In my progressive quest to get my house in order, I thought I’d give Money Saving Mom‘s 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home a whirl. I’m not going to get every task done, but I have some time few days this week. My kitchen was getting pretty sad, and the refrigerator and freezer were up yesterday and today. Our refrigerator in particular was in sad shape, so I thought I’d make it a kitchen-cleaning day.
By the time we finished breakfast and I put the kid down for her first nap, here’s what I had to face.
The kitchen counter and sink were terrible! Part of the problem was that the dishwasher was running while we ate breakfast, so all those dishes were piled into the sink. The problem was a bit deeper than that, though. We don’t have much storage space in our kitchen, so, as you can see here, things overflow onto flat surfaces. I’ve been working on solving some storage issues lately, and today was another big step.
Today’s main task was to clean the freezer, which wasn’t as big a deal as cleaning my refrigerator. I learned a lot while cleaning it, too. First, most of the old food I threw out was small containers of leftovers that would hardly make a meal for one person. I’ve been toying with keeping a list of leftovers on the fridge whiteboard, and having to dump all those things motivated me to activate that idea. About two minutes into cleaning the kitchen, the storm sirens started going. It didn’t seem that stormy, but I did a quick weather check anyway. Turns out there was a statewide tornado drill at 10 this morning. No big deal, except this woke up my daughter from her nap a bit early. That’s a big deal because my nine-month-old daughter has two unrealized goals in her short life: to eat a cell phone and to climb into the refrigerator. Cleaning the fridge had to wait until her next nap.
I cleaned the stove while she was awake, but I’m generally less productive while she’s crawling around on the floor. The stove wasn’t high on my list of things to clean, but it was a bit dirty and now sparkles.
Once the child started her second nap, I hit the refrigerator hard. My husband is the only condiment eater in the house, and I had no idea how old some of that junk was. Steak sauce that expired in 2009? He still eats it, so I only threw away one of the identical bottles. Pretty much, when he puts a condiment on the list, I buy it and forget it. I’m not sure how we acquired two half-used containers of mayo in there, but I pitched the one that expired longer ago.
Once all the food was out and I started wiping, I had to coach myself into actually taking out the drawers and shelves to clean them. They weren’t too dirty, and I thought I could wipe them pretty well. I did take out the drawers, and the little cover of the bottom drawers, and, um, apparently that hadn’t been done in a while.
See that cheese stick in the back? I buy all the cheese sticks in our house, and I have never purchased that kind of cheese stick. What does that mean? Well, since we rent, and we’ve been living here about three years, that cheese stick has been there at least three years. Upon closer examination, it was dried and a bit shriveled, but not moldy.
Once I swept out the bottom, wiped it, scrubbed it, and wiped it again, I put back the food that was still acceptable. Another lesson: I now know where all my leftover containers have been hiding–full of leftovers in the back of the fridge.
Cleaning the freezer was quick and uneventful. I was reminded of some food in there that we should enjoy soon, and arranged it into slightly more helpful piles. I was a bit rushed trying to finish before the child awoke, so there aren’t any pictures of that.
This evening, I was actually able to use my sink and counter.
My child is not afraid of very many things. She is fearless about falling, she’s generally fine around strangers (as long as she’s not tired), it’s never crossed her mind that something might not be safe to eat, but she is terrified of the vacuum and blow dryer. I generally appease her by not drying my hair (ever). However, since she’s never considered that it might not be safe to eat something she finds on the floor, we do need to use the vacuum. Tonight, my husband gave her a bath while I vacuumed. He said she was so unhappy she was shaking, but we all made it through.
This post is linked at Money Saving Mom.