Call me crazy if you must–but I’m SO ready for Spring cleaning! In fact, I’ve already gotten a good start, despite the uncooperative weekend weather lately. Last weekend I was gone on Saturday for my mom’s retirement party. My mom lives three and a half hours away, so this took me out of town for all of Saturday and Sunday morning. And let me tell you, the weather here was abominable! On Thursday and Friday it was in the 70’s, but by the weekend it was 40’s and rainy on Saturday, and around 50 and sunny on Sunday. Not exactly prime open-the-windows-and-air-the-house-out weather.
But that didn’t stop me from tackling one of the projects that I have going right now…my kitchen! One of my goals for 2019 is to do more explorative cooking, and in order to do that I need a kitchen that is stocked and ready to get down to business. I gave it a good cleaning on the weekend of March 23rd, so when I got home on Sunday I got to work organizing.
I had my trash can inside of one of my cabinets because it’s too much of an eye-sore to leave out in plain sight. I decided it was about time to get a prettier trash can that I could set out and free up the cabinet space. So the first order of business was to do a little shopping! I went to my first-stop shop for all things home–TJ Maxx! I always start there because they have pretty nice, name brand gadgets for a reasonable price. Anything I can’t get there, I will then venture to other stores to find.
I found a pretty stainless steel trash can with a fun texture, that fits perfectly in the corner next to my cabinets near the back door. I also found a copper paper towel holder, a pair of turquoise kitchen shears, lemon and lime juicers, a strainer (all I had previously were two colanders), a turquoise rubber scraper, a cast iron griddle pan to use in place of a grill for when I’m just cooking for me, a large container of sea salt and some black peppercorns, plus some small white bowls to put them in so I can pinch and toss into my dishes. I rounded out the haul with a soy-based candle at the checkout line–peony scented, and white with pink flowers on the label so it fits right in to my white, pink and turquoise kitchen!
Once I had all of these things purchased, it was time to organize. I first removed the old trash can from the cabinet and relocated it outside for parties. Then I scrubbed down the inside of the cabinet and put the shelf back in place. I moved all of my melamine dishes for outside use to the top shelf, then put my blender, food processor and large, heavy glass punch bowl on the bottom shelf. That freed up space in the pantry cabinet, where I moved my serving platters and pitchers. That freed up space in my cookware cabinet to spread out my skillets, pots, pans and lids, plus add the griddle and strainer, and have room to maneuver inside the cabinet.
I also rearranged my glasses and cleared out some that are never used, and got rid of a couple more mugs. At the same time, I gave my coffee pot a deep clean using the standard vinegar and water method. The last order of business was to sort cleaning supplies and get rid of old or almost-empty things that were taking up space under the sink. On the other side of the cabinet under the sink, I got rid of the big box I used for recycling, and brought in the small three gallon trash can that I had been using outside, along with the matching trash can from the basement laundry room, to use as recycling containers.
I’ve been bad about throwing away glass because the city won’t take glass in the recycling bins, and I didn’t want to have to make special trips to recycle glass. But glass is not exactly biodegradable–at least not in a countless number of lifetimes–so it’s really important to get it recycled. I decided to set up an extra can for glass, and start sucking it up and running it to the recycling center when it’s full.
After that came the fun part–setting up to cook! Logan broke the lid to my sugar canister, so I repurposed it to be a utensil holder. I have a small prep table in the center of my kitchen with a cutting board, and I sat the utensil holder on the cutting bored where it’s at easy access. I placed the new candle next to it, since I usually light a candle and leave it on that table anyway. Then I set up my small cutting board next to the stove, filled two of my new small bowls with salt and crushed black peppercorns, and placed them on top.
I’ve already been getting a lot of value out of my new setup and look forward to using it a lot more! Now that I have that project out of the way, I’m ready to get my other cleaning done this weekend. So what does that entail?
Well, I have a list of yearly cleaning and maintenance items that I like to tackle. I do some in the Spring, and some in the summer when I have my week vacation from work. This weekend, with windows open wide and fresh Spring air flowing in, I will:
- steam my curtains
- steam my featherbed/wash the boys down-alternative mattress toppers
- polish my furniture and hardwood floors
- check the smoke alarm batteries
- clean the oven
- clean out the microwave (the fridge has already been done)
- check caulk in kitchen and bathroom, and replace any that may need it
- disinfect the dishwasher and washing machine
- vacuum out dryer, lint trap and dryer vent to the outside
- vacuum and rotate the mattresses
Then in June I will tackle things like washing windows, cleaning out gutters, wiping down baseboards, vacuuming out the furnace, cleaning the basement carpet, cleaning the grout in the kitchen and bathroom, and organizing the basement storage area…which always seems to get ransacked by my kids!
You’re probably looking at that list and thinking “this chick is nuts!” But honestly, as much as I hate the cleaning process, I love how it feels when this stuff is all done and I can sit back in a fresh and airy house!
And to add to that list, I have a landscaping project to tackle, plus I need to spray and fertilize my yard. The people who lived here before me didn’t take very good care of the lawn, and it is overflowing with clover, dandelions and crabgrass. If I can find a couple of dry days, like early next week, I should be able to treat the lawn before the crab grass seed has time to take root.
So much to do and not many daylight hours to do it in…so wish me luck!