Lots of people believe in spring cleaning, but I think it's just as important to clean as you head into fall. Why? Because you're phasing out the summer stuff (Popsicle molds, melamine dinnerware, etc.) and getting ready for a nesting period, during which you're more likely to entertain at home, cook heartier meals, and generally be inside more — only to be annoyed by clutter and messes. And if you're lucky, you've spent almost every weekend of the last three months at the beach or pool instead of inside cleaning the house, so the kitchen has probably gotten a little grimy.
But let's be honest — you don't want to waste your last holiday weekend of the summer! With that in mind, here's our efficient plan for getting the kitchen up to date — in just one day.
1. De-junk the fridge.
Especially when you're gone every weekend, old food and mostly used condiments tend to build up in the fridge. Take 30 minutes to declutter the fridge now (you don't have to Kon-Mari it, but you could!), then wipe down the shelves and handles to get it sparkling.
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2. Pack up seasonal items.
If your grilling gear, drink koozies, and cooler rarely see the light of post-Labor Day, take the time now to give them a deep clean, dry them off, and pack them up in your seasonal storage area (I'm guessing the basement, garage, or attic?). And give your grill a good clean, too — you'll be grateful come Memorial Day next year!
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3. Disinfect your surfaces.
You may regularly wipe down your countertops and stovetop, but now's a good time to disinfect the spots that might not get a regular scrub, like the far corners of the countertops, cabinet doors and knobs, the sink, the faces of your appliances, and inside the refrigerator and microwave.
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4. Wash those windows.
The days are getting shorter, so you need every ounce of sunlight you can get! Grab your microfiber cloth and vinegar-water mixture and give them a scrub.
See the steps: How To Wash a Window
5. Deep-clean the rest of your appliances.
Run a vinegar mixture through your dishwasher to remove built-up gunk (or use Lemonade Kool-Aid if you're in a pinch). And yes, you should clean your oven now too. Even if you didn't use it much over the hot, hot summer.
6. Clean the floors.
Give your floors a sweep, then scrub them with your favorite commercial cleaner or a vinegar-water solution. Start by pulling out any appliances you can to get behind them, then tuck them back in and work your way out from the farthest corner to the entryway.
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And you're done! Pour yourself a glass of wine and consider ordering takeout for dinner, so you don't undo all the work you just did!
Will you be cleaning this weekend? The whole kitchen or just a few areas here and there?