Spring Cleaning & Organizing in My Small Kitchen

Feb 15

* LOWE’S HOME IMPROVEMENT IS A SPONSOR OF THIS BLOG POST. THEY PROVIDED ALL OF THE ITEMS I CHOSE AND I WAS COMPENSATED FOR MY TIME CONCEPTUALIZING, SOURCING, DECORATING, PHOTOGRAPHING, EDITING, WRITING AND PROMOTING THIS BLOG POST. IF YOU CLICK A LINK, I RECEIVE NO COMPENSATION. THANK YOU TO LOWE’S FOR SPONSORING THIS GREAT BLOG POST AND PROJECT!

This little kitchen…

It’s been the heart of this home since August 2013. While it’s also provided its fair share of pain points due to the small, very tiny footprint…and countless repairs / issues I’ve fixed…this is where everyone gathers. It’s where I love to cook my all-time favorites. Where my family congregates during get togethers. Where my daughter and I bake. Where I stand at the counter working from my laptop, while cleaning and multi-tasking. My kids opt to run through here instead of the living room, which is on the opposite side of the stove wall you see…

That can always be a pain in the you know what…especially if I have a cabinet or fridge OR OVEN door wide open. But, those memories, right?

One of my favorite memories I’ll cherish from this kitchen is working from home and having special visitors pop by to have lunch. They sit at the counter while I stand in the kitchen preparing food, listening to them talk and just hang out / be together. Something very special about this space. And I’m going to miss it when the house is sold this spring.

Having a small kitchen has challenged me to make the very best use of available space – and I have! There is nothing here I don’t love, use regularly or need. Having a small pantry and fridge/freezer works well because I buy only what’s needed for the week ahead. I’m not a bulk-store member and prefer living in the now. It’s not a way of life for everyone, I get that – but it works for us! And works well considering the limited amount of space that’s available.

As a professional organizer, I have a skewed feeling about “stuff” anyway. The less, the better.

It’s been pouring rain the last several weeks. With the bad weather outdoors, it’s great to get started on interior projects like spring cleaning and small updates. I’ve mentioned my house is going on the market this spring, so there was no better place to begin my spring cleaning / organizing than in the kitchen!

MY TIPS FOR DEEP CLEANING & DECLUTTER YOUR KITCHEN

  • As you deep clean your kitchen, don’t forget to declutter the spaces as you go.
  • Start with the messy cleaning jobs first – see details below!
  • I always start at the top and work my way down. Start with the top cabinets, pull everything out, clean the shelves, wipe down the doors and knobs AND THEN only put back the items you truly love, use and need. Work down from there.
  • This is a great time to remove expired pantry food items or spices and any snacks or foods your kids don’t like / won’t eat. For example, I purchased new snack bars on sale for the kids and they didn’t like them. They’ve been sitting in the pantry ever since…time to pass them on.
  • As you declutter, keep a running list of items to replace. Hard brown sugar? Low on olive oil? Need a new baking soda box in the fridge anyone? Add it to the grocery list!

START WITH THE MESSY JOBS FIRST

Those messy cleaning projects are not fun, but my advice is to get them out of the way when you have fresh energy!

HOW TO CLEAN THE OVEN

Cleaning the oven is not a fun task, but nonetheless needs to get done once in a while! The oven – so gross and dirty. And can be an even bigger mess to clean. For cleaning the oven I bring out the big guns…

I start by heating the oven to 200 and let it sit at that temp for about 20-30 minutes. I then turn off the oven and spray Easy-Off to the top, sides, bottom and inside of the door. Then you’ll close the oven to let it sit for 20 minutes.

You’ll want to have windows open and keep distance between you and the spray – it’s strong and powerful. It removes grease easily and works just fine if your oven is cold too.

After 20 minutes, I used a spray bottle with water to spray the entire oven interior and then wiped it down with paper towels…check this out!

That was one wipe of the door! I love a clean oven! If you have a few stubborn spots, these are my favorite scrubbing sponges that really gets in there.

HOW TO CLEAN THE MICROWAVE

While the Easy-Off set in for those 20 minutes, I deep cleaned the microwave. This baby sees a lot of popcorn bags and after school snacks…

I sprayed down the interior with 409 Multi-Surface cleaner

And the grime and scraps of food came right up – with very little scrubbing…

Don’t forget to wipe the door front (especially where all those fingertips press buttons), top, sides and then bring it home by moving the microwave to clean underneath as well.

What I love most about using 409 on occasions like a deep-clean is that is deodorizes as you go.

HOW TO CLEAN THE FRIDGE AND FREEZER

The next big cleaning project was the fridge and freezer. If you aren’t familiar with my popular Instagram series – The Sunday Fridge – here’s a peek…

Honestly, the easiest way to clean your fridge and freezer is to stay on top of it weekly. It will make the deep-clean process less painful and time-consuming.

Every week when I plan out meals and get the fridge organized, I wipe down the interior. It takes the pain out of seasonal deep-cleaning.

To deep-clean, I remove everything and spray the shelves with 409. There must have been a spill during the week that missed me, so it was dried and gross…

The 409 multi-surface cleaner made cleaning easy and quick!

Keep a trash bag nearby – you can see how full my bag was and I’m on top of my fridge weekly, as I said!…

Cleaning the freezer is just as important…

As I have made the most of my fridge by organizing in containers that maximize space and keep us eating healthy, I do the same in the freezer…

When possible, I remove food from its packaging to make the most of the small space. For example, we don’t need the frozen waffle box. We know how to toast waffles. So I remove the box and keep the waffles in their protective plastic packaging. Makes popping them in these handled baskets easy and space-saving!

KEEP IT FRESH

When the fridge and freezer are totally decluttered, cleaned and reorganized, I add Arm & Hammer baking soda boxes…

These keep your fridge smelling fresh and clean. Tuck them in the back – they take up very little space!…

I round out the cleaning of the fridge by wiping down the outside AND TOP as well…

HOW TO ORGANIZE A SMALL PANTRY

With the toughest cleaning jobs out of the way, I couldn’t wait to get into organizing the pantry! I have a small bank of cabinets I turned into a pantry when we moved here. Over the years I’ve fine-tuned the space, but this new set-up seals the deal! And just in time for me to sell the house – ha!

No matter the case, these awesome baskets and system will be coming to our next home. These are classics that can be re-purposed no matter how much or little space you have … or where you live! Trust me, I work in a lot of kitchens and baskets make all the difference!

But especially these! I love the mix of natural and metal…

The iron bins are pretty and found them great for containing bread, chip bags and other large items I want to categorize…but still see and find quickly. No labels required…

3 of them fit perfectly side by side…

The natural fiber baskets are perfect for the kids to grab their snacks and keep foods categorized…

The handle makes it easy to pull out when placed on lower shelves. These work great for grabbing off top shelves too!…

HOW TO ORGANIZE UNDER THE KITCHEN SINK

I’ve organized many under sink spaces, but here’s a glimpse into how I organize my small space under the kitchen sink…

Safety isn’t an issue with my kids ages so I don’t need to worry about cleaning products stored here. I keep it to the bare minimum – just the items I use and need all the time. That alone makes a huge impact on space. But another tip is to add stacking drawers for small items like dish tabs and sponges

If you spied my DIY Trash Bag Holder, you can read about that here. That simple project I created 5 years ago has made a big difference in my small under sink space.

MAKE SMALL AND EASY UPDATES / IMPROVEMENTS

While you’re deep cleaning, there may be small improvements to the space that are easy and make time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Something as simple as a faucet update made me very excited to do dishes – mean that!…

The previous faucet was too small for this sink. It didn’t reach all areas and corners. It was too short and a total frustration for me when filling pots with water…

The old faucet was a Moen and never gave me trouble other than not being the right size / fit for this space. So I stuck with Moen this time around as well for a serious upgrade…

This faucet has no issue reaching all corners of the sink to make cleaning easy…

It’s pretty and blends into the space nicely, without standing out too much. The spot-resistant finish repels fingerprints and water spots – love that! Another thing I won’t need to clean as much! I’ve always wanted a pull-down wand too. This great Moen Kiran faucet has 1, 2, 3 or 4 hole sink installation options. If you want to add that soap dispenser, go for it and clear even more counter space for yourself!…

It’s beyond easy to install! Took all of 30 minutes to quickly update…

TAKE ONE LAST DECLUTTER LOOK

I know I mentioned decluttering as you go, but when your kitchen is clean and re-organized…again take one last look into cabinets and drawers. Are you really using everything? Really? I took another peek into the lower cabinets and found an old popcorn machine and outdated juicer we hadn’t used since moving. Yes, 5.5 years ago! It was tucked in a back corner and I let it go. Time for someone else to love it!

TOTALLY ENJOY YOUR NEWLY CLEANED AND ORGANIZED KITCHEN!

This kitchen cleaning, organizing and updating project took about 5 hours, all said and done. But walking into the kitchen last night to make dinner could not have been more refreshing. You know that feeling when you open an organized cabinet or clean fridge? It was that and more! I feel lighter…and should…given I tossed about 5 bags of trash AND 2 bags of donations. This space is almost walk-through ready… it’s going to get a little facelift before hitting the market, but for now, it’s clean and totally organized. And I love it even more!

SHOP THE SPACE

If you fell in love with any of the products I shared, you can find them here on the Lowe’s website! Lowe’s gives you every excuse to start your kitchen refresh right now. And you can do it for LESS! Lowe’s has great promotions happening as we head into spring and they always price-match, offer free-shipping and give you no hassle returns.

Here is my list of products from Lowe’s…

Moen Kiran Spot Resist Stainless 1-Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet

Antique Brass Iron Bin

Natural Fiber Bin

Easy Off Oven Cleaner

Formula 409 Lemon All-Purpose Cleaner

ARM & HAMMER Solid Air Freshener

Scotch-Brite Cellulose Sponge With Scouring Pad

Hope you enjoyed a peek into my kitchen! Are you getting ready for spring cleaning or home improvement projects? I’d love to know more…or if this space inspired you to work in your own kitchen!

Back soon with more guys!

xx,

Sam

comments +

  1. Patrice says:

    I’m off to buy bins from Lowes. Moen also has a fantastic warranty. They have a customer for life here.

  2. Bethany says:

    I love your bookshelf. Would you mind sending a link?

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