This 2-Part Approach to Cleaning the Kitchen Makes it a Much More Manageable Chore

published Jan 17, 2020
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The January Cure is a long-standing Apartment Therapy tradition, helping you clean and declutter your home for the year ahead. We tackle one assignment each weekday throughout the entire month. Sign up now if you want to join. (It’s free!)

Some rooms just work harder than others. Across your entire home, you have rooms or zones dedicated to storage, others dedicated to task-based activities, and some that serve as social areas. The kitchen… well, it’s all three at once.

So when the time comes—during spring cleaning or a project like the Cure—where you want to give the kitchen a really thorough clean out, it can feel overwhelming. There’s food storage to go through, plus cabinets and cabinets of tools and servingware and who knows what else. Then there are appliances to clean, and surfaces to disinfect. Oh, and you’ll probably need to, you know, use the kitchen to feed yourself sometime in the next few hours. (These mortal bodies? That need to be fed like three times a day? What a scam.)

The smart thing to do is break the work into chunks. And inside/out is one great way to think about it.

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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

Today’s Assignment: Clean the kitchen and treat yourself to flowers.

First, treat yourself to flowers (or whatever is going to put a spring in your proverbial step this week). 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…

The “inside” track focuses more on decluttering.

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

  • 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.

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:

  • Declutter all surfaces.
  • Get the sink gleaming.
  • Clean the outside of all big appliances: stove, hood, fridge, dishwasher. Do the same for any smaller appliances (microwave, toaster, mixer, blender) that are out on your counters
  • Wipe down all counter and cabinet surfaces with a good earth-friendly surface cleaner.
  • Clean and 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.

Credit: Apartment Therapy

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Feel free to subscribe to our other emails.

It’s not too late! Here are a few ways to participate in the Cure:

The Cure doesn’t just happen in January. If you want to take your efforts to the next level, any time of year, pick up a copy of Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure book.