Not much can compare to the aroma of fall. Whether it’s the scent of cooler mornings or fresh baked apple pie (now that you can bake without heating up the kitchen), autumn offers a time of coziness and transition. Giving your apartment a refreshing fall cleaning – from the living room to the bedroom to the closet – can help you make the seasonal transition

The Kitchen

Man mopping apartment kitchen floor

Whether you’re a gourmet foodie or microwave connoisseur, your kitchen plays a major part in our daily lives. Giving your kitchen a deep clean will make whatever recipe you’re preparing a much easier process. It’s best to start your deep clean with the broadest tasks first, then steadily move into the smaller details. Start by cleaning your major appliances including the outside of your refrigerator, stovetops and countertops. Organize and disinfect all of your countertops with the special wipes that are perfect for grabbing crumbs and eliminating bacteria.

Lorraine Brock, Founder and President of Get Organized!, a certified woman-owned professional organizing company based in Richardson, Texas, recommends using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for wiping down counters and walls. She also has an easy way to clean the inside of your microwave. “Put a wet rag in your microwave for 15 to 30 seconds. Afterward, all the moisture from the rag will loosen up the gunk or crusty stains – making it so much easier to wipe off.”

When focusing on your refrigerator, be sure to add or replace your baking soda, which keeps your food fresh for longer. Have a trash bag handy and go through all of your perishable foods, reviewing expiration dates. If your refrigerator is bursting at the seams, move some items to the freezer.

Now it’s time to tackle your cabinets. “The first step in a complete pantry organization is removing all of the items inside of said pantry — set a staging area on a dining room table or any flat surface,” said Kimberly Kimbriel, Kitchen Buyer at The Container Store. “Discard all of your out-of-date items and donate non-perishable items that you won't realistically use to a local food bank.”

After your cabinets are completely empty, wipe down all surfaces to remove dust build-up throughout the year. Add fresh liners to absorb any spills while cutting down on dust. When putting items back into your storage area, Kimbriel recommends creating zones to organize your items.

“Utilize deep and vertical pantry space by creating zones, or groups, for similar items with clear containers,” Kimbriel said. “For example, store your baking soda, salt, baking powder and vanilla in one bin for no-hassle baking every time. You'll find that you'll also save yourself a great deal of time if everything is easily accessible.”

Transferring larger food products into see-through containers will help prolong their lifespan and make it easier to find. “By transferring bulk items into clear and sealed containers, you'll preserve the freshness and see when you're running low. Broken flour bags, hardened brown sugar and easily spilled bags of rice cease to exist when they are contained and visible.”

With Thanksgiving approaching and relatives flocking to your home, now is the perfect time to organize your kitchen. Having organized and easily finable ingredients will take the stress out of preparing meals and may even lead to some therapeutic cooking sessions.

Kitchen Checklist

  • Disinfect countertops, clean walls and refrigerator door
  • Place wet rag in microwave and turn on for 15-30 seconds for an easier clean
  • Replace baking soda in refrigerator
  • Trash any expired foods from your refrigerator and freezer
  • Empty out your cabinets, clean surfaces and add liners
  • Organize your cabinet contents into zones that are clearly marked
  • Transfer large food items into clear containers
  • Empty out any dishes from the dishwasher
  • Vacuum or mop floor
  • Empty out trash container

Fall Cleaning Series

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