Of all the tasks you might be avoiding in your home, cleaning out your kitchen cupboards is probably one you need to hop into, and not just every year or so, make this a task you have on your list every few months as part of your cleaning routine.
Yes, it may be daunting, you've got all those shelves crammed with items, just the crockery and Tupperware alone can make you giddy, and let's not even think about that dark corner cupboard everyone avoids looking in. Everything will need to come out and be put back in again, uggghhh, what a waste of time...but is it? Looking past the work though, the rewards are truly worth it. Your cupboards will not just be more organised, easier to use and feel fresh and bright when you open them, you also minimise pest infestations and get ahead of those taunting problems like cupboard moths and ants. You might even save yourself a lot of money if it means a leaking, fragile pipe or fixture can be spotted and replaced quickly.
Once you make cleaning your cupboards part of your routine you will create a mental space that encourages clean living so you feel better about yourself and your environment.
What about your future as well? You never know when you may have guests come to stay, or if you decide to sell your home, then you can breathe that much easier knowing that if nothing else, your cupboard is not going to embarrass you.
Why is cleaning your cupboards regularly important?
Even they are closed off, they still get dirty. Think that because your cupboard doors are closed you are clean and tidy? Unfortunately, as much as we would like them to be airtight and self-cleaning your cupboards are accumulating mould, dust, grime and even rust even as you are reading this.
Ideally speaking, it's best to give the exterior door surface, including the door handles a wipe with a disinfecting solution two to three times a week. In a kitchen, you are prepping food and touching surfaces so you want to be sure you get rid of any bacteria your hands may have transferred to those frequently touched surfaces.
How can you make cleaning painless and efficient?
Start with a bench clean up. The last thing you'll want to do is pile all your kitchen cupboard contents onto the floor around you. You need a clean surface to stake them on, one that is safe and out from under your feet. Cleaning and de-cluttering the kitchen benches are also great to get you in the right frame of mind and will ease you into the bigger task quite nicely, think of it as warm-up stretches.
Keep everything you take out in a general kind or order on your benchtops to make it easy to see what you have and whether you might have too much of one item. Overall this will help you feel like you are making progress and your work will be more economical. It will also help to reduce accidents and breakages.
If you are short on bench space and table surfaces even after a de-clutter and clean, work with one or two cupboards at a time and pack away before you start the next section.
Once your cupboards are empty it's time to get them sparkling.
Use a cloth and cleaning solution to wipe over all your shelves, wall interiors, doors (inside and out) and hinges. You want to be sure to get the top of the cupboard doors and door handles. Clean up the frames where the doors close as well as dirt and grime that can gather there pretty easily. You'll notice the difference as soon as you step back to admire your work, even if it didn't look especially dirty beforehand.
You can test your clean by wiping over with a dry, light-coloured cloth or piece of paper towel. If any dirt smears show, you know you'll need to rinse your cleaning cloth and wipe over again.
There are plenty of cleaning fabrics to choose from but microfibre has been proven time and again to be able to collect dust and grime rather than just move it around.
When it comes to cloth and towel preference, I'm a big fan of microfibre.
It's soft and durable so you can reuse it over and over without scratching or damaging surfaces and the streak-free finish makes it ideal for those reflective surfaces like tiles, mirrors and TV screens.
You eat what you clean with
As you will see from my previous posts, I'm not a fan of chemical cleaning agents, especially when it comes to food areas and eating equipment, your health is worth protecting so that's why I'm always a big fan of any cleaning solutions that are made using natural ingredients. As well as being better for you, it's also cheaper and because you can make it as you go, cuts down on storage and associate storage hazards, which is especially helpful if you have kids or pets that like to get stuck into things they shouldn't.
If you are not keen on making up your baking soda and vinegar solutions then you can easily find eco-friendly products for sale in supermarkets and hardware stores.
Save those old toothbrushes
You don't need to spend money on fancy long reach and mini head cleaning brushes. Getting around cupboard hinges, drawer joints or tight corners is easy to do armed with an old toothbrush.
Never improvise with ladder substitutes
You'll need a ladder or sturdy step to help boost you to get into tall cupboards or shelves. Standing on a bench, using a chair (especially one with wheels) can be all too tempting, but a slip or fall will not just hurt, it can do some serious damage to your body that can take significant time to repair or may even injure you permanently.