Clean the kitchen

After we declutter, we need to clean the kitchen and then start to organize the kitchen.

When cleaning the kitchen this can be a done with:

• A big (yearly) clean
• Regular maintenance

Clean the Kitchen - The Big (Yearly) clean

When cleaning the kitchen, you can go anyway you like here I have broken it down in task or area cleaning.

Option 1 task cleaning

To illustrate with an example, I decided in the big kitchen clean, that my task was to clean benches first. I do this all around the kitchen. Then I move to the second task: wipe the outsides of the cupboards. This will be done again all around the kitchen.

Taks clean

Option 2 area cleaning

The other way to clean the kitchen is to stay in one area, say the bench then do a cupboard inside and outside. This is less effective, as you really do 3 tasks in one area rather than 1 task through the whole kitchen. But if this makes more sense for you go with the area approach.

Personally I like the first option better when doing a big clean; doing one task at a time. Focusing on one part of the kitchen will come when we organize the kitchen. At this point in time, we want to clean as fast as we can with as little effort as possible. This is easier to do when staying with one task.

The reason why I break it down is that you want it very clear in your head what you are doing at any one time. We also want to prevent being distracted, having unfinished jobs or a half cleaned kitchen.

Area clean

Here would be my ideal way of cleaning the kitchen, before we move on to organizing everything:

Go from top to bottom doing the outside of the cupboards first, then the bench (quickly), clean the fridge, freezer, microwave and oven. Once this is done we can go back up to the cupboards this time to organize them.

Clean the kitchen - the fridge

With the fridge, again I suggest we go from top to bottom.

Remove old items from the fridge (if you haven’t already done so when you decluttered) and wash all containers.

See if you can do 1 tray at a time. We don’t want to have a kitchen full, an empty fridge and an exhausted organizer ;-) Slow and steady is the key here. Every time you finish one tray, you feel like a little achievement.

Tip: Put some gladwrap on the bottom of the fridge to clean up easily next time (as everything eventually falls to the bottom). An easy way to get gladwrap to stick to the bottom of your fridge is to make it slightly damp (after wiping it down) and the plastic will automatically adhere to it.

In my fridge, I have taken the crisp drawer out because it is too much trouble to open and close it. It was also a breeding place for science experiments. Now everything is easy to spot, it is cleaner and the food is fresher as I can actually see it.

Do the same for the freezer
Clean from top to bottom, removing old items, clean one tray and shelve at a time.

Clean the kitchen - The Oven

This is a tricky one! I think the best thing is a regular wipe down. If you want to do a good wipe down morning fresh for grease and Jif for more serious scrubbing.
If there is years of stuff get a professional in, I think it is not worth it doing it yourself. It takes several hours and you will never be able to do it as well as a specialist oven cleaner. Once it is clean make sure you give the oven some regular cleaning time. Simply put items (like trays) with the dishes when you have baked something greasy and wipe the crumbs away when you see them.

Also line everything in the oven: the sides and bottom with foil and the trays and racks with baking paper. It takes seconds to replace the paper and will save hours of scrubbing.

I personally think it also looks, quite ‘professional’ having your oven nicely lined up with clean baking paper.

Another thing you can do is use recyclable baking paper, this is a really cost effective and green option if you bake a lot.

You now have a decluttered and cleaned kitchen from the outside. We only have to do the inside of the cupboards and pantry. This is really where we start to organize the kitchen.

After organizing our kitchen we need regular cleaning maintenance in the kitchen but let’s first dive into those cupboard and create order in the chaos.

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