Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Kitchen

The kitchen has rightly been called the heart of the home buts its influence extends well beyond the home and into the community. Its handiwork featured at every family gathering from the smallest of family dinners to the largest of family reunions, from church potlucks to the sick and bedridden, from celebrations of life such as graduations and new births to the saddest of events such as a death.
Perhaps more than any other room in our homes, the kitchen reflects our hearts as woman. Gary Sledge said, "The things that really matter take place not in board rooms, but in the kitchens of the world."
Before I tackled the kitchen I made a concerted effort to use up foods in the pantry and the freezer. By doing this, I accomplished two things; I got rid of foods that needed to be used up and it emptied things out making both areas easier to clean. The day I scheduled to clean the kitchen I also scheduled an easy dinner of take out! The kitchen is a big project and I knew that I would be exhausted by the time that I finished it. I also knew that I would not want to destroy the space that I had spent all day cleaning. Take out and paper plates were definitely in order! I also made sure that I had a brand new box of magic erasers! I can not imagine trying to clean the stove top or refrigerator doors without them!
The kitchen is cleaned daily, sometimes several times, because it is used so frequently during each day. We sweep the floors, wipe the counters, and wash the dishes but seldom go beyond this in effort. A good spring cleaning goes deeper than the superficial. Take everything out of every drawer and cabinet. Don't just wipe the cabinets out but evaluate where each item is being kept for its function and purpose. I am famous in my family for moving items. Last year I moved the silverware drawer and to this day every once in awhile someone still goes to the wrong drawer looking for it. This year we will be searching for the trash can and baking supplies, all of which have new homes! This is a good time to get rid of things that you don't use! More than any other room in the house the kitchen can collect all sorts of odds and ends. I discovered that I had an incredible amount of plastic silverware. It filled an entire Tupperware container once I had it all collected in one spot. Don't forget to clean out the junk drawer.
Normally on kitchen day I would have cleaned the oven and seasoned my cast iron pans but it was 85 degrees here so I put both of those things off to another day when it will hopefully be cooler! The picture above is my once back entry closet converted to a pantry, now cleaned and reorganized.