Autumn Cleaning: Kitchen
First, let’s talk about putting the FUN into your cleaning. No one says cleaning must be a pain. You can find ways to enjoy yourself while you clean. And that brings up the television you heard. I have a confession to make… I LOVE football. I watch it all day on Saturday and Sunday from early in the morning to evening. However, Auntie Jean Ann does not like becoming a slug on the couch all weekend. So, our television is set up so I can watch while I clean. I also have the set on in the bedroom so I can watch a I move fro one room to the other. Now, you might not want to watch football but you can listen to music while you clean. It makes the time pass quickly and makes your work more pleasant.
Let’s begin. Over the next few months, your kitchen is going to be the center of activity. Lots of cooking takes place during the holidays. You want a kitchen that is clean and well organized before you and your family begin cooking. Begin with the curtains. Take them down and throw them in the washer. Next, clean the windows. It only takes a moment and the windows will be fresh and clean when you put the curtains back up. Next, it is time to clean the oven. If it is a self-cleaning oven, then set it to clean. In case no one told you, self-cleaning does not mean the oven activates itself. You must set it to clean. If you must use a commercial product to clean your oven, then lay paper on the floor under the oven and spray it with cleaner following the instructions. You might need to leave the room for a few minutes after spraying and you also might want to open a window a crack. Now, while your curtains wash and your oven cleans, you can clean the fridge.
Begin with the freezer. You must work fast so have a dish pan of hot soapy watch ready. Take everything out of the freezer. Dump the ice trays. Remove the racks to clean. If there is freezer dust, you know little bits of frozen food, on the bottom of the freezer then vacuum them out.
Wipe down the freezer using a mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Use vinegar on your ice trays to remove any hard water build up. Follow the same procedure for the fridge. Now, go through your pantry. Throw away all those almost empty packages. You need the room. Now, organize everything so you can see what you have and what you need. Sort through your spices and thrown away all the old bottles. You want fresh seasonings for your holiday dishes. Make a list of items you need for the pantry. This is not your Thanksgiving shopping list but a list of staples that you always have in your pantry. There is nothing more frustrating than preparing a dish only to find a key ingredient is missing. Save yourself the headache!
Quickly go through your cabinets to organize your bowls, cooking tools, etc. Make a list of items you need to replace or purchase for the season. Wipe cabinets out quickly. This should not take you much time. Throw your curtains in the dryer for a few minutes and clean the oven. Once the oven is clean, take time to clean the stove itself. Wipe down the counters. Sweep behind the fridge and stove as much as you can reach.
Throw kitchen rugs into the washer. Take curtains out of the dryer, slightly damp and hang them up. If the wrinkles do not fall out, then iron them slightly but give the wrinkles a chance to fall out. Throw the rugs in the dryer. Mop the floor. You might need to get down with a scrub brush to thoroughly clean the edge around the kitchen. Once the floor has been cleaned and rinsed, then go over it with vinegar water to remove any last trace of cleaner or soap. Now, sit down and relax. When the floor is dry, take the rugs out of the dryer and put them down. Your kitchen is clean and ready for the holidays. See, that wasn’t so bad, was it? All you need to do now is keep up with it everyday. Wipe things down, wipe off the stove, sweep and mop once or twice a week with vinegar water. Your kitchen is fresh and clean and you are not exhausted. A job well done.