Thinking about doing some spring cleaning in the next couple of days, but can’t seem to find the motivation to do it? Or, simply don’t know where or how to start? Marie Kondo, one of the most well-known organizing and cleaning experts, has been inspiring individuals around the world through her Netflix special and book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
In her book, Kondo explains The KonMari Method™, a way of cleaning your house by category. With this method, you pick up an object, ask yourself if it sparks joy and if it doesn’t, you thank it for its service and dispose. This may be helpful for clothing and knickknacks, but this method can be slightly more complicated with kitchen items like bowls and spoons that may not give you joy, but without, you’d have to start eating dry cereal straight out of the box with your hands like a raccoon. You can use The KonMari Method for your kitchen and pantry but think of it more like you are surveying your food and tools for their usefulness as well as the joy they may give.
To help you get started on your spring cleaning, here are some tips and tricks that will turn your kitchen into a place that sparks year-round joy. To begin, lay everything out in each area. This will help you see everything you have and assess the entire situation better, categorize, and make thoughtful decisions.
A helpful tip from Marie Kondo’s book is to arrange your cleaning into categories – clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous, and mementos. In the kitchen, you will be mainly focusing on miscellaneous and memento items. This helps break up the workload and helps you focus on what you have. Start with where you think you have the most work to do, like your refrigerator, pantry, or cabinets, since you’ll have the most time and energy at the beginning.
First, make sure everything in your cupboards and refrigerator is not expired. Many foods have expiration dates you wouldn’t think of so do the research. Then, throw out or donate food you don’t eat. If you have a bunch of full cumin jars but rarely use cumin, get rid of them.
If you love your morning toast and coffee, make sure your coffee pot and toaster are easy to use and see. That crock pot you only use on chilly December nights? Store that bad boy farther back to keep daily items front and center. You can even get super specific and prioritize things like your spices. Try to keep them in rows or put them on a tiered rack for an easy reach.
Another tip Kondo gives for kitchens and cupboards is to stack vertically. This helps you view and access your items. For maximum storage, you can purchase or make freestanding internal shelves that you can place on top of dishes and other tools. Better bins make a world of difference when organizing.
Even if an item may not be the most useful, like an antique tea kettle or a novelty Disneyland mug, it may still give you joy and is worth holding on to and displaying. In this step ask yourself “do I love it?” “Does it move me?” If the answer is “yes,” keep it. But, make sure your joy isn’t a cover for the guilt you feel for donating an ugly wedding gift blender from your in-laws or a set of tablecloths that were expensive, but not your taste anymore.
While all your items and additional racks are out of the pantry, wipe down the shelving with warm water and soap. Even if they don’t seem dirty, there is always dust and germs building up on the surface. Feel free to do this to each item to remove things like stickiness or crumbs. You will have your storage units sparkling in no time.
While you are waiting for your cupboards to dry, grab a label maker or paper, a sharpie, and packing tape to create your own labels. Labeling will help you find what you are looking for the next time you enter the space. It will also keep you more organized in the future – if you have a designated area for something you are more likely to put things in their correct place the next time around.
Don’t let your hard work go unseen! Take before and after pictures to show just how much you cleaned and organized your kitchen. The pictures will probably leave you shocked and wondering how you ever lived with a messy kitchen in the first place! It will also be a good reference point when you come back for round two in a couple weeks or months for another deep clean!
What better time to declutter and organize your home than right now! With spring almost in full bloom, we hope this guide inspires you to clean your kitchen and create a space that you love to spend time in! For additional information on general cleaning tips and tricks, head on over to our Spring Cleaning page! Good luck and happy tidying!