A Guide to Seriously Deep Cleaning Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the room that you prepare your favorite dishes, meals are shared, and dish washing occurs, so it’s no wonder that cleaning this space can feel like a pretty daunting task. To make everyday cleaning easier, an occasional deep cleaning is necessary, especially in those tough-to-reach areas. With some Earth-friendly formulas and elbow grease, your entire space will shine again in no time at all!

Kitchen cabinets are one of the very first things people seem to notice upon entering the room, and with such a prominent display comes the need for a thorough scrub. Whether they’re covered in a coat of dust or a film of grease I know exactly what you need to do in order to make them look as good as they did the day they were installed. The next spot to pay extra attention to you ask? Your oven! It’s prone to baked-on stains and charred fragments of previous recipes, it requires a deep clean every few weeks. Don’t skip the inside! Be sure to wash the racks separately with soap and water for a thorough cleanse.

When’s the last time you gave your fridge a good once over? The refrigerator deserves a serious wash at least twice a year, including a full soak of the inside bins. A stainless-steel exterior should be wiped down with a homemade solution and microfiber cloth.

One of the most frequented areas is your entire kitchen is the sink, including the garbage disposal if you have one. As a place to scrub everything from fresh produce to pots and pans, the sink often gets overlooked—it’s where everything goes to get clean, so many assume it needs no care itself. But with food scraps and a build-up of grime, cleaning the sink and disposal is an absolute must. We’re recommending techniques for getting both back in sparkling order.

After you clean your cabinets, appliances, and the sink, there’s one more spot to tackle: the kitchen floor. The technique you use to clean it will depend on what it’s made of, but we’re showing you how to give both hardwood and tile surfaces a good wash. Ready to get cleaning? Our best advice is just ahead.

Photo by Curtis Adams on Pexels.com

Cleaning Cabinets

All you need to give your kitchen cabinets a serious deep clean is Castile soap, a microfiber cloth, and a little elbow grease. If your cabinet doors are greasy, wipe them down with a solution of one-part vinegar to two parts water.

Photo by Kelly Lacy on Pexels.com

Freshening Up the Sink and Disposal

You might think a spot where regular washing occurs wouldn’t need such a heavy cleaning, but you might be surprised. Food scraps and grime can leave your kitchen sink looking anything but new. Clean the sink itself with baking soda and lime. For the disposal, try a vinegar-soaked loaf of bread stuffed in the canister. We recommend letting it sit for 15 minutes, then turning on the disposal and flushing it with cold water before following up with frozen citrus rinds.

Cleaning the Oven

The oven is susceptible to baked-on messes and burnt fragments of meals long gone. That’s why it’s important to scrub this appliance every few weeks and to be sure that it gets a deep clean immediately after spills happen. Don’t forget the inside! The oven racks need to be cleaned separately, while the oven itself can be wiped down with a homemade paste.

Cleaning Out the Refrigerator

One of the number 1 biggest projects to tackle during your kitchen deep clean is your refrigerator. As a home to perishable foods, it’s often prone to spills, leaks, and rings left behind from containers. For a serious clean, I recommend removing everything inside and giving the bins a good soak with baking soda and water. For a stainless-steel exterior, mix one-parts vinegar to two-parts water and wipe down with a microfiber cloth!

Cleaning the Floor

Get your kitchen floor looking shiny in no time. I recommend cleaning this easily dirtied surface weekly. The cleaning techniques you use will depend on the material of your floors: for hardwood, sweep or vacuum before mopping; for tile, mop with warm water and all-purpose cleaner.

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual deep clean. For many people, however, the pleasure comes only after the work is finished. Cleaning your home from top to bottom may never become effortless, but you can make the project more manageable-and even enjoyable. The printable checklist down below offers an overview of everything you need to know-including information on cleansers, stain removal, fabric care, and storage-to zip through the process.

After you read through the tips and techniques, tailor the list to your home and yard. Whether you prefer to proceed from the attic to the basement or start outdoors and wind your way inside, create a realistic schedule and focus on one task at a time, keeping in mind that a single weekend won’t suffice. You’ll need several days for more involved projects, such as shampooing carpets and organizing closets. And be sure to enlist the help of family members.

The tips below outline basic techniques that will help you clean almost every surface (or object) in any room, leaving your home refreshed from top to bottom.

Related: Top 40 Tips On Organizing Your Whole House

Restock Your Cleaning Supplies

Before you can get to work, you need to make sure you’re stocked with your must-have cleaning supplies. On the natural front, baking soda, white vinegar, and Castile soap are essentials you can use to make natural cleansers for nearly any spot in the house. A microfiber mop, like Libman’s Wonder Mop, makes easy work of cleaning vinyl, wood, linoleum, laminate, marble, stone, and ceramic tile—we like that the Wonder Mop’s head is machine-washable, making it an eco-friendly alternative to most conventional alternatives. Plant-based sponges and a reusable spray bottle also make most cleaning jobs easier. You’ll also want to stock up on your favorite mild dishwashing detergent and all-purpose cleanser, or else make a batch of your favorite DIY solution.

Wipe Walls and Ceilings

Use a vacuum to remove dust. Tackle stubborn surface grime, especially prevalent in kitchens, with a solvent-free degreaser (test it first in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t mar the surface).

Reseal Grout Lines

The cement-based material between wall, floor, and countertop tiles is extremely porous and stains easily. Protect it with a penetrating grout sealer; it’s best to apply it with a small foam brush.

Vacuum and Shampoo Rugs

Synthetic carpets and rugs with waterproof backings can be deep-cleaned with a rotary shampoo machine and a hot-water extraction machine. Rugs without backings, including Orientals, require professional cleaning.

Dust Books and Shelves

Take everything off the shelves, and brush them (along with the books) with a feather duster. Use the dust brush or crevice tool on a vacuum to reach into tight spots. Wipe the spines of leather-bound books with a clean, soft cloth.

Clean Upholstered Furnishings

Take cushions outside and gently beat them by hand to remove dust. If there are stains, check the pieces for care labels. Use a vacuum’s upholstery and crevice tools to clean under seat cushions.

Polish Metal Door and Window Hardware

Liquid polishes and polish-impregnated cloths work well for medium-tarnished surfaces; pastes and creams are best for heavier work. If the tarnish doesn’t come off, try a stronger product.

Related: 20 Decluttering Tips from Professionals

Dust Your Home Thoroughly

This includes hard-to-reach places, such as the tops of ceiling fans and window casings. Always work from the top of a room down, vacuuming the dust that settles on the floor. Avoid using dusting sprays.

Wax Wooden Furniture

Wipe surfaces with a soft cloth dampened with water and mild dishwashing liquid. Apply paste wax, such as Butcher’s wax, a few feet at a time with a cotton rag folded into a square pad. Let the wax dry; buff with a clean cloth.

Ensure Fire Safety

Change batteries in smoke detectors (this should be done twice a year), and make sure units are free of dust. Teach everyone in your household how to use a fire extinguisher, and review escape plans.

Wash Window Screens

Using warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid, scrub each screen with a brush; rinse thoroughly.

Clean Window Treatments

Many draperies and curtains are machine washable; check labels. Dry clean fabric shades. Wipe wooden blinds with a damp cloth; warm water mixed with a mild dish washing liquid is safe for metal and vinyl blinds.

Wax Non-Wood Floors

Vinyl and linoleum floors that have lost their shine should be waxed with a polish designed for these surfaces. Most stone and tile floors can be treated with either a paste or a liquid wax designed for the material.

7 Ways to Keep Your Home Tidy Every Day!

Often times people tell me that they can’t tidy up every day, they’re too busy, it’s too much, etc.  Marie Kondo has a lot of amazing tips for us to use on a daily basis, she’s helped many people worldwide learn how to tackle their unorganized homes. 

My mother raised us with nearly this exact list.  She is very OCD about keeping things tidy, in order and simply kept up with.  She hates a mess. 

If you don’t have a lot of time, follow these steps every day!  

7 Ways to Keep Your Home Tidy Every Day!

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Task 1: Make your bed

While making your bed each day might sound like a tedious task, you’ll be surprised at how tidy your room will look with a made bed. As soon as you get out of bed in the morning, take the time to make your bed.

 

Task 2: Do a morning tidy

Marie Kondo believes that one of the secrets to a tidy home is tidying first thing in the morning. By doing a quick tidy in the morning, you are starting your day off on the right foot! Choose a trouble spot in your home, and start by tidying this area first thing in the morning.

 

Task 3: Let in some fresh air

Our homes can sometimes feel stuffy, especially in the winter months when we are spending more time indoors. Open up the windows for a few minutes to let in a fresh breeze.

 

Task 4: Put things back where they belong when you’re done using them

As our days go on, we may find ourselves bringing out pots, pans, clothes, and other belongings to use. As soon as you’re done using these items, remember to put them back where they belong.

 

Task 5: Fold your clothes

Marie Kondo believes that the best way to store clothes is by using her folding method. This method takes a little bit of extra time but has a great payoff! If you are doing a load of laundry today, take the time to fold your clothes.

 

Task 6: Make sure everything in your home has a home

If you are finding that items in your home are constantly out of place, this might be because these items don’t really have a home. Take time to find a home for these items. If you find that something you’ve stored doesn’t work well for you, take the time to change it.

 

Task 7: Tidy in the evening

Before you go to bed or prepare for bed each night Marie Kondo suggests making one last tidying effort for the day. This might be as simple as making sure the toys are put away or tidying up your counters from dinner. Take this time to clean up your home so that you can have a fresh start in the morning.

This really does wonders for your mood in the morning to come!  Try it out!  

 

Do you follow any of these?  

Simple Tips to Declutter Your Home

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Before you dive right in, figure out what your decluttering goal is. Do you merely want to get rid of visible mess, or do you want to create entirely new household organizational systems to use going forward? Knowing what your end goal is can help you prioritize tasks and figure out your next steps are.

Another trick to kickstart your decluttering? Start with what you feel is the easiest room first. For example, if you know you need to do an overhaul of your entire wardrobe, don’t tackle your bedroom and closet first. If you begin with a simpler decluttering job — say, cleaning out and reorganizing your spice rack or that beautiful junk drawer— it can empower and motivate you to tackle bigger decluttering projects.

The Best Way to Tackle a Cluttered Room

As you get ready to start the decluttering process, it helps to have a system in place that you can use as you clean and reorganize. One super simple, straightforward option is the “Four-Box Method” — using four boxes or storage bins, you can streamline your decluttering job. Here’s a breakdown of how just four boxes can make tackling a cluttered room a breeze.

Box 1: Trash

The first box will be your designated trash dump. Any items you want to get rid of that aren’t worth donating or selling go here.

Box 2: Give Away/Sell

Next, designate a box for items that are still in OK condition, but that your household could do without — like old books or toys, for example. Whether you want to give these things away to family/friends, donate them to charity, or sell them in a yard sale to make a little extra money is totally up to you.

Box 3: Storage

This box is for things that you can’t or don’t want to get rid of, but that you aren’t in need of on a day-to-day basis (think things like seasonal decorations). It’s also a good idea to make an inventory of items that you’re putting in storage as you go — that way, you won’t be left wondering what exactly is taking up space in your garage or attic down the line.

Box 4: Put Away

Lastly, have a box ready to place any items that need to be kept in your house, but relocated to their proper place. If you want to get really organized, you can have a few smaller boxes — one each for places like your bathroom, kitchen, or bedrooms — and sort misplaced items into their “homes” to save yourself the hassle later. 

Want one last decluttering pro tip? If you have the need for it, you can add a fifth box to this method: one for items that can be repaired/replaced rather than tossed out or donated, like a watch that needs a new battery. 

How to Declutter Your Bedroom

Tackling your bedroom may seem like an overwhelming project — especially if you’re just learning how to declutter efficiently. To start your bedroom decluttering off on the right foot, spend a few minutes tidying it up first: make your bed and pick up any dirty clothes that might be strewn across the floor. Once the visible, day-to-day mess is out of the way, you’ll be more motivated to move on to these problem areas.

Nightstands

If you have a nightstand that you use as a catch-all storage space for your clutter, now’s the time to go through it with a fine-toothed comb. Unless you need access to something before bed — like a sleep mask or earplugs — the nightstand is not the place for it. Don’t forget to declutter the top of your nightstand, too: clear off anything that isn’t essential (lamps or alarm clocks, for example) and minimize the knickknacks and décor you keep displayed on top for a less cluttered look and easier cleaning.

Dressers/Drawers

Is there anything worse than messy, overstuffed drawers? If you’re tired of having to dig through a sea of disorganized clothes to find what you need every day, it’s time to sort each item of clothing in your dresser using the Four-Box Method. A good rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn it in at least six months or it no longer fits, it doesn’t belong in your dresser drawers. Once you’ve pared things down, try folding your clothes into small rectangles and placing them face-up — instead of stacked atop one another — so you can easily see each item when you pull the drawer open. 

Closets

If you want to really declutter your home, it’s necessary to spend a significant chunk of time decluttering your closets, as they can be major havens for clutter. Before you start sorting things using the Four-Box Method, it’s a good idea to remove everything from your closet and lay it all out so you can easily see exactly what you have. This is also a good opportunity to wipe down any shelves and surfaces in your closet that rarely get cleaned.

Next, ask yourself a few key questions as you decide what items you want to keep: when is the last time I wore this? Does this piece of clothing make me feel good when I wear it? Do I have something similar to this that I like more? It’s also a good rule of thumb not to keep something for “someday” — like if it no longer fits but you’re keeping it around just in case it fits again one day. That mindset is how clutter accumulates!

When you’re putting away things you want to keep after the purge, make sure to put your most-worn items in easily accessible spots, and then organize things however works best for you — whether that’s by color, season, or occasion.

 

Decluttering Ideas for Your Bathroom

Although bathrooms can be relatively small spaces compared to other rooms in your home, that doesn’t mean they can’t accumulate just as much clutter. Here are some decluttering ideas that will make your bathroom more organized than ever before.

Purge Your Beauty Products

Some of the biggest culprits of bathroom clutter are beauty products: makeup, skincare products, hair accessories, and more. It’s also good to break the habit of accumulating duplicates of things — for example, don’t open a new bottle of shampoo if you still have a couple days’ worth of product left in an old one.

Take Stock of Your Medicine Cabinet

You might open your medicine cabinet every day, but when’s the last time you actually cleaned it out? Take everything off the shelves, and toss anything that’s old or no longer usable — like stretched out hair ties or expired medications — then wipe down the inside before returning the items you’re keeping to your medicine cabinet.

Create Hidden Spots for Storage

Short on storage space? There are plenty of handy tricks that can create a more organized bathroom instantly. If you keep finding bobby pins strewn all over the place, try attaching a magnetic strip to the inside of a cabinet door and sticking your bobby pins on it for easy access. You can also use a file organizer as a handy spot for your hair tools by attaching it to a wall or the side of a sink cabinet. For smaller items like makeup brushes, cotton balls, and cotton swabs, have labeled jars dedicated for each and then set them on your counter or a shelf for easy access that won’t look messy.

Your Living Room Declutter Checklist

Your living room is where a lot of household action takes place — meaning it can be a magnet for clutter from everyone in your family. If you want to make your living room a clutter-free zone, follow this simple, three-step declutter checklist.

Step 1: Sort Through Toys, Books and Magazines

If your living room acts as de facto storage for books, magazines, and children’s toys, it’s a good idea to do a sweep of these items and sort them using the Four-Box Method. Donate old books to a local library or school, recycle old magazines, and toss any toys with too much wear and tear to donate or sell.

Step 2: Reduce the Number of Knickknacks

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying décor in your home, but too many knickknacks in your living room can make it harder to make use of the space — and harder to clean around, too. Take stock of things you have sitting out on tables and shelves, and decide what you might be willing to part with: are there old picture frames, throw blankets or potted plants you no longer care for?

Step 3: Create a Permanent Storage Spot for Everyday Items

Instead of just leaving things lying on your coffee table, designate a basket for everyday items — like remotes, chargers, and video game controllers — and then stow the basket under an end table or in a drawer for easy access.

Decluttering Tips for Your Home Office

There’s nothing less motivating than trying to get work done in a home office that’s messy and disorganized. If that sounds a little too familiar, check out these quick and easy decluttering tips for your home office that will help make it a productivity paradise.

Remove Items That Don’t Belong

The first step of decluttering a messy home office? Removing or putting away any personal/household items that don’t belong there, such as toys, dishes, or workout gear. Your workspace should be for work only — non-work-related items act as reminders of other responsibilities, which can be distracting when you need to focus on work.

Sort Through Documents and Papers

If your desk is barely visible thanks to a jumble of papers, now’s the time to sort through them. Make three piles: one for papers to shred or toss, one for documents to file away, and one for things you need to take action on. If most of your work-related documents are digital, go ahead and spend some time organizing and cleaning those up, too. Even though digital clutter isn’t visible, it can be just as detrimental to your productivity. 

Organize Your Desk Drawers

One simple hack that can work wonders? Organize your desk drawers according to what items you use most frequently. For example, you might fill your topmost drawer with everyday items — like a notepad, pens or phone charger — while the bottom drawer is home to things like your hole punch or envelopes. Pro tip: Within each drawer, have the most used items towards the front for easy access.

 

Clean Up Unruly Cords/Cables

Just the thought of a tangled knot of cords can be stressful — and your home office is the last place you want to feel stressed. One of the easiest decluttering tips for a home office is tying cords and cables together with zip ties so they stay together and look more streamlined. Once they’re together in one convenient bunch, you can tape or hook them under or behind your desk so they’re out of sight and out of mind.