Cleaning the Kitchen *groan*

Aghhh time to clean the Kitchen – again!! Tuesday is Kitchen cleaning day. I was busy on Tuesday this week, so while my kitchen is fairly tidy, I committed to at least doing the things on my checklist that I didn’t get around to last week. Because last week’s Kitchen cleaning day took me over TWO HOURS!!!!

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Progress Shot from last week. Dishwasher still dirty, Donation tub sitting in the middle of the floor, kettle and kick boards not clean and a pile of rubbish in the corner.

I timed myself, more then 2 hours. I couldn’t believe it!!! Surely it doesn’t take people THAT long to clean a kitchen! I mean, I’ve been doing my Daily Habits of putting on & unpacking the dishwasher, wiping off the benches and sweeping. Every day! How??

I’ll tell you how. By not regularly cleaning things like the kickboards (they were gross!), the microwave (I even lifted it up and cleaned underneath) and the cupboards (not only the doors but the edges/sides and underneath the bench, you know that little lip part, the underside of that) not to mention those things that were taking up space that I just didn’t ever use, so last week took me what felt like FOREVER! And I didn’t even finish all my tasks on my list.

This week, I went in with the intention of just finishing the things I didn’t do last week, because let’s face it, the kitchen WAS still fairly tidy and clean. And you know what, it took me 15 minutes JUST to clean off the shelf we have in the kitchen. Decluttering, putting things away where they belong, cleaning that disgusting greasy dust that seems to sit on basically every. little. thing in the kitchen, clean off that shelf on top & underneath, and then putting it all back up. Ahhhh much better.

Firstly, I make sure that I’ve done my Daily Habits as they are important and make getting this done much easier to then move onto Tuesday Kitchen cleaning schedule:

  1. Wipe out Microwave – to start with I clean out the microwave. Personally I use a mixture of vinegar & water in a spray bottle with a paper towel/microfibre rag. This includes inside, outside and the glass turntable. The first time, you may need to do the bowl of 2 cups water, 2 cups of vinegar, slices of lemon in a microwave safe bowl and set for 5 minutes. Once it’s finished, leave for another couple of minutes before wiping out with a cloth/sponge/paper towel. I also remove my glass turntable and wash in the sink.
  2. Wipe over the front of the oven and the draw underneath – spray with your choice of spray and then wipe over with cloth/paper towel.
  3. Wipe over cabinets/draw fronts – I do this as I go around from one side to the other.
  4. Wipe over Dishwasher & Fridge –  And while you’re at the fridge, give it a quick clean out of anything obviously rotten or no longer usable/wanted and take any no-longer relevant paperwork off the front of the fridge and put it where it belongs (filing cabinet/bin/folder etc).
  5. Clean stove top & kettle – I put these steps together as we have a gas stove top and a gas kettle. And boy does our kettle get greasy. It certainly took ample amounts of “elbow grease” to clean it off (third time lucky and now it looks brand new!)
  6. Wipe over shelf, window ledge, splash back & bench tops – I do this by moving a section worth of items at a time and make sure I clean from the top down with the bench tops being last. Then, I put the items back where they belong and move onto the next section, move, clean/wipe & move back/put away. If they shouldn’t have been on the bench top/shelf, they go where they DO belong. Where I would logically look for them.
  7. Clean windows – this takes next to no time at all in our kitchen, and I REALLY need to make an effort to clean the other side at some point! Window cleaner & newspapers work REALLY well. (Or next time you get a Bunnings or any newspaper type catalogue (today I got a chemist warehouse one that would be perfect), put it with your window cleaner)
  8. Check your canisters – I make sure to check my tea/coffee/sugar canisters on cleaning day and re-fill if necessary. This is another item that isn’t an every week one, but saves me getting to the middle of the week and realising I’ve run out of coffee!!!!!
  9. Clean out sink – I spray all over and wipe from the mixer (taps) to the bottom.
  10. Wipe over bin – For this I use paper towel and throw it out. This is (in my opinion) a silly job because, well, it’s rubbish. But the difference is amazing.
  11. Wash Mat – This probably isn’t an everyone thing. I personally have a mat that says “Keep Calm & Drink Tea” (I really wanted a drink coffee one, but couldn’t find one at the time) and I like to wash it once a week. I also change the hand towel and tea towels out at this time. Even if I had to do it yesterday, or the day before (I usually do this at least once or twice in between), I will do this again, because then I at least know it definitely was done on Tuesday.
  12. Sweep & Mop – Even though I do this every night, the nightly mop is more of a spot clean. A sweep is necessary because of any crumbs or dust that have floated to the floor. I also use my steam mop on Tuesdays (I have a red, triangle head Aqua Laser Steam Mop).

MONTHLY – The first Tuesday of each month I run a clean through the dishwasher and also clean all the kick boards (which is another reason the first week took so long). The second Tuesday of each month clean the fridge shelves and give it a thorough clean out and off. This includes the top especially if it has a habit of “gathering things”.

QUARTERLY – The 3rd Tuesday of the start of a new season (September, December, March & June) I am determined to clean the oven out as well as get up and clean that greasy dust off the top of the cabinets – every quarter. I did clean the oven last month and started on that greasy dust (but quickly got overwhelmed, so it’s down for “another time”) Hint: The baking soda/water/vinegar soak does NOT work when you can’t honestly remember the last time you actually cleaned it (see my embarrassing before & after photos below eek!).

The before and after shots of my oven! EEK!!!!!

 For my kitchen cleaning schedule, I personally use Spray & Wipe (the Ajax or Coles version, whichever is better priced) for most spraying, especially the bench tops. But having a spray bottle with vinegar & water is also handy to have on hand. I also purchased some microfibre re-usable towels that I’m intending on using from now on instead of so much paper towels.

And you know what, this whole process took me less then an hour and a half this week to not only do the extra tasks I didn’t finish last week, but also complete all the other tasks. This time also included finding the 2 fish (Thank you Mr L for thinking playing with the fish outside was a great idea). Taking into account that and the bits & pieces I didn’t even consider looking at last week, I think I did pretty well and could probably finish the whole kitchen cleaning day in future for about 30-45 minutes. Except on those rare weeks where I’m needing to clean the oven.

I know that this list will not work for everyone. Not everyone has their kitchen in the same order as I do. And while this isn’t exact, I generally go from top to bottom, start at one side (for me at the Microwave & Oven) and then move to my right until I get to the end of the bench and then move over to the pantry and fridge. It works for me, you may need to do some tweaking to make it work for you. And remember, the first one seems impossible to do every week, but it WILL get faster, and if you don’t finish it all this week, start there next week like I did. I’m looking forward to seeing how quickly I do this next week.

Christine xx

PS: Yes, I have made huge progress on my plastic container situation. I will be sharing this later in the week.

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