Though it hasn’t looked like it around here lately, it’s officially spring! A new season is a great chance to clean up, clear out, and refresh your home, especially after a long winter. Use these ideas below to tackle your kitchen and bathrooms as we welcome back the sunshine and say good-bye to the cold.
First, set a goal. How much time do you realistically have? Does your home truly need a deep-clean or do you want to tackle clutter? Both? Set your goals so you’re not distracted by an overstuffed closet while you’re trying to clean out the refrigerator. Tasks are split into clutter and cleaning below. It’s helpful to focus on one category at a time. And if you choose to do both, we recommend the going after clutter first — you’ll have less to clean later!
Ask yourself some questions. How many of these do I have? How many do I need? Which one do I usually reach for? Is it easy to clean/maintain? Have I used it recently, or at all? Is this expired? Do we regularly eat this food?
Get rid of anything that’s redundant. Most people do not need three rolling pins or five colanders. Clear out the extras to make some space.
Donate or sell small appliances you use infrequently or not at all. The panini press that was a wedding present eight years ago, the pour-over coffee maker that just isn’t as convenient as your regular automatic drip machine.
Is there anything you actually need? Another cutting board, kitchen tongs, or a toaster upgrade? As you clear out old or unused items, it might be a good time to add these new ones.
Toss any expired or stale items in the pantry and spice cabinet.
Use up any items that are close to expiration or you’ve had for awhile.
For pantry organization, invest in large plastic bins to store like items. Consider corralling all baking items (flour, sugar, etc.) in one bin, fruit and loose produce in another, and individual snack items in their own spot.
Toss any old papers hanging on your refrigerator or hanging out on the counter.
Most countertops don’t require much more than water, a soft cloth, and elbow grease to wipe clean. If you’d like more sanitizing power, any mild all-purpose cleaner will work well. Or add a few drops of lemon essential oil to the water for a fresh, clean scent.
Clean out your refrigerator and freezer. Remove all items from the shelves and wipe down each shelf with a soft cloth and soapy water. Remove drawers and rinse those out as well.
Wipe down cabinets with either a store-bought cleaner specific to wood cabinetry or make your own with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. Wipe down with a soft cloth or sponge and dry thoroughly. If the cabinets have built-up stains or lots of detail, a toothbrush dipped in the same solution can help remove the grime.
You can try using the self-cleaning function if your oven offers one or doesn’t have much build-up, though we prefer this method from The Kitchn for tougher jobs. Most cooktops can also be cleaned using a similar combination of water, vinegar, and baking soda.
Tips for Bathroom Clutter
Just like with the kitchen, ask yourself some questions. Which of these products/items do I truly use? Are there any duplicates I can get rid of? Which products do I use most frequently? Are they easily accessible?
Find a spot to store multiples of items, such as a storage bin in the linen closet for new bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and packs of toothbrushes. Only leave out what you need to use each day.
Toss any items that are expired, dried out, or just not worth using. Think bottles of old nail polish, mascara, and travel-sized bottles that are mostly used up.
Are there any items you would like to replace? A new makeup brush, rug, or bathroom towels? Get them! Freshen up your space.
Organization is key for the little items that can take over a bathroom. Use small bins to corral bottles and bobby pins in drawers. A toothbrush stand on the counter works just as well for holding makeup brushes. And a makeup pouch filled only with the items you use everyday makes finding those things easy.
Just like in the kitchen, a soft cloth, water, and some effort could be all it takes to wipe the countertops down. If you have more stubborn stains, make a paste with baking soda and water and let sit for a minute before wiping down.
Wipe down the shower walls. Use a store-bought solution targeted at mildew. If you have a tiled shower, use a toothbrush or other scrub brush to clean the grout and corners.
When cleaning the bathtub, work from the top down. Wipe down the walls with the mildew cleaner and work downward. Wipe out the tub with the cleaner as well, focusing around the drain and faucet. A tub ring or other stubborn stains can be tackled with a paste of baking soda and a scrub brush.
If your toilet has stains, dump a cup of baking soda in and let sit for a few minutes before flushing. If stains are still apparent, try a pumice stone or scrub brush. Then clean as usual with toilet cleaner and toilet brush.
We hope these tips help your home become both more clean and organized this spring!
If you’re considering a bigger project this spring – such as remodeling your kitchen or bath – let us help! Contact Bella Domicile to meet with one of our talented designers and begin your own remodel today! Call (608) 271-8241 or fill out an appointment request form here.