Welcome to my Holiday Spruce-Up 2014 Challenge. This post is part of my seven week home series dedicated to preparing our homes for the holiday season. Join me every Monday morning for a quick lists of tasks for a dedicated zone in our homes. On the weekends, I’m sharing how I tackled the list in my own home. Sign up here to receive email updates delivered straight to your inbox or follow along on facebook for real time progress, tidbits and more.
Wow. Last week’s challenge was hard work. Kitchens can be overwhelming, can’t they? Mine was especially dirty and needed some extra elbow grease.
One of the first things that I did was clean out my oven. Filthy doesn’t even begin to describe it. Charred melted cheese drips adorned my top rack and formed a tiny puddle on the bottom of the oven.
Years ago, I made the choice to quit using the self-cleaning oven option on my ovens. Oddly enough, it was after cooking a Thanksgiving turkey. I thought that I would be quite the industrious, little homemaker and whip that oven back into shape after noticing some grease from the ol’ bird forming a teeny pond on the floor of my oven’s interior.
The fumes that came rolling out were enough to send me and baby Bunny packing. We both bundled up to brace the frigid temperatures of Pennsylvania in early December. Once the oven unlocked and the majority of the horrid smells had dissipated, I ventured slowly back into my kitchen. I was horrified to see that the enamel of my oven’s interior was now merely dust over the entire inside of my oven. Flakes were continuing to slowly peel off and flutter down as I stood there in shock, holding the oven door in my hand. What in the world?!
That turkey cost us a new oven.
Needless to say, I know clean up my own spills by hand with natural ingredients. I sprinkle the oven generously with baking soda, then spray it down with vinegar and shut the door. I let it sit overnight and then wipe it up the next morning. Or the morning after. 🙂
Wipes off like butter.
I then cleaned out my refrigerator. Yes, my appliances needed some definite love. Some dish soap, warm water and a rag returned my fridge back to a more respectable state.
Yes, I had good help. 😉
Over several days, I worked my way through my cabinets, wiping them out and organizing them a bit. I must admit that my 31 Days of Life. Contained. series made this task easier for me. My utensil drawer, lunch drawer, medicine cabinet and beverage zone were all ready cleaned and organized. This was a huge help.
The picture below is my every day plate and bowl drawer. Having this low-level drawer available allows my children to set the table and unload the dishwasher with ease, even my little ones can pitch in.
My pantry was also still clean and organized. I’m still enjoying the fruit of my “wild hair moment” with its freshly painted shelving and door. Nice.
I washed the windows, inside and outside and dusted the blinds. I have to admit that the blinds needed a more thorough cleaning than they received, but I am saving that for another day. This is just a spruce-up. Some deeper cleaning and projects will have to be conquered after the holidays.
Bunny helped my polish the chairs and table. To be fair, Zip also got involved near the end. I think that the sight of us smearing coconut oil all over the surface of the chairs and table just seemed too fascinating to her and she wanted in on the fun. Ha!
Bunny swept the floor for me and then kept the three little ones entertained while I mopped the floors by hand. Again, I usually don’t do it this way, but they were really cruddy and needed my muscle, puny as it is.
I so enjoy working along side of my girls and now that the kitchen is clean, I’m eager to get in there with them cooking our Thanksgiving meal together.
So how did you do? Were you able to finish your kitchen? Whatever you were able to accomplish is well worth it. Just doing one thing, like cleaning out your oven, is better than nothing. For me, sometimes doing that one thing inspires me to do another, and then another. Before I know it, that task that seemed so daunting and overwhelming is finished. How? I mastered it just a little bit at a time—like these weekly spruce-up challenges. So tackle one chore at a time this week.
You can do this.
Thanks for reading.