Who’s ready for spring cleaning? I am! It feels like an awakening after a long winter and a fresh start to show up in your kitchen.
So today I thought I’d share seven steps you can take to give your kitchen a full cleaning while also optimizing it for use. Plus, I find it’s much easier to get inspired and motivated to cook when the kitchen is in working order. All the spring and soon-to-be summer produce is going to need room, so let’s get right to it.
How to Clean a Fridge
Start by moving things that need to to stay in a cold temp to an alternative fridge or a cooler with ice if you think you’re going to leave your fridge doors open a long time. Alternatively, clean one shelf and drawer at a time closing the fridge door in between so that the temperature doesn’t drop too far. This is a good time to check for old condiments or things that have been forgotten and have gone bad.
This is a great opportunity to re-organize the fridge in a way that better serves your meal planning as well! When you open the fridge do you feel blah or excited? What do you need in order to feel excited? I love these clear containers from Target’s bathroom section. They’re easy to clean and make organizing and viewing the food we have easier. I use them in my pantry and fridge.
I encourage you to also use hot soapy water to clean out the drawers and shelves. Wipe that out with clean water and a clean rag. You can use a store bought sanitizer (be cautious that you’re not spraying this on your food!) or make your own using one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water. That’s it!
How to Clean Your Cupboards & Drawers
This is a big one and I encourage you to take your time with it! Stand back in your kitchen and ask yourself how you function in your kitchen. Are your spices so far away you don’t bother using them? Are your plates combined with your kid’s cups? Is the utensil drawer organized or complete chaos? Time to empty them all out and start from scratch. Make sure to wipe them out because inevitably crumbs and loose ends find their way in no matter what we do.
This is also a fantastic time to banish prior diet foods! If there are ways to donate it, please do, but if it’s not serving you it’s okay to get rid of it. Make space in your kitchen for an exciting array of foods that inspires you instead of bringing you down. I explain this a bit more in this podcast episode, you can listen to it here.
How to Clean Your Freezer
How to clean your freezer? Start by gutting it and tossing out anything that has gone bad. When I did this recently, I found two bags of breastmilk that has gone bad but now I can use it to make jewelry! Take this a step further and write a list of all the food you have in your freezer(s). Use this list in your meal planning each week so you start to use up more of what you already have. If you want more help with concepts like that, join my Kitchen VIP community!
How to Clean Your Table
This may seem obvious but tables end up being a giant catch all for things like mail, homework, funs, glasses, bills, receipts and more. Take everything off of your table and wipe it down with an appropriate solution. If you are this type of person, make a new fun center piece or grab a candle (I love Aldi’s candles, they’re cheap and smell great!) to bring in some new flare. Keep the table a space for eating if possible or if you need it for multiple purposes, clear it off during meal time.
How to Clean Varying Kitchen Filters
Yes! I encourage you to do a routine switch of the fridge filter to make sure everything stays in working order. You have a fridge filter to change if you have an ice or water dispenser from your fridge. If you use a water filter be sure to follow the user manual for the frequency of needing to change that too.
Did you know your stove range hood is a filter that needs to be cleaned and degreased? Yup! Follow your manual’s instructions to remove it and soak it in hot soapy water. Add a degreaser to the water and scrub it well. I find an old tooth brush works well for this. If your microwave is over your oven you may also have a filter on it that needs to be cleaned in the same way. Stand-alone microwaves do not have a filter to clean but they generally need a good wipe down anyway!
How to Clean Your Dishwasher
I won’t lie, I’ve only done this twice and I’ve lived in my home for three years (almost to the date). Whether or not your dishwasher smells when you run a cycle, it’s a good idea to take it apart and clean it. I followed a Youtube video for my particular dishwasher and removed all the pieces I could. I scrubbed everything in hot soapy water using Dawn dish soap and a little dishwasher detergent. I used an old tooth brush to get into all the tiny grooves.
The walls of your dishwasher need a scrubbing as well! If you get in there, you may find that the walls are a little orange or even black. A good cleaning is worth it, promise. Once the pieces are back in place and you’ve inserted the racks again, run a hot cycle with a glass of white vinegar on the top shelf. Voila, your dishwasher is ready for another couple months of dishes!
How to clean your Pantry
This is fairly similar to your cupboards or those may be the same things for you! If you have a separate pantry, chances are there’s a lot of food collecting dust. Using a first in, first out method in your pantry can help make sure you’re using things in the order that you purchased them. Thus reducing the need to toss out expired food.
I encourage you to again, stand back and take a look at your pantry. Are the items you want to use accessible? Do you know what’s all in your pantry? If not, gut and reorganize it. Write down a list of what you’ve got, especially items like canned goods or grains. These often are the ones we end up buying duplicates of because we forgot that we had them. Use this list when you’re about to go grocery shopping and check to see what you’ve got on hand.
Now you have a super clean kitchen!
I hope you’re feeling inspired to get in and make a mess cooking right!? Okay, you don’t have to make a mess but it’s fairly inevitable in the kitchen. I find this thorough cleaning inspires me to find new recipes and use recipes I’ve long forgotten about. So don’t use this guide simply for cleaning, but to inspire you to get back in the kitchen.
If you need more help I encourage you to join my Kitchen VIP community over on Patreon! Or grab my freebie that helps you cook more food using what you’ve already got at home. You’ll get it by signing up for my email list below, promise I only send out one or two emails a month!
So let me know, what step did you start with in your kitchen? I’d love to see some before and after photos or videos. Be sure to take them and share them with me on Instagram by tagging me @The.Kitchen.Invitation or #thekitcheninvitation.