Last Friday, I mentioned that I was signing up for the 2014 Kitchn Cure. The concept of the Cure is pretty simple: “a 4-week program of small daily tasks and encouragements to get your kitchen into shape for fall cooking. We’ll gently prompt you to clean your fridge, wipe out your spice shelves, and take charge of your cooking space.”.
While our kitchen space is in reasonably good shape, I do tend to let the deep cleaning tasks fall by the wayside, so getting reminders to focus on them for a while sounded perfect. Also, I was hoping the Cure would get me back into a more general habit of doing a bit of housecleaning each day, rather than letting it build up during the week and then taking care of everything on the weekend. In theory, M. and I prefer the “do a little each evening” approach, both because it is so nice to live in a tidy environment, and because not spending your weekend on chores is AWESOME. But with M. traveling a lot lately, I’ll admit I have gotten slack.
With all that preamble out of the way, I thought I’d do a little recap of how the first week is going. This week focused on the fridge and freezer. But first, I had to spend a little time making a list of kitchen likes/dislikes:
Since we rent, we have pretty limited options for major kitchen overhauls, but I think there are still a few things on my “dislike” list that can be fixed with no more than a little extra effort. Overall, if the worst thing I can say about my cooking space is that it’s “bland” (and that “maybe?” is “maybe fixable?”, it is “definitely” bland!), well…that’s pretty good.
Next up, the actual cleaning. The fridge and freezer were tackled over four days: clear out fridge (1), clean fridge (2), clear out freezer (3) and clean freezer (4). Here are a couple of quick “before” shots:
It wasn’t terrible, but some attention was needed. Fortunately I did not have much that needed to actually go into the trash–meal planning and going to the grocery store with a list both really help to cut down on food waste!
The actual cleaning was nicely therapeutic. My cleaning products of choice are vinegar, Simple Green, soap, and a generous amount of elbow grease. After a few evenings of rearranging and scrubbing, I was able to stand back and take in the fruits of my labor:
So nice to be faced with a gleaming fridge every time I open the door! Per my list dislikes, and the Kitchn’s recommendation, I have split the freezer into “zones”, though since the freezer doesn’t really have compartments I’m unsure how long this will last. Probably until we do another batch cook day, at which point it will become a precisely calibrated 3-d jigsaw aimed at stuffing in the maximum amount of food possible.
After all that, I was on such a cleaning roll, I scrubbed out the microwave on Friday morning as well, just because it was annoying me. Then I hit up the market and stocked my shiny new fridge with food for the coming week, so I would be well-provisioned for my next round of chores: