Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Cleaning

This is not my kitchen. 
Country Living photo
I live in a 1625 sq. ft. home with 7 other people. Not exactly a large house, but we're comfortable. If we were dividing up that square footage, the kitchen is the room the rest of them would give me. "Mom, what do we have to eat?" is something I hear around here often. 

 My kitchen does not look like this one. 
Country Living photo
This is beautiful, although I wouldn't want glass doors, because then you would see all the things I don't want you to see behind them. 

Cleaning is a never ending job around here, especially in the kitchen. The more we have, the more we have to clean. When there are 8 people, that makes for lots of stuff to clean. I recently stumbled onto a  wonderful site called The Christian Homekeeper that has just started an event called "5 Weeks to a Clean And Organized Home". This really caught my eye. Sylvia takes you step by step each day on what to clean and gives an abundance of tips as well. I know we all know how to clean, but sometimes I do a rush job, with an "out of sight, out of mind" attitude. The 5 week event is not this type of cleaning, but a day by day, thorough cleaning of the house. 

This week we are cleaning the kitchen. Monday we started by cleaning out the refrigerator, freezer and oven. Tuesday we cleaned under appliances and also cleaned floors. Today was the biggest job yet for me, cleaning out the cabinets and storage areas. I was actually starting to appreciate my "smaller" kitchen. If you want to jump in and give it a try, tomorrow we clean counter-tops and small appliances and Friday is woodwork and windows.

I'm also throwing out a few things. Like this. 
 I found it at the back of a cupboard, never opened. I must have bought it for a recipe I thought I'd like to try, and then didn't get around to it. I'm throwing it out because it says this:
Yes, that's Aug. 1998! In my cupboard! I'm a bit embarrassed, and I almost didn't show you. I can't even use "having twins" as an excuse, because this was two years before they were born. 

I'm also getting rid of a bunch of coffee mugs. I have way too many, and I've kept some of them because they match my plates. 

The only thing is, I don't drink coffee. I never have. I'm a tea drinker. Iced tea mostly, too. I know, some of you are shaking your heads right now. How can someone not drink coffee? I just never liked it. Sorry to all you coffee drinkers out there. My husband used to be a coffee drinker, but stopped drinking it a few years ago. Several of my kids like it, but it's not something they drink often. We live in the desert, so half of the year we only want cold drinks anyway. The mugs are going, along with a few other odds and ends I never use. 

I'm looking forward to clearing out a few spaces as I go through the next few weeks. If you want to join in, stop by and visit Sylvia, she's got some great organizing and cleaning ideas.



Cathrines Kreative Hjørne said...

Dear Marcia,
what a clever housewife you are!!! Right now I'm so happy that I do not have to worry about spring cleaning, so that is the positiv side of being at the point I am right now, is it not! But I normally am very tidy, and it bugs me if things are not in their normal place! They are not right now, I'm afraid, since mye husband rols the kitchen as well as everything else! I had a could laugh about the botle that was to be used before end of 1998 - well, that can happen to the best! :-) I'm sure you'll be so happy when the job is done, so keep up the good work!


Still not in very good shape, but taken very good care of!

Christine said...

Good for you, Marcia and you've just spurred me into action as I've been putting off cleaning out my kitchen cupboards!
I dread to think what out-of-date things lurk in them!!lol!:-)
Enjoy every day!

My name is PJ. said...

Best if used before 1998? MWAHAHAHA!

This weekend, which begins today, one of the things I'm going to tackle is the refrigerator.

The Source is in the hospital, getting a new while he's gone, I'm daring to go into HIS kitchen. MWAHAHAHAHA!

Becky K. said...

When you are done with yours, could you tackle mine? LOL

We are thinking about the placement of things and might trade dish and food cupboards. However, this is Warren's idea and I am not convinced...

Becky K.

Melanie said...

Thanks for sharing this site. I'll have to check it out.
Those are pretty pictures, but I agree with you. I wouldn't want glass doors on my cabinets either.
Have a great day! :)

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Marcia, I'm glad that are others like me out there! I'll have to look that book up. I consider myself pretty clean, but things do get neglected. We've had a problem with ants lately and they got in my pantry. What a mess to clean the whole thing, putting everything in an air-tight container. OH MY!

Andrea said...

Great post!
Blessings, andrea

katie said...

Marcia, that sound like a great routine. Your kitchen will be shining in no time.
I used to do a routine call "flylady" but with just my husband and I here if we pick up after ourselves we stay in pretty good shape.
I just finished shampooing carpet, I did about a 6 foot square every day for a week. Sure looks nice, now if the dog would just learn to wipe his feet.

Shelley said...

Sounds like a very good plan...wish you great success with it....I think I will check out the link you posted...blessings


I am going to go check out the cleaning site you have posted. You have a charming blog.

Tiff said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds "bought but never used" things in their cupboard. Had to laugh at the date though, you have me beat on that one!!

I'm not a coffee drinker either, but keep plenty of mugs in the house for visitors and hot chocolate:)

I'm going to check out that site, I'm in panic mode right now with the house, my parents will be here in a week and it's a mess!

T's Daily Treasures said...

Sounds like a great way to get your cleaning done. I'm afraid it wouldn't work around here. By the time I get one thing cleaned, it's time to start all over again within a day or two. I truly do need to get organized though. Some folks have organization down to a true art. I like to consider my clutter "organized chaos." I got rid of old plates and mugs that my husband bought years ago and finally went out and bought what I wanted for dinnerware. A blue set and a taupe set. Much nicer. That's one thing I want to do -- pass on the old stuff I've made due with, and replace with things I really want. Good luck with spring cleaning. Many blessings, Tammy

Always Nesting said...

OK, OK, have you been reading my mind about my kitchen?? LOL, I was just thinking I need to tackle this chore. Soon, very soon.

BailiwickStudio said...

My thorough cleaning came when we moved 6 months ago - I was shocked by the old spices and vinegars and other assorted dusty stuff in the back of my cupboards! I threw away garbage bags full, and it felt wonderful. Your kitchen must be nearly sparkling by now! ::Jill

Libby said...

Funny how those expiration dates creep up and then just pass us right by. Have fun with your spring cleaning project - it's always such a sense of accomplishment when done *s*

Kimberly said...

We have 1300 sq ft for 7- that extra 300 you have must be for the 8th person!! I'm one of those that is continually going through stuff and purging or repurposing. We've moved once since 1998, so nothing that old here, except children ;P Neat site thanks for sharing!!

Appliejuice said...

You did a great job. We ordered several sets of new dishes and it came with mugs. I think I'll do what you did and throw out all the extra mugs. I drink hot tea, but I usually have it in a travel mug. :)

Julie Harward said...

You are talking to someone who understands totally! Remember, we had 8 kids and at that time lived in the same size house. We tackled all the cleaning projects together and it was fun and went quick! I don't drink coffee either, always hated the smell of it! Come say hi :D

Kelli said...

I've cleaned out my pantry before only to discover boxes of Jello mix that were obviously of a totally different time period, as the design on the box had changed not once but TWICE since I had purchased it! TRUE STORY! How sad is that???
I'm definitely going to check out that five week plan. Thanks!

P.S. I don't like coffee either. :)

Beverly said...

What a perfect blog for me to read this morning. I am going to send this link to my DIL with the now 6 kids so she can be inspired and learn about Sylvias site. She struggles as you do in a small home with 8 people in it. I know you will be an inspiration to her as would the book. I need to get inspired too, although I did some cleaning before Easter in the kitchen and pantry. I need to get on to the rest of the house.
Gotta go and jump over the the site you recommended.
Looks like you have a good start.

Debbie @ said...

Good morning Marcia. I'm going to go over and look at this site. I think I visited it years ago and forgot about it. Thanks for the info. I'm cleaning too and getting rid of stuff....there just seems to be so much stuff...but moving my parents in is forcing me to deal with it! Big smile. I'd rather sew! hahaha
Have a blessed day.

Farm Chick Paula said...

No need to feel embarrased about the turmeric, Marcia... I find theings all the time that got "pushed back" behind the other stuff in my pantry and sat there for YEARS.
I have waaaay to many mugs also... I used to be a coffee drinker but it started bothering my stomach so I had to quit... I still indulge once in a while- and usually pay the price! :(

Susan B said...

Hi Marcia,
Thank you for the link to The Christian Homekeeper. This sounds like something I would like to read. My kitchen cupboards are in need of cleaning out! It's so easy to hold onto spices (and other things), and forget how long you have them...espcially if you buy something you don't normally use! I've thrown out many things like this before. :)

Thanks for sharing....I hope you have a wonderful day!

Mrs T said...

I am in on the 5 wk challenge as well. I thought I had pared down and organized...until this week!

I am up to 3 50 gal trash bags of junk. You beat me in the "old spice" find as my oldest spices where expired in this decade.

keep up the good work!

Blessings, Mrs T

Shelia said...

Hi Marcia! I'm giggling because I've found a few items in my cupboards with those long overdue expiration dates on them. It's shocking, isn't it? :)
Good for you on cleaning out things. I've had that on my tiny mind too. Just haven't gotten around to it yet. You're inspiring me.
be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Gloria McQueen Stockstill said...

Marcia, I so relate. Cynthia helped me clean my pantry. I threw away six large trash bags full of things that were years old!!
And, I don't like coffee, either!

Jeni said...

Oh I really like this idea, I've been doing a "weekly" cleaning project but I like the little daily jobs idea better...thanks!! We mom's are always looking for things to lighten the load! haha

Sheila said...

I have been having trouble leaving comments. So if you find duplicates.....sorry about that. :)
I am thinking you should keep the spice is almost vintage! :) said...

happy cleaning! to be honest, i pawned off my kitchen this week on the kids in the name of "categorizing assignment". Yeah it was a lame assignment, but hey, it got the job done. They're about done with some subjects, so i figured it wouldn't hurt ;-) You go girl!

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

You've motivated me to get started on my own Spring cleaning!

And I have more han a few of those embarassing "use by (insert date long since passed)" in my OWN pantry, so you're FAR from alone! You just have more guts than the rest of us to post it! ;-)

Have a great weekend!

Cheryl said...

Hi Marcia!

Been awhile since I've been by...WOW! LOVE the new look! and I would LOVE that kitchen! Thanks for pointing out Sylvia's deal, can't wait to check that out. = )

Much love ~

Mimi Sue said...

Cleaning is not my favorite thing to do but when it's done I love it! Last weekend my kids pointed out some salad dressing in my fridge that expired last summer! Didn't even look bad. Must be all the chemicals they put in it. Mimi

Beach Vintage said...

Wow, thats just like my medicine cabinet, I always seem to find some things way past the used date.

Manuela@TPOH said...

Good for you! I'll have to check out her site.Last time I went through my spices it was bad LOL! I had to throw out so much!


Regan Family Farm said...

Love the Tumeric!!! It can be so hard to throw things away, but YIKES! why do we keep so much that we never use???