Applaud yourself for the little achievements on the way to completing this complete overhaul

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