Kitchen Cure Week #3: Deep Cleaning, Special Projects and Beautifying

The Fall 2009 Kitchen Cure

I love looking at the part of the pantry that has been cured. (Amelia, Santa Monica, CA)
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This Week's Assignment: Deep Cleaning, Special Projects and Beautifying
Cure Clock: Closing in on the finish line! Two weeks of hard work left.
Cure Takers: 2,382 (Sign up closes next Friday, November 6)

It's the third week. How are you doing? I'm so impressed with the emails I'm getting from Cure-takers. You guys are going deep, and I know it's not easy. This week you'll do a deep cleaning, start that special project and add one beautiful thing to your kitchen.

First our usual note on participation: Do your best, and pace yourself. You will have a week to complete each assignment. Each assignment will be given on a Friday so you have the weekend to dive in deep, although they can all be done in short bursts throughout the week so don't panic if you're heading out of town for the weekend or would just prefer to laze about. Also, many assignments can be on-going through the Cure, so if you don't finish one week's work by the following Friday, just keep going. If you haven't finished (or started!) previous weeks' assignments, you can combine efforts this week.

Week Three Assignments

1. Catch up: Finish up any unfinished business from Week One and Week Two.

2. Clean all remaining un-cleaned surfaces: Your kitchen should be totally clean after this assignment, as in eat-off-the-floor clean. Not just the surfaces, but the appliances too. Clean your floors, oil your butcher blocks, get the grit out of the seal around your fridge. The whole nine yards. Step back and think about the nooks and crannies you've never cleaned. Take my magnetic knife rack, for example: if I don't regularly remove all the knives and run a damp cloth across the top edge, it develops a thick fluffy layer of dust. You know you have things like this in your kitchen.

Check out our post on cleaning products for the kitchen for some thoughts on natural cleansers.

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I've had a 2" gap between counter and wall for years so my special project is blocking it off! There is a progress shot. Hack carpentry 101 goin on right here. and all the wood was "reclaimed" from the scrap pile where I work (in a theater with a shop). God that thing makes me so happy too. How did I live for years with that abyss!? God only knows what is down there! (turtalia, Queens, NY)

3. Special Project Time: We talked about this last week. You were supposed to decide on your special project: something outside the organization and cleaning part of the Cure. Something that would make your kitchen more livable, solve a problem, or spruce it up. You might want to paint a chalkboard wall, or make a custom glass back splash, create your own custom knife storage solution, or strip the wall-paper. This is the week to start, if you haven't already.

What's your special project? Tell us on the Discussion Board.

4. Add something beautiful: This is not the special project, this is something quick, to get you in the swing of pampering your kitchen. Remember, it is your sanctuary. Hang some art, make a commitment to always have frugal flowers in your kitchen, or plant a windowbox.

5. Stay in touch!: We have an exciting community of about 2,400 people currently signed up for the Kitchen Cure. Smart people. Fun people! And you can meet them all if you get active on our Cure Discussion Board. Also, don't forget to check in every day with the Kitchen Cure Page where all the Cure-related posts live in one neat little package. While assignments are posted once a week on Friday, related posts are going up every day and there is a lot of conversation to be had in those posts comment threads as well.

Reminder about photographs: Submitting your photos to us really helps us see how you're doing and answer specific questions you have. If you'd like your progress to be showcased in a post, please take them on the highest quality setting you have on your camera and with as much natural light as possible. Submit your photos directly to The Kitchn. Using the "go for it!" form, make sure to explain what's going on in each image so we can properly caption each photo.

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2009, The Kitchn Cure

Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.

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