42 Kitchen Chores You Can Check Off Your To-Do List, Thanks to That Extra Hour of Daylight

published Nov 6, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Modern and bright Loft kitchen
Credit: Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images

The end of Daylight Saving Time is here and while I definitely don’t feel ready for 4 p.m. sunsets, I’m trying to look on the brighter side of things. On the plus side, from now until March 12 I won’t have to wake up in total darkness, I will have a legitimate excuse to go to bed at 9 p.m. (or earlier), and on this day, Sunday, November 6, I will gain an extra hour in my day. And you will too!

Now, what you do with that extra hour is really up to you and I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to use those extra minutes to laze in the luxury of knowing that it’s an hour earlier than it feels. But if you want to put that time to good use, you should know that there are a lot of things you can get done in the kitchen in an hour — or less!

Choose one or a few and you’ll also banish some of those Sunday Scaries.

  1. Clean your garbage disposal. This multi-step process takes some time, but still less than an hour! When you’re done, your disposal will be squeaky-clean and odor-free.
  2. Clean your stand mixer. Baking season is coming. Get ready by cleaning your stand mixer. Dust it, wipe it down, and run a toothpick in all the nooks and crannies. 
  3. Replace any burnt-out lightbulbs. You’ll need to see what you’re doing when it’s time to roll out that pie dough for Thanksgiving!
  4. Take inventory of what’s in your freezer. By knowing what you have, you can avoid buying doubles and can plan to use things up, so you have more space for holiday food. 
  5. Polish your stainless appliances. Don’t give all your love to just the fridge and dishwasher. Hit your toaster — and those little patches of stainless steel on your stovetop and microwave want to shine, too. 
  6. Clean underneath your oven. Chances are you haven’t done this in a while. It’s time.
  7. Clean your refrigerator’s condenser coils. It will make your fridge more efficient and may even save on energy costs. 
  8. Declutter your mug collection. And make every day a “favorite mug day.” 
  9. Go through your teas. If you don’t like that one tea that’s been sitting in your cabinet now, you’re not going to wake up wanting it five weeks from now.
  10. Clean out your refrigerator. This might seem like a huge task, but you really can do it in about half an hour. 
  11. Go through your leftovers. With any luck, you’ll find something you can eat before it goes bad. 
  12. Organize your food storage containers and lids. Check out this $13 way to organize your lids for good. 
  13. Take inventory of your spices. Avoid the last-minute dash to the store for allspice by noticing now that you’re down to the dregs. 
  14. Wipe all the lids of your condiments. And while you’re at it, clean out your condiment collection
  15. Scrub your sink. We’re partial to Bar Keeper’s Friend
  16. Oil your cutting boards. Keep these kitchen beauties in their best (and safest) condition. 
  17. Clean your faucet with a detail scrub brush. Get those seams and that pesky hard water-stained rim where the faucet meets the countertop. 
  18. Organize your under-sink area. Make it easier to reach under your sink for the sink stopper, disinfectant, or heavy-duty scrubber. 
  19. Clean your microwave. Choose from one of these four easy ways to do it. 
  20. Throw out five expired items from your pantry. Make a little bit of room in there by tossing stuff that’s only taking up real estate. 
  21. Sweep and mop the floor. Even if you vacuum regularly, sweeping allows you to get the dirt and debris that hangs out in your kick space. And nothing gets a kitchen floor really clean like a good old-fashioned wet mop can. 
  22. Wipe down your cabinet doors. Cabinet doors don’t usually get much cleaning attention. Crossing this off your list will make your whole kitchen feel clean. We like Murphy’s Oil Soap for the job. 
  23. Empty your drawers and vacuum or wipe out any crumbs. You’d be surprised how many crumbs and stray hairs find their way into your drawers. 
  24. Wash out your trash can. It contains your kitchen’s dirtiest things and definitely needs a good cleaning, inside and out. Weather permitting, do this job outside, with a hose. 
  25. Clear off your countertops. Clutter on your countertops makes the whole kitchen feel like a mess. Take stock of what really needs to be out and put everything else away. 
  26. Clean out your junk drawer. Check this out for inspiration. 
  27. Refill your salt cellar and pepper grinder. Won’t it be nice to not run out when you’re in the middle of making dinner? 
  28. Clean your stovetop. Whether it’s a glass stovetop or a gas range, a clean stovetop will make you feel great next time you go to cook.  
  29. Wash your oven knobs. Take them off, if you can, and soak them in a bowl with sudsy dish soap. Or clean them with a rag and all-purpose cleaner. 
  30. Clear out takeout condiments, paper goods, and menus. Will you really remember to use that tiny paper pack of red chili pepper the next time you order pizza? 
  31. Clean your backsplash grout. Try using a small piece of Magic Eraser to wipe grubby grout clean. 
  32. Wash your range hood filter. You can complete the task with hot water, baking soda, dish soap, and a scrub brush. 
  33. Run a cleaning tablet through your dishwasher. These Affresh dishwasher tablets are a bestseller on Amazon. 
  34. Clean papers and magnets off the front of the fridge. After a while you don’t even see them anymore, but you’ll definitely notice a difference when you clear them off. 
  35. Get your cast iron pan in the best shape of its life. Get your prized skillet in top form for browning meat and caramelizing onions. Check out this step-by-step guide. 
  36. Refill your soap dispensers. Fill hand soap and dish soap, so you don’t have to interrupt your dishwashing session when either one runs out. 
  37. Set all the clocks to the same time. It’s the little things, right? Take the time-change occasion to set all your kitchen clocks to the same time. (Don’t forget your microwave.)
  38. Go through your dishes and toss anything that’s cracked. Get rid of anything that’s super chipped, while you’re at it.
  39. Run vinegar through your coffee maker. A machine that has water running through it once (or more!) a day needs a refresh.
  40. Clean out your bag of bags. Every kitchen has one. And you simply don’t need that many! Ideally, we’re talking about reusable totes here, so pick out your favorites and find new homes for the rest. (Homeless shelters often LOVE getting tote bag donations!)
  41. Wipe down the chairs around your kitchen table. When was the last time you did that?
  42. Line the top of your fridge and cabinets with newspaper or wax paper. Here’s why.

What are you planning to do with your extra hour?