The days continue to get longer thanks to Daylight Savings Time! And, now that spring is here, it’s time to keep moving forward on this month’s Spring Cleaning Challenge. (There’s also a bonus download for you at the end of this blog post!)
This season of the Productivity Paradox is all about investing in you. This month we’re tackling spring cleaning to eliminate clutter from our lives — and give our brain a break! Cleaning up unnecessary clutter not only leaves our rooms feeling refreshed and vibrant, but it also creates a sense of calm and space in our heads. This is wonderful, especially as we take on new projects and set new goals this season.
For me, more daylight means more energy. And more energy means being able to dig into the big spaces that get a bit grimy over the long winter. It’s not the most pleasant of tasks, but it is so satisfying once it’s finally accomplished!
I go into more detail about the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of spring cleaning in this blog post, but I’m sure you know the feeling I’m talking about.
If it’s expired you won’t eat it. You didn’t six months ago, and you won’t six months from now. Check dates on everything in your pantry and fridge and compost or throw away all expired items.
If you have canned goods or boxed food that aren’t expired but you know you won’t be cooking with, either donate them to a food bank or see if a friend will use them. Getting these items out of the pantry and fridge will create much needed space for items you and your family DO enjoy.
The fridge, oven, and microwave are consistently used all year long and probably aren’t the first thing you think to clean on a weekly basis. Giving some TLC to your appliances will immediately add a little sparkle to the kitchen.
Empty the whole fridge and wipe out all the crumbs and spills that have accumulated on the shelves, crisper, and food. (This should be a little easier since you already cleared out the expired items!)
If you have a self-cleaning oven, turn that baby on and get a jump start on the microwave! You’ll be killing two birds with one sponge. If your oven isn’t self-cleaning, plan a reward for yourself and roll up your sleeves to apply a little elbow grease. You will feel so much better about serving a delicious meal from a clean oven.
Pots, pans, dishes, cutting boards, and tupperware are constantly cycling through your lunchbox, car, and dish washing machine. Since they are in constant and high demand, it can be easy to throw them in a cabinet and slam the door shut.
Take a few minutes to wipe down you cabinets and while they are empty try these simple and cost effective organization tricks:
You wouldn’t forget to clean the mirror in the bathroom, but it is easy to overlook the kitchen windows! You will be amazed at how much brighter your kitchen will look and feel after giving the windows a quick wipe down. (Especially since your appliances are already nice and sparkly.)
If you have blinds give them a dusting and put curtains through the wash. This will ensure they stay vibrant and improve the overall smell in the kitchen — because who hasn’t accidentally burned dinner or popcorn this year?
The final touch to the kitchen spring cleaning challenge! You probably do this on a more regular basis throughout the year, but take a little extra time and apply a high shine cleaner. A polished floor can make it feel brand new.
Extra credit: If you are feeling super motivated you can also wipe down the floorboards, kick boards, and even the legs of tables and chairs.
You know what’s next because we all have one — the giant kitchen drawer full of EVERYTHING, also known as the ‘junk drawer’. This drawer is usually full of batteries, rubber bands, receipts, flashlights, pens, paper, gum, medications, business cards, dog treats, loose M&Ms from two holidays ago… and anything else that isn’t easy to organize.
Empty this drawer out entirely and see what you can find a proper home for. Perhaps medications belong in the bathroom, receipts can be thrown away or filed, office supplies can be taken to the office, etc.
To keep it organized after cleaning it out, you can use drawer dividers or a utensil holder to help keep items in place.
If this list feels a little overwhelming to you, you’re not alone! Depending on how you like to dig into your spring-cleaning, you may want to schedule a morning where you do nothing but clean… or you may prefer to do one thing at a time.
Just like anything else in your life, it’s a good idea to break down this big project into manageable and achievable steps. You may want to wash the microwave on Monday, wipe down the stove top on Tuesday, and clear the fridge on Wednesday. Whichever method works best for you is the one you should follow.
I’ve even made this handy Spring Cleaning Checklist that breaks it down into weekly tasks. You’ll be done before you know it!
What tips & tricks do you have for deep cleaning your kitchen? Share in the comments so we can swap tips and advice that may help.