And let me just say, you guys are really doing well. I have been blown away by the pictures you all are posting! So much so, that I am having a hard time keeping up with everyone, so here is our new plan. Each week I will post a comment on the Family Faith and Friday's Facebook page that says Week 3 Assignment for 34 Weeks of Clean. If you would be gem and leave all of the pictures there it would really help me out. Right now you can find pictures of pantries in about 5 places (including my personal FB page) and my head is swimming! ;) Don't forget, this post will be on our Family, Face and Fridays Facebook page and from here on out, only pictures on those posts on that page will count!
Remember, by posting a picture of your progress each week, you will be entered into a drawing for a $50.00 prize package from our friends at 621 Gifts! If you need help choosing from their products, another one of our favorites has been the Buckaroo Brownies! They are gluten-free and yummy!
Next up- Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers. Now, I know that for some of you that is a lot of ground to cover. No worries, you have a whole week. Rome was not built in a day, nor will our homes be transformed in a day. Slow and steady wins the race, I promise. Hold off on all those recipes, as well as the stove and fridge- don't worry they are coming up soon! Some of you, I will NOT name names but you know who you are, are so excited to make changes you are like a racehorse on a mission. I applaud you, but want to remind you we want to make changes that stick. Don't wear yourself out so quick that I cannot find you in a few months!
Remember our goals- deep clean all those surfaces and de-clutter what we don't need or simply do not use anymore and reorganize.
- Take everything out of the cabinets and drawers. (See, I told you to get used to that!) You may want to dedicate one day to cabinets and one to drawers if you are overwhelmed or just do 15 minutes a day, but yes, take it ALL out!
- Wipe down all surfaces, inside and out. Don't forget to clean places like silverware holders and baskets and such. For me "the such" includes containers under the sink that hold cleaners. You would think that if they hold cleaners they would be clean, but think again! ;)
|You can tell by these pictures I did this on two days! One day was for the inside of everything and one for the outside!|
- Once everything has been cleaned, put things back neatly, weeding out any unneeded items. Here is where you need to stop and think! Do I need it? Do I use it? Do I love it? Is it just taking up space? Is this the best location for me to put it in? For example, we have lived in this house a year now and a few things still were not right in the kitchen. I changed the location of a few things and it just works better. Knives are closer to the stove and the drawer with placemats is closer to the table. I know if the waffle maker is at arm's reach, I will use it! If it is tucked way back in a cabinet and hard to get, it gathers dust.
- If you have a gravy boat you use faithfully every Easter and Christmas, by all means keep it! If you have a springform pan that you may use ONE DAY to make a cheesecake that has been waiting for that time for the past 10 years, maybe it is time to pass it on to some other chef-wanna-be! Again, do you need it, use it, and love it? Or can you just borrow from the neighbor or make do without?
- If you store cooking ingredients in your cabinets now is the time to check expiration dates and toss what is old. Do not skip this step, seriously! Sauces and such do get old and we tend not to notice them as quickly because we do not use them as often. Also, label, label, label! If you do not know what it is, you will not, or at least, should not use it! I had several jars of UFOs and I could not remember what they were. Sad, but true.
- Got two of something? Try to consolidate. One exception to this rule is cooking utensils, but do not use that as an excuse to have hundreds! Really, no matter how many you cook for, you can only use so many at one time.
- Going out on a limb here- but re-think your plastic storage. It can absolutely take over your kitchen and rumor has it that it is not healthy for you anyway. ;) I now have 2 large ones I use, and the other times I use glassware. All those plastic cups you bring home from restaurants- throw them out, and don't allow any more in. We have found that mason jars are great to drink out of and you can use the little ones for the little people in your life. You can even get cool tops for them now! We keep two water bottles for each family member and yes, those coffee things are my kids'. No comment from me. ;)
- Throw out old spices! They do not keep for years, no matter what anyone tells you! And organize and consolidate! You do not need three of each and if you cannot remember what they are, you are never going to use them. I love my old Tupperware organizer, but use whatever works for you. I do have a few new spices in a basket now (who else LOVES Penzy Spices?) simply because I have run out of room in my other containers. And yes, I DID get rid of the ones I do not ever use.
- Match your pots and pans with all their lids and stack neatly. If you have non-stick pans, make sure they are in good shape. For health and safety, if they are peeling, throw them out.
- This week is a good time to throw away old dishcloths and scrubbie things! You can do it. Once a year is not too often to just start fresh. We buy a stack of white washcloths and white towels for washing and drying dishes as well as our hands. We also use cloth napkins, so we keep those in drawers as well. Each person in our family has their own color.
- Throw those crusty pot holders in the washing machine and clean or wash the decorative rugs while you are at it!
- A note about junk drawers! Do you have one and why are they usually in the kitchen?? I would love to tell you that this is one thing you do not need, but let's face it, that is not the truth. Go ahead, open it up, throw away all the stuff you do not need and at least make it look neat and tidy. To help with the clutter, I keep a file folder in that drawer that houses flyers and odd papers I need to reference in a hurry. It just helps keep things more contained and neat looking.
Once every space has been emptied, cleaned, decluttered, and reorganized, it is time to step back and admire your success!
Rest up; a new assignment will be posted next Monday! We are making progress, my friends!