Try This Inside-Outside Kitchen Cleanup Routine

Try This Inside-Outside Kitchen Cleanup Routine

Ok it's time to ask, how's your kitchen looking and feeling right now?

It's the heart of your home, and Valentine's Day is coming up so what better time to give it some love?

We're also close to transitioning to a new season, which is a perfect time for a refresh.

Kitchens need a seasonal refresh to keep us on track with our health goals, organized, cooking at home, comfortable having guests over, and relaxed, connected and inspired when we're gathering in the space.

Without a seasonal refresh stuff builds up – out of date food, the grime on the appliances, the list of things you need to fix or replace, the drawers get mixed up, the refrigerator gets dirty, you lose track of what's in stock and the list goes on...

This buildup leads to you eating out more, ordering in more, feeling too embarrassed to have people over, not being as healthy as you'd like to be, falling out of sync with seasonal produce and stress from the running list of things that need to be done to get it into shape.

Let's not let it get to that place!

Or if you're there, let this be the motivation you need to get things into shape.

I know cleaning, decluttering and organizing the entire kitchen at once can be a daunting and overwhelming task, so let me share a more manageable approach that divides it up into 3 tasks.

1. What are your health & entertaining goals?
2. Go the "inside" route
3. Go the "outside" route

You can do these all on the same day or break them up. Plan on an hour for each one, unless you have a large kitchen with a lot of storage.

First it's worthwhile to stand back and assess what you want life to look like in the kitchen over the next few months, which we cover in Task 1. Next, we break up the cleaning into two distinct paths with Task 2 and Task 3 so you can move forward without getting bogged down by all there is to do. Here you'll choose to tackle either the “inside” or “outside” route first.

Follow the steps below to guide you through the process.


Revisit and redefine your health goals for the next few months. Set out cookbooks and Pin recipes to try. Get your vitamins in order. Create solutions for staying hydrated. Make sure you're stocked with seasonal foods and flavors. Consider meal prep or using a meal plan service if need be.

What are your desires around entertaining for friends and family in the coming months? Are there birthdays, holidays or special occasions coming up that you need to plan cooking for? What kinds of gatherings at home sound fun to you? Get your ideas down, pencil them in on the calendar and start reaching out. These are often the memories we cherish most in life – good food and good people spending time together at home.



For the “inside” route focus on decluttering and the organization of interior spaces you don't necessarily see, but are key to functionality, like inside the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets. If you want to choose the inside route, here are a few things you can accomplish for this task:

  • Clean out the refrigerator. This may not be the time to do a total fridge deep clean, but do take everything out, toss any expired items, wipe down the shelves and drawers and organize as you put things away.
  • Clean out your cabinets and drawers. Go through each cabinet and drawer one by one. Get rid of items that are broken, worn out or go unused. Wipe down the drawer or shelf if needed. Organize what's left. Do your best to edit down things that tend to collect like mugs and tumblers. Keep what you use and love.
  • Wipe inside the microwave. Take out the turntable and give it a rinse. Starting with the ceiling, then the sides, use your sponge or dishcloth to wipe the inside of your microwave until it's clean.
  • Dump out excess crumbs from the toaster. This one is simple and easy.



The outside route focuses on sprucing up the surfaces of your kitchen and the things you see every day. If you think the outside route suits you best, here are a few spots to hit:

  • Dust off the top of the fridge & light fixtures. Starting from top to bottom is the way to go, so begin with dusting the top of the refrigerator and light fixtures.
  • Wipe down the cabinets doors & pulls. Work top to bottom wiping down your kitchen surfaces with a good surface cleaner and a microfiber towel or rag. Start with the upper cabinets and cabinet handles and work your way down to the lower cabinets.
  • Wipe the outside of all big appliances: stove, hood, fridge, dishwasher. You can do a thorough oven cleaning another time, but cleaning the exterior and around the burners will go a long way.
  • Clear and wipe down the countertops. Start in one corner or area, take everything off the surface and give it a good wipe, making sure to get the areas that easily collect dust and crumbs. Don't get sidetracked by putting away the things that didn't belong on the counter – put them in a box or pile and save that for the end.
  • Clean off any small appliances. Quickly clean your small appliances. Don't clean too deeply, but it’s a good opportunity to shine and clear debris from your coffee maker, toaster/toaster oven, stand mixer, etc. Start with the inside removing crumbs and spills, run a vinegar cycle through your coffee maker and wipe down the exterior of each appliance.
  • Clean other items on countertops. If you have a tray of oils, utensil holder, spice rack or other items that live on your counter, give them a wipe. If you use a dish rack and drying mat, this is also a good time to give these a wash.
  • Give the kitchen sink a good clean. Rinse it out then use a scrubbing cleanser like Bon Ami or Bar Keeper’s Friend. Also wipe down your faucet, sponge holders or soap dishes as well. Finish by filling your sink with hot water, adding bleach and letting it sit for ten minutes before draining. If you have a garbage disposal and want to keep it smelling good, you can add lemons (or lemon peel) or any other citrus to the drain and run the disposal (with water running).
  • Clean the trash can & recycling bin. Take out the trash if it’s full, vacuum out the bottom of the can and wiping the inside and out with a disinfecting wipe. Do the same with your recycling bins.
  • Refill soap dispensers. 
  • Vacuum and mop the floors. Vacuum to up all the dirt and debris then follow it up with a thorough mopping. 


There you have it, a seasonal kitchen refresh plan. And yes, with the interior and exterior route, it’s really OK to choose one and ignore the other. Go with the route that you believe will make the most impact in your space. You can take on the other route another day.

Lastly, once you finish a clean like this, treat yourself to some flowers!

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