Christmas is almost here and guess which area of your home is all set to become the hub of the most important activity during the holiday? If you answered kitchen you’re absolutely right!
Cooking can leave your kitchen in a mess, and you know how fast word spreads within family. You certainly don’t want to become infamous as the one who can’t keep her kitchen up to mark, do you? Cleaning out your kitchen right before the festivities begin is a great way of ensuring that doesn’t happen.
Of course, there is going to be a lot of cooking with your appliances as well. But do not fear. In this post, we tell you how to clean your kitchen and your indispensable appliances for a sparkling and a memorable Christmas.
1. To Begin With, De-Clutter
When you start planning the kitchen-cleaning, remember that cooking for Christmas can leave your kitchen a tad overwhelmed. The countertops and tables are bound to get filled with plates and bowls full of food. So basically, you’re going to need a lot of space.
The best way to create space is to de-clutter – get rid of the unwanted items and make room for what is to come. It isn’t as simple as it sounds, though. It takes time, energy and careful consideration.
You can start by clearing out the kitchen counter(s). Next, you can empty the dishwasher and fill the kitchen sink/dishpan with hot soapy water for quickly cleaning all the other dusty items.
Make sure you have ample sturdy black/opaque garbage bags handy to dispose of the unwanted items. These will hold the discarded items very well and will also help you resist the urge to retrieve something back from the trash as they hide whatever goes into them.
You can make money as you de-clutter your kitchen by holding a garage sale for items that aren’t trash, but not meant for your home anymore either. Alternatively, you can also donate them.
2. Organize What You Have
Once all the clutter is out, you will need to work on organizing everything that you have. These can be boxes, utensils, crockery, dishes, bowls, and so on.
One of the best ways of organizing boxes is by labeling them either according to their contents or where they are to be stored, or both.
Grouping similar items and storing them together will make locating things easy for you. When it comes to organizing edible food items with a limited shelf-life, store them as per their date of expiration so that the ones to expire the earliest get used first.
A great way to save time on locating things is to store them in clear containers. Remove items such as cocoa powder spices, and herbs etc. from their packets and store them in clear, air-tight plastic containers to avoid scattering them all over your counter every time you use them.
Using drawer dividers can go a long way in making optimal utilization of the available space and creating a little spot for everything.
3. Keep the Cleaning Going
Having an organized kitchen will bring you immense peace and calm when working in it. Once you start cooking for Christmas, however, your kitchen is bound to get messy repeatedly. But keep cleaning as you work.
Keep your kitchen sink ready with warm soapy water to soak the soiled dishes as and when they come out. Run your dishwater as soon as it is ready and empty it as soon as they are done to make way for the next batch.
Keep wiping your countertops and tabletops. Clean up the spills and avoid any kind of messy build-up right away to avoid doing everything at the end of the day.
4. Clean Your Appliances
When whipping up all those tasty Christmas treats for everyone, you’re bound to use almost all your kitchen appliances. Whether it is your oven, toaster or your home coffee maker, they all need a little TLC. Here’s how you can show them some love.
- Oven-Toaster-Griller Care:
You can cook all the toasties and pizzas that you want in this multipurpose appliance, but make sure you clean out the crumbs and the grease by removing the rack, tray, and soiled pan(s) and cleaning them with a high-quality cleaner. Using a non-abrasive scrubbing sponge will ensure that the gunk comes off without causing them any harm. Rinse and air-dry.
To clean your oven’s interior, spray some of the cleaner on to the sponge (never directly at the appliance) and wipe the surface. Do the same for the exterior. Rinse the sponge and clean the same areas with it again. Let the oven air-dry completely before you use it.
Oh, and make sure you unplug it before you start with the cleaning!
- Bust Microwave Stains
The easiest way to clean your microwave is by heating a cup of water in a micro-wave safe cup on ‘High’ for about 5 minutes. The steam emanating from it should cover the interior of the microwave and make it easy for you to remove the stains with a sponge. Remove the turntable and wipe that as well. To clean the exterior, spray some all-purpose cleaner on a sponge/soft cloth and wipe. Rinse the cloth, wipe again and let it dry.
- Clean the Coffee Maker
If your coffee maker has been taking longer to drip than usual, chances are it may have been clogged by hard-water minerals. To clear them out, you can either refer the owner’s manual for cleaning instructions, or try the following DIY home remedy:
• Fill the empty chamber with equal parts of water and white vinegar.
• Insert a paper filter into the empty basket, and keep the empty decanter in its place.
• Allow the water-vinegar solution to brew halfway before turning off your coffee maker. Let it stay in there for around 30 minutes.
• Turn it back on, finish the brewing, and finally dispose of the solution.
• To rinse the machine, insert a new paper filter and brew a full pot of pure water. Repeat.
• To clean a dingy glass decanter, fill it with warm soapy water and add some rice as a light abrasive. Whirl the solution inside the pot. Empty the pot and use a sponge to remove the loosened mess.
Come Christmas and your friends and family are sure to be all over your kitchen raiding it for food and other goodies. With the above tips, you can make sure that you’re prepared to deal with this influx, without giving any of them a reason to go “tsk-tsk” about anything they come across.