Time to Get Dirty

Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash

Do you want to know my decluttering secret? Clean, and I mean deep clean. It’s not glamorous,  and I don’t get all sentimental and ask questions about how things make me feel. I just get down on my hands and knees and clean, it’s hard labor and I try to do it more often than just during spring cleaning. Instead of once a year, my suggestion is to do it once a season, choosing a different room in your house every season.

The key to deep cleaning is to remove everything first. This is seriously so important, otherwise, it will never be clean and it will never be uncluttered and you will always feel swallowed by your stuff. Get some boxes from the grocery store, old Amazon boxes, etc. Put everything in those! I mean everything but the kitchen sink.

I chose the kitchen for the winter. The kitchen is probably the most difficult in terms of numbers of things. However, very little, if anything holds sentimental value so there will be no big decisions to make.

With everything boxed up, even the refrigerator items, I clean. There is no magic to this. I have Windex, vinegar, and baking soda to scrub stuck on messes and a wood cleaning solution to clean the cabinets. Bleach for the sink!

I’ll give you a little sneak peak of what’s going on with the fridge:

As you can see, I removed all the papers, pictures and calendar from the outside as well. I have a different plan for it all. I have a secretary that holds all our papers, calendars, bills, etc., right outside the kitchen. From now on that will be the home of all paperwork, I call it the Command Center. As for the photos: I have a digital picture frame, where I will scan the photos on the fridge of friends and family and load them onto my digital frame. If you don’t have a digital frame, you could make a pinboard and add all photos and postcards to that.

After it’s all scrubbed down, only replace those things you’ve used in the last 6 months. If you have items you use once a year for Christmas, make a labeled entertaining box and put that in the garage, basement or attic. No need to fill up our daily space with items you use only one time a year. I’ve had clients who entertain so many people that we make a ‘catering corner’ in their basement or storage space, all organized and ready for the next event.

All those items you haven’t used in 6 months and won’t use for holidays, leave them in a box and donate it! Can’t bare to donate it yet? Leave them in the box labeled, ‘kitchen extras’, and today’s date. If one year from now you haven’t touched that box, DONATE IT!

I can’t stress enough how having an organized and clean kitchen will make you feel way more relaxed. Like most moms, I spend about 95% of my time in the kitchen when I am home, and I’ve noticed most other people do too. It’s important not to have anything in the kitchen that doesn’t need to be there. You’ll feel like you can breathe again as you drink your morning coffee, instead of stressing about everything last thing you need to do this month.

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