Kitchen Cure Week #3: Deep Clean & Beautify

Kitchen Cure Week #3: Deep Clean & Beautify

This Week's Assignment: Deep Clean & Beautify
Cure Clock: 2 weeks down, 2 to go. You're halfway there...
Cure Takers: Over 2,600

It's the third week. How are you doing? I'm so impressed with the photos Cure-takers are posting on the Cure's Flickr page. You guys are going deep, and I know it's not easy. Even those who are behind are keeping their eyes on the prize - a more beautiful and organized kitchen that's ready for some serious spring cooking.

This week you'll do a deep cleaning, start that "special project" and add one beautiful thing to your kitchen.

megan_e's spiffed up pantry

First our usual note on participation: Do your best, and pace yourself. Haven't gotten all the way through the first two assignments yet? That's okay. Just march forward. 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 ongoing through the Cure, so if you don't finish one week's work by the following Friday, just keep going.

The stove side of the kitchen. Love the hanging pot rack and the knife magnet. My dad, a finish carpenter, installed the cabinets and butcher block counter tops. (Jarangi)

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 tips on both cleaning methods and products.

The curtain is temporary, borrowed from elsewhere in the apartment. I just really wanted to get rid of those blinds. I'm hoping to find some cool, sheer fabric to put up there. (portable cynicism machine)

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. Here are a few ideas:

minimallyinvasivenj reorganized this cabinet with shelf risers to open up more space.

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.

I can't stress the importance of this step enough. Your kitchen is the room where you prepare, and in most cases, eat the food that nourishes your life. A bright spot is a wonderful reminder to yourself that this is your temple, and it tells those who visit your kitchen that it's a room you care for deeply.

When I first moved to New York I had very little money, but I purposely kept an envelope with $12 in it each month. The least expensive flowers I could buy at a Manhattan deli were (and still are) $3/bunch and so every Friday after work, I would pick up a bunch on my way home. One blossom in a shot glass for the toilet, and the rest in the kitchen.

5. Stay in touch!: We have an exciting community of about 2,600 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 the Flickr group 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. Make sure to explain what's going on in each image so we can properly caption each photo.

(Images: Flickr members Jarangi, portable cynicism, meghan_e, minimallyinvasivenj, Chichi of My Chalkboard Fridg)

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