Have you started to spring clean? I haven’t and I need to get a plan in place! I have a big purge I need to do in the basement and my kitchen is on the list too. Spring Cleaning Part Two is a follow up to a blog I posted two years ago. The original blog Spring Cleaning Starts in the Kitchen focused on following the four easy steps of cleaning, separating, cooking and chilling. This post will give you tips to de-clutter the kitchen and organize your fridge, plus how to keep ahead of the cleaning (I need to take my own advice!).

De-cluttering your Kitchen

Do you have a ‘catch-all’ drawer in your kitchen? I know I do. I recommend starting with that drawer and don’t be afraid to throw things out. I ask you, do you really need 5 sets of measuring spoons? Once you de-clutter your kitchen you’ll find it a more inviting and relaxing space.

Here are my top 5 de-cluttering tips:

  1. Use leftovers in the fridge soon as possible! Store them on the top shelves so you immediately see them when you open the refrigerator door.
  2. Refresh your spice drawer/ rack every six months. Toss expired spices and always keep them in a cool dark space to preserve their quality and limit bacterial growth.
  3. Pitch out chipped and cracked plates or glassware, not only can these items increase the chance of accidents but bacteria can harbor in them.
  4. Store small appliances (toasters, juicers, coffee bean grinders) in cupboards or the pantry when you are not using them. This allows you more food prep counter space.
  5. Reduce paper clutter. If you store bills and other paper in the kitchen, make sure you have a filing system. Try converting your paper recipes to electronic files (that may seem like a huge job – but do a few a week and by the end of the year you will have less paper!)

Organizing your Fridge

Organizing your fridge will maintain freshness and food safety in your kitchen.

Here are my top 3 organizing tips:

1.  Place raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood in sealed containers or plastic bags on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. This will avoid contamination to other foods and the refrigerator from the raw juices.

2.  Wash, peel and chop veggies after grocery shopping. Then store them in the same area or drawer. Keeping them together will assist in both keeping track of their freshness for recipes and simplifying your shopping list.

3.  Store eggs in the original container on the middle shelf. This is helpful for two reasons – you can easily read the expiration date and the middle shelf provides the most consistent temperature.

Five ways to stay on track with Cleaning

Finally – if you clean while you’re prepping and cooking and keep to a cleaning schedule, then Spring Cleaning shouldn’t be such a big task!

  1. Clean while you are cooking and avoid leaving things until the end.
  2. Pick a day and time to do deep cleaning requirements (cupboards, inside of the refrigerator etc.).
  3. Teach your children to assist with the cleaning duties, this will get them involved in the kitchen and the cleaning will be completed by many hands.
  4. Sweep or vacuum the kitchen floor once a day – ideally after cooking dinner and attempt to mop it weekly.
  5. Empty the trash often and place the trash in a larger bin outside. The garbage can should also be cleaned weekly by filling it with hot water and adding a cleanser to decrease bacteria build-up and odour.

Bottom Line

Organization and cleanliness in the kitchen is imperative for maintaining a safe environment to reduce the risk of the overflowing ‘catch-all’ drawer, and more importantly food-borne illnesses and eliminating bacteria. Plus it is so much fun to work in a clean, organized kitchen to create your delicious, healthy meals!