The beginning of spring marks the time for the big clean in preparation for the next 12 months (that aren’t clean?). While you might be switching clothes and putting that white-T-shirted, bald cleaning cartoon to the test this weekend, you may want to put an hour or two into your kitchen. There could be some shopping at the end…

The list is short, but effective:

  1. Purge your refrigerator and freezer of expired items. Starting with the fridge, remove all items to a clean sink and countertop, discarding moldy or expired items. Pull out any removable parts (crisper drawer, shelves) to wash and dry them. With a non-toxic/food-safe cleaning product, wipe down the inside of the empty space. Work quickly with your freezer, but take care to clean it well and discard freezer-burned items. Use a bowl with warm water and some of that food-safe cleaning product and a cloth to wipe down the items you are returning to the space.
  2. Renew your spice rack by replacing infrequently used spices with a fresh jar, especially the ground varieties. For the rest of your pantry, use a FIFO system (First In, First Out), using the oldest items first by putting them in the front for easy identification and access.
  3. Discard and/or replace any damaged/non-functioning cooking utensils, tools and machines. Then…go shopping! Invest in good products. One great pan is better than a set of cheap ones. Quality over price means longevity and true savings in the long run.
  4. Perhaps you can invite a few friends over, open a bottle of wine, “kee-kee” (chat) then prepare for them a little pantry meal of pasta with garlic, crushed red pepper, dried basil and olive oil. No one is cleaning for free! Pay them in pasta!

Happy cleaning!