The weather is getting chilly here in the Northeast. That means the holidays are right around the corner. How’s that kitchen looking for you?
If it doesn’t inspire you to cook your best harvest meals, I invite you to join us for the Good Vibes Kitchen Cleaning Challenge. Each week, for four weeks, we will post new cleaning challenges for you to work on. Ultimately, our goal is for you to have a kitchen you look forward to cooking in.
We’ll start week one off easy. Follow along as best you can, doing as much as your time allows. This week we'll tackle:
Pull out your trash can. Replace the bag if necessary. Pick up all the trash you see in your kitchen: leftover food scraps, junk mail, packaging, etc. Move quickly; don’t overthink. If something needs to be sorted before tossing, then skip it (focus on the trash). Complete this task as fast as possible, don’t let it take more than 20 minutes. Once your trash bag is full, take it out to the garbage. If you need to take a couple of bags out, then do that now. Don’t let any trash sit in your kitchen.
Get rid of all the papers in your kitchen, because, why are they there? The majority of papers are there to inform you. Once you have read the paper, you have been informed, and you no longer need it.
Find a clear spot for your decluttering station. Gather all the papers all over the kitchen. Off the fridge, microwave, by the phone, on the counters, in cupboards, stuffed in drawers (those damn menus). If it’s a paper, take it to your decluttering station.
Sort papers into four piles:
Recycle the garbage. Put your papers to deal with in a “to-do” box and set it somewhere else, for the time being. Put your time sensitive papers in a manila envelope. If they have expired – shred and recycle them. Finally, stash the sentimental papers in a box in the closet to address at another time (sentimental items slow you down; sort them after the challenge).
Collect them from around the house. Soak them if you need to. Wash them all, dry them and put them away. By hand or via dishwasher, don’t stop until it’s done. If you have kids, get them to help you with this one. There shouldn’t be nary a single dirty dish anywhere in your house when you’re done with this task.
A good way to keep dishes from piling up in the sink is to implement the single-cup rule. My great-grandmother (maternal), used to set a tin cup on her kitchen sink. When anyone wanted something to drink, they would use that cup, wash it out and set it back on the sink. It prevents dishes from piling up unnecessarily.
Now that all the dishes have been washed, it’s the perfect time to scrub that sink. You’ll need some baking soda, Good Vibes All Purpose Cleaner, and a scrubber sponge or Sponge Daddy. Sprinkle the sink with baking soda, then pour about a tablespoon of Good Vibes concentrate on the sponge, and get to scrubbing. Scrub in small circles all around the sink. Scrub the traps over the drains, and scrub around the faucet. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Next, take a dry towel or washcloth and dry it completely - buffing the faucet area. Toss the old washcloth in the laundry basket and set out a fresh one for the next day.
We're going to make this part of our evening routine after washing the dishes every night. Having that sparkling sink to greet you in the morning makes for a really good day.
OK, now that we have gotten the easier tasks out of the way, it's time to roll up our sleeves and get busy! Everybody loves cleaning windows, right? Of course, we do!
First things first. Stand back and take a good look at your kitchen windows. Do you love what you see? Assess your window dressing. Is it simple or complicated? Does it attract dirt and grime? Do you have to clean or launder it every season? Is it a busy pattern that takes away from the kitchen aesthetic? Try to be as minimalist as possible with your kitchen window décor. Less is more here. Choose a dressing that lets in as much light as possible, is easy to clean, and is not a dust magnet. The point is to look out of the window, not at the window curtain.
Next, if you have any items on your window sill, remove them all. As you hold each item in your hand, ask yourself if it serves you. If the answer is no, ask yourself if it brings you joy. If you don't love it and you have no use for it, toss it or put it in your donation box...its clutter.
Next, dilute some Good Vibes APC in a bucket of water and wipe down your window sill at the very least. If you’re up to it, go ahead and wash your windows (refer to this article on window washing).
Add cleaning and decluttering windows to your weekly cleaning routine so that you will always have a beautiful window to look out of while you wash the dishes, sip your coffee or wait for the rice to finish boiling. Windows are for gazing out of. Make an effort to keep your windows and window sills clean and clutter-free.
Check back in when you’ve completed your tasks this week and let us know how you feel about your kitchen so far.
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