The phrase “New Year, New You” doesn’t necessarily need to solely apply to weight loss, healthy eating and gym membership promises. When it comes to your kitchen, there are likely some aspects that could use a little grooming, attention or some simple updating. Here are five simple ways to upkeep your kitchen in 2017:
Clean House: This doesn’t mean get rid of everything, but it does mean take an inventory. When was the last time you took all of your dishes out? Your glassware? Are you pulling the same three chipped plates out time after time? Do a simple sweep of your cupboards and shelves and don’t fear getting rid of broken, cracked or worn down items. While you’re at it, give a deep cleaning to the shelves that hold so many items that are eaten off of or drank from. You’ll still be able to entertain a crowd while only keeping and displaying the items that work and look best.
Deep clean the dishwasher: You use this appliance to keep your dishes and silverware clean, so it’s probably important to make sure it’s in good shape too. Remove the wire drawers shelves and holders completely and soak them in a sink or tub full of warm water and 2 cups of vinegar and use their soaking time to really scrub the inside of the dishwasher. You can even use a toothpick or wire hanger to get into the small holes and gaps where food debris may fall. When you replace the racks, place 2 cups of vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher and run it on low, or the energy-saving setting. Halfway through, stop the dishwasher and let the vinegar soak on the bottom for 15 or 20 minutes.
After the time is up, turn it back on to finish. Viola!
Dispose of leftovers: We’re all guilty of keeping items a bit past their use date. Whether it’s an old condiment bottle, a side of mashed potatoes that got pushed to the back of the fridge or a flat liter of soda from 2015, it’s time to tackle the inside of the refrigerator. Take everything out, dump what’s old, and then move on to your pantry where the same is needed. Get rid of old spices that no longer move when shaken, stale chips and uneaten holiday treats. You will instantly feel more organized and confident with what you have to eat!
Towel Off: Dish and hand towels are actually one of the most commonly displayed item in a kitchen. Many hang from the oven, a hook next to the refrigerator or on the dishwasher. While these serve functionality first and foremost, it might be time to upgrade. White and light colored towels often lose color and texture, and while they may do just fine when wiping down the dishes or counter, they do still have an aesthetic presence within the kitchen. Go through and get rid of old or worn down cloths, and replace them with something new and sturdy. This is a great way to change up your color scheme as well!
Clear the table: Somehow, the idea of sitting down at the dinner table has lost its appeal for many over the years, and we often use the kitchen table as either a stand for clutter or a look-but-don’t-touch piece of furniture. Make a point to eat meals at the table. It helps keep it clear of excess mail, dishes and miscellaneous stuff, and it also allows you to enjoy your food and home. Make a point to change up the place settings or flowers if you feel as though it gets too stagnant, but don’t give up on the kitchen table as an icon within your space!
While New Year’s Resolutions often fall by the wayside for many as early as February each year, these are all maintainable processes you can use for your kitchen this year. Don’t be hard on yourself for missing any; simply start with one, and move forward steadily. Happy New Year!