Today is our last day of kitchen organization! Yahoo! After tonight, we'll be all ready to throw holiday parties, bake yummy autumn treats, cook comfort foods, and entertain our honored guests. From here onwards, we just have to maintain our kitchens in good condition, consistently put items away in their appointed places, keep ahead of messes and clutter, keep our sinks and counters wiped down, kitchen floors mopped and dishwashers emptied. Easy as pie.
QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:
- Has it been cold enough to use throw blankets at night? (Here, the days have been nice and warm, and then the temperature has suddenly dropped dramatically after the sun goes down, making me rush to grab a throw blanket!) If so, do you need to launder any? I'm washing a brown microfiber throw tonight, as it has an accumulation of dog hair and smells a bit doggy and dusty.
- Do you have orange juice in the house? Milk? Bread?
- Clean off and declutter mail table if needed
- Take 5 minutes to sweep or vacuum any floors that need it.
- Make meal plans for the week; create grocery list; figure out what you're putting in your kids' lunch boxes this week as applicable.
- Need to use a mud mask or moisturizing treatment on your face tonight? I do!
TODAY'S PROJECT: Kitchen Appliances
Tonight we're going to thoroughly clean all the appliances in our kitchens, inside and out. This may take a little while, so let's light a fragrant candle and put on music in our kitchens. We'll start with the big appliances (oven, stove, dishwasher) - we've already done our fridges and freezers, yay. Hopefully your oven has a self-cleaning cycle you can set it on while you work on your other appliances. Scrub and clean inside and out. See How to Clean A Dishwasher and Better Homes & Gardens' How to Clean a Dishwasher.
Next we'll move onto smaller appliances (coffeemaker, espresso machine, deep fryer, panini grill, waffle maker, babycakes maker, stand mixer, crockpot, rice cooker, Cuisinart, bread maker, juicer, ice cream maker, etc). Don't forget the dreaded toaster with its crumb tray of doom! Hopefully this won't take too very long - we should be putting our appliances away clean after using them each and every time. They're probably clean inside, but might need a wipedown on the outside - fingerprints, smears or dust?
Besides cleaning the appliances on your countertops, don't forget to take appliances out of your cupboards, pantry and closets too. Don't assume something is clean just because it's been in a cupboard. It may have gotten dusty, or not been cleaned thoroughly before being put away.
Before cleaning and disinfecting your appliances, check for wear and tear on electric cords.
Run the self-clean cycle on your oven. Run a load of white vinegar through your coffee maker and then another load of plain hot water through it to clean it out. Run a load of white vinegar through your dishwasher, too. Clean your dishwasher filter. Freshen your garbage disposal by grinding half a lemon through it. (Use the other cut half of the lemon to flavor your water or tea today). Clean the vents at the bottom of your refrigerator.
Wipe down your counters again and put the appliances back where they go. See if you can clear off your kitchen counters a bit more - can you find new homes for appliances that sit on the counter but don't get used every day? (Right now I have a rice cooker taking up room on my counter. I tend to think we use it every day, but it hasn't been used since last week).
Put some thought into getting rid of appliances you honestly don't use. (Tortilla maker? Electric iced tea maker? Ice cream maker? An old Beaba Babycook you no longer use now that your toddler grew up?) You might have a friend or relative who would like to try out the bread machine you've only used twice, your ice cream maker you don't seem to make time to use, or your espresso machine now that you have quit drinking coffee.
SCENT YOUR HOME:
Let's spritz our kitchens with our favorite home sprays. Or perhaps you've left a fragrant candle burning this whole time while you were cleaning. I often boil a pot on the stove with water and cinnamon sticks to make the kitchen smell nice. (I love how inexpensive cinnamon at Trader Joe's is, it makes filling your home with cinnamon scents very affordable!)
We're done! We've done it. Our kitchens are now prepared for the holidays and the tasty meals we'll serve our friends and family! As long as we maintain them and don't let our kitchens get out of hand, we're good to go!
LOVELY BATH & BODY: Indian Night Jasmine
I love jasmine, a lot! But I think of it as a summery fragrance. That will probably help me control myself next time I go to The Body Shop. I'd probably be tempted by their new Indian Night line of body butter, shower gel, lotion and perfumes. Surprised they brought it out this time of year instead of a couple months ago.
LOVELY BLOGS: Handmade Mood
Sarah, Candice and Amanda blog about DIY, recipes, and crafting an amazing home and life. They live in Texas. Recent posts I've enjoyed include their Halloween dinner party; Candice's Halloween mantel; this gorgeous red velvet Halloween cake; and their Tailgating Treats post.
LOVELY BOOKS: The House Servant's Directory
This charming old book is "A monitor for private families: comprising hints on the arrangement and performance of servants' work ... and upwards of 100 various and useful receipts, chiefly compiled for the use of house servants." Published in 1828, it contains all sorts of housekeeping tips I am finding really useful (even though I'm not a servant and don't have a servant!) in maintaining my home.
Besides the marketing tips, cleaning tips, carving, entertaining, and directions for setting dishes on the table, there are also beauty tips (how to make a wash for the hair and for the face) and how to make the best ginger beer.
I'm enjoying reading through this! You can read it online at Archive.org, or buy a hardback reprint on Amazon to give as a gift.
LOVELY COSMETICS: Save the Bees Palette
I'm not sure all four of these colors would look good on me, but I like the looks of this Save the Bees palette. Chantecaille is donating a small portion of the proceeds (5%) to a bee protection society. Hrm. That doesn't sound like a lot, but they do say 'proceeds' not 'profit.' This is quite an expensive palette though, so I'm half regretting showcasing it here.
LOVELY ENTERTAINING: Wine Barrel Drink Dispenser
I sort of find this wine barrel charming, and sort of think it's hilarious in a way. This would be so fun to serve wine out of at a dinner party for my wine loving foodie friends! It looks pretty big to store away when not in use though.
LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:
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