September 18, 2022 6 min read

Welcome back to the Clean Kitchen Challenge.  this week were going to focus on our countertops and all of the drawers. Let's get right into it.

 

 

Counters

This can be a big job. If it's too much for you just focus on one counter at a time and work on the next one tomorrow. Just don't move on until the counters are cleared. 

  1. Set up three boxes or bags. One for trash, one for donations, and one for things you will keep
  2. Start with the easiest counter. Could be the smallest, or the one with the least amount of stuff on it. Take everything off of the countertop. Wash the countertop down with some warm diluted Good Vibes APC.  Choose 3 items to put back on the counter (maybe 5 items if you have large counters?) Sort what's not going back on the counter into the trash, donate or keep boxes.  If it belongs in the kitchen, put it away.  
  3. If you choose to have appliances on the counter, ask yourself,  How often do I use this? Does it justify taking up counter space? If you don’t need it on the counter, find a cabinet to put it in.
  4. Make a habit of glancing over the kitchen counters three times a day. Encourage your family to put items where they belong instead of plopping them anywhere. If an item is already in your hand, you might as well put it away; then you don’t have to come back and do it later.
  5. Throw away the trash, put your donate box into the car, and then put away everything in your keep box. 

 

Drawers

Go through each drawer one at a time. Empty all the contents and clean the drawer and drawer organizer.  Hold every single item in your hand and make a decision about it.

 

Junk Drawer

What's in there? Extra screws? Instruction manuals that you never look at? A broken flashlight? Pencils that are too short? Stamps from 10 years ago? And why do we keep these things? After trying many years to sort and organize it, I have concluded that the best way to get rid of it is this: just dump it. 

Dump it into a box, tape up the box, and set it in your storage area for a month. If you haven’t had to dig anything out of the box during that time, then toss it in the dumpster - don’t even think about looking in it! 

Doing this means opening up a whole drawer of new space opportunities! Hint: now you could keep a pen/pencil and paper or a few miscellaneous items/tools here (whatever you DO use often) to keep them off of your countertop space. This will help your countertop to stay clear and remain a usable workspace. Only allow things back into this drawer that help you to stay organized and prepared for your current week. Do NOT allow things to creep into this drawer that do not belong.

From now on, if you don’t know what to do with something… just throw it away. There is no point in keeping 20-30 items that don’t “belong” anywhere. If they don’t “belong,” then they don’t belong in your house! 

 

Mixing and Measuring Tools Drawer

How often do you bake? How many baking essentials do you actually use? Evaluate your baking items, and keep only what you use regularly. 

If you have any items that you keep “just in case you decide to start baking someday” then let them go. If you haven’t used them already, the odds are you won’t. Let go of that fantasy life. Most people don’t use a KitchenAid mixer enough to justify the expense of it, let alone the space it takes in the kitchen. But, if you do use your mixer regularly, evaluate any extra attachments that you have for it, have you never used them? Let them go and let someone else use them. 

Toss all mix-matched measuring cups and spoons. Limit your measuring collection to one set each. Pick which one you like the most.  It's going to be so nice to open a drawer and see one pretty set instead of a jumbled mess! Also, how many multi-cup measure pitchers/bowls do you have? How many mixing bowls are you holding onto? How many do you really need? Just like the rest of the kitchen, there is no need to have excess when the dishes are done regularly. 

 

Kitchen Linen Drawer

Pull out any and all items you have that fit into the “linen” category.

This includes:

  • Hand towels
  • Dust cloths
  • Dish towels
  • Tablecloths
  • Dishcloths
  • Placemats
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Cloth napkins
  • Rags
  • Aprons

 

Lay them out on your table in piles and categories: kitchen linens, table linens, cleaning linens, etc. 

Start purging all the raggedy ones and the ones you never liked.  Put aside the ones you never use because they are “too nice." 

Evaluate what is left. Do you have more than you need? If you have more than would reasonably fit in the space used to store them, you have too many.  

From now on, we are washing our kitchen linens regularly, so we only need to keep what we can store.  As a general rule, store your linens where they will be used.  For example, dish towels and dishcloths should be kept close to the sink (in a basket under the sink or drawer nearby). Keep the cleaning cloths/rags near the cleaning supplies. Table linens need to be as close to the table as possible. If you have a drawer near your table, put them in there.  Put away the linens. 

Now take a look at the "good" table linens.  Decide to use them for fancy dinners or donate them to someone who will.  What good is having nice things if you never even use them? Put them away or take them straight to the car with the rest of the linens you will be donating. 

 

Gadgets and Utensil Drawers

I must admit, walking through Bed Bath Beyond's kitchen gadgets section, feels like skipping through an enchanted flower garden for me.  I love me some kitchen gadgets. I love them all!!!  But this week, we’re looking at all those “helpful” kitchen gadgets that we find ourselves digging through to get to the one way in the back of the drawer.

 

  1. Take all the all utensils and gadgets out of the drawers
  2. Lay them out on the counter or table, so you can see them.
  3. Throw away any trash items: chopsticks, plastic silverware, silly loop straws, etc.
  4. Pick up all that you use weekly and put them back into the drawer.
  5. Look at all that is left. Ask yourself these questions: How often do I use this? What would I do if I didn’t have this? Is this useful for the way I want to live my life or is it just for my fantasy life as Martha Stewart?
  6. Put as much as you can into the donate box.
  7. If you have seasonal items that you use or items that you are uncertain about, place them in a storage box, label and tape the box, and place it in the garage or unused shelf near the kitchen. After six months to a year, if you haven’t had to dig it out, you know that you don’t need to keep it anymore.

 

Nobody better not touch my apple slicer though. Or the apple corer. Yes. I need them both! 

 

Flatware Drawers

  1. Remove everything from your flatware drawer.
  2. Wipe the drawer out. Toss any unused children’s utensils, chopsticks, corncob holders, plasticware (recycle these), etc.
  3. Place your flatware organizer back in the drawer. Place only the settings you need in the drawer. The ones for your family members plus two more for when you have company. 

 

Be relentless about getting rid of clutter.  If you can’t drop it off at a donation center, google organizations that will pick up donations in your area. Don't be afraid to let go of the extras, "just in case you need it." We're going to maintain our beautiful kitchens by keeping everything clean and available, so you won't have to worry about not having the items you need in the moments that you need them. Create abundance elsewhere in your life.  We don't need an abundance of kitchen items. 

Check back in when you're done. I'd love to see your pictures on IG. Use hashtag #goodvibeskitchenchallenge and tag us @goovibesapc. Happy cleaning!

 

Ymani Efunyale
Ymani Efunyale

I created Good Vibes because my family deserved better, and so does yours 💚


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