In partnership withLibman

Two Different Ways to Improve Your Kitchen in Just an Hour

published Jan 15, 2021
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Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 20-day program all about loving on your home and preparing yourself and your space for the new year. Sign up now to get daily lessons sent straight to your inbox!

When I find myself in an indiscernibly adverse mood that can only be described as “the blahs,” it manifests in my environment, too. When I’m feeling dull, my home gets messy. Or maybe my home getting messy is what makes me feel dull. I’m not sure what the cause-and-effect relationship is here, but I know that if I just take an hour or so to tidy up a little bit, it usually works to make my spirit feel better, too.

That said, I know “just clean up for an hour!” is easier said than done, especially when I’m working through a depressive episode. But if you do have the stamina to clean up a little bit today, I know your hour will be well worth it.

Here are two ways to make a big impact in the kitchen in a short amount of time…

A gentle, reusable cloth makes it easy to clean from top to bottom without leaving streaks. Taryn uses Libman’s Microfiber Sponge Cloth, tidying the upper cabinets first and wiping up the dust that floats down as she goes. A little All-Purpose Spray goes a long way towards cleaning everything from dusty crocks and bowls to greasy appliances. Every surface gets a gentle spray-and-wipe, leaving the kitchen feeling fresh—especially with the addition of a few well-placed flowers!

The trash can is probably the spot you're most likely to forget to clean...and the most likely to need a cleaning. Taryn's using Libman's Microfiber Sponge Cloth to wipe hers down.

Day 10: Clean the kitchen and treat yourself to flowers

First, treat yourself to flowers or something special. We did this last Friday before we cleaned our floors, and we’ll do it again every Friday of the Cure.

Then, get started on cleaning the kitchen by choosing either an “inside” or “outside” track. Neither one should take too long. Maybe an hour or so, unless you have a huge kitchen or tons of storage (which feels like a fair trade off to be honest!).

A good All-Purpose Spray works wonders through the whole kitchen. Taryn uses Libman's on her most splattery areas.

The “inside” track focuses more on decluttering.

The inside track is about the organization of hidden areas. If you want to choose the inside track, here are a few things you can accomplish during your time today:

  • Clear out the fridge. Get rid of the items that are expired and wipe down the shelves, replacing just the items that are still fresh and usable in an organized fashion.
  • Clear out your cabinets and drawers. Do a purge of the contents, putting items you no longer use in the outbox. Think about getting rid of cookware, servingware, dishes, utensils, small appliances, tools and glassware that are broken, worn out, or go unused.
  • Edit down the odds and ends that we all collect in our kitchen (mugs, I’m looking at you) to a reasonable amount of ones that you truly like. Think of it like getting your hair trimmed.
When you're cleaning your cabinets, give the area near your pulls some extra elbow grease; that's the part that gets touched the most. Using a super absorbant cleaner like this Microfiber Sponge Cloth will make the job a little easier.

The outside track is more of a cleaning refresh.

The outside track will really shine up the exterior and surfaces of your space. If you think the outside track suits you best, here are a few spots to hit:

  • Work top to bottom wiping down your kitchen surfaces with a good surface cleaner and a microfiber towel or rag.
  • Start with the upper cabinets and cabinet handles.
  • Wipe down the counters and kitchen sink, making sure you also clean off any small appliances, trays, or crocks as you set them back down.
  • Clean the outside of all big appliances: stove, hood, fridge, dishwasher.
  • Disinfect cabinet knobs and handles.
  • Clean the trash can, inside and out

You should use the track that you believe will make the most impact in your space. And yes, it’s really ok to choose one and ignore the other. Slow and steady wins this race. If you want to take on the opposite track another day, add it to your list of projects for the year.

More Ways to Participate in the January Cure: