As I have mentioned earlier, I’ve spent the last week deep cleaning my kitchen. This is something I’ve never done. I’ve given it a good surface clean, but in the 3 years I have lived in this apartment, I’ve never reeeeally cleaned my kitchen. Like, reeeeally cleaned it. With my Pinterest as my guide, I attempted to clean every surface, behind/underneath everything. Some things worked. Others did not. Here are a few of my favorite tips for keeping a clean and healthy kitchen.
1. It’s not as simple as cleaning with Baking Soda.
I am a fan of using baking soda to clean instead of toxic chemicals, however, it’s not a miracle worker. For hard to get off, baked-on grease, it found it very hard to remove with just baking soda and water, or ever vinegar, for that matter. What did work? Steel wool and a bit of baking soda. After day of letting the baking soda sit and scrubbing for hours, what worked best was plain ol’ steel wool. Took everything right off. I started using to clean anything that seemed a little gunky, it was a total time saver.
2. Water and lemon in the microwave works wonders.
I had been using a magic eraser on the microwave, which works fine, but this method was amazing. I microwaved a mug of water and lemon juice for 5 minutes. Then I took a paper towel and all the caked-on food just wipes right off. It saved so much time, because I was able to get other things done in the 5 minutes it was microwaving, plus the wipe up took, maybe 30 seconds. And my microwave smelled beautiful and lemony.
3. The right organizational tools will work wonders.
I’m so cheap and lazy, I’ve never really invested in organizational tools for my kitchen. I always think I can DIY it, but some things you just need to give in and get something easy. My utensil drawer was insane. It was, literally, a drawer of loose knifes, hand me down utensils and dirty measuring cups. A drawer organizer really helped out. I got one similar to this at Target, but I saw the same one at Ross for half the price. I also bought a few shelves at the Dollar Store (similar to this) for stacking spices and canned foods. It really helped with visibility and organization in my jack up cabinet system I’ve got going here. I also got rid of any utensils I wasn’t using. Why must I have a back up stash of spatulas? I already had so many in my drawer, then another stash in a another cabinet of, like, four more. I also upgraded anything that was looking twenty plus years old and unusable.
4. Compost without the smell.
I’ve been storing my compost pail in my freezer for years. I don’t really use my freezer, so it works out perfectly. It freezes the food so it doesn’t decompose and smell. It makes me more willing to compost knowing that it’s not all gross under my sink.
5. Keep the things you use visible.
Before my deep clean I had a lot of junk, just shoved in a corner. Afterwards, I gave my countertops a little more thought. I kept the things I use most often in plain sight and in easy to reach places. I also paid closer attention on how to store my fruits and veggies. My instinct has always been to shove everything in the fridge, still in it’s bags. This lead to a lot of food getting lost and going bad. You can find wonderful guides at MintLife and Divine Caroline. Keeping fruits and veggies visible also reminds me how yummy they are. I snack on them a lot more frequently and don’t have to throw out as much spoiled food.
6. Buy fresh and buy often.
I have learned that in my teeny kitchen that food can get easily lost. so keeping less food in the house works best. Buying more often means my food is fresh and that tastes so much better. Also it allows me for adjust for eating out. I used to plan for the whole week, buy food for all my planned meals, and then by mid-week I would get lazy and order out, or go out to dinner with friends and that left all the fresh food to rot and take out boxes to pile up. It was too much clutter.