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Spring Clean Your Kitchen Checklist

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How to Spring Clean Your Kitchen

Confession time: I’m kinda a rotten housekeeper. There are a lot of arenas of domesticity where I thrive—I’m a hell of a cook, I can sew, I’m a pretty skilled gardener and canner, but cleaning? Phew. Not my strong suit. Actually, that’s not entirely true. When I put my mind to it, I’m actually an excellent, thorough cleaner. But the problem is, 90% of the time, I really have no interest in putting my mind to it. Cleaning just falls way down on my priority list.

Craig is actually awesome at picking up my cleaning slack (he does the vast majority of our cleaning), but with him working full-time and running a small business on the side, it can be hard for him to keep things spick-and-span, too. That’s why seasonal cleaning is so important in our house. We have a baseline of neatness that we try to keep up with, but seasonal cleaning is where we really get down and tackle the nitty-gritty. Sure, it’d be better if we did things like wash our baseboards and cleaned out our fridge weekly, but the truth is, that just isn’t realistic for our lifestyle. So when we devote time to doing deep-cleaning, we really do deep cleaning.

Right now, we’re going room-by-room of the house and doing our annual spring cleaning—and first up is the kitchen. Not only is it a great time to clean out the yucky stuff stuck under the knobs on the stove (gross), but it’s also an amazing time to declutter, reorganize and tackle any problem areas. This is especially important in the kitchen. If it’s hard to get to your favorite ingredients or the good pans in the kitchen, you’re more likely to order in pizza or pick up take-out. When a kitchen is clean and runs smoothly, it’s a joy to cook in!


Admittedly, the kitchen is also the absolute suckiest room in the house to organize and deep clean. It took us an entire three-day weekend to get through our kitchen—mostly because we decided to do a pantry reorganization at the same time. But once you’re through this list, the other rooms feel like nothing! And there are few things that make a home feel better than having a spotless, well-organized kitchen.

cannisters beans

And it helps breaking the kitchen into zones. That way you can tackle a few zones at a time—instead of being overwhelmed with a ridiculously long list that you feel like you’ll never finish.  Here’s how we tackled our kitchen:

Step 1 : Get Ready

cleaning supplies

  • Put on some good tunes
  • Gather all cleaning supplies
  • Do dishes, dry and put away
  • Empty dishwasher
  • Remove any non-kitchen clutter
  • Put linens (rugs, curtains, aprons, etc.) in laundry
  • Set up large box or bag for items to trash
  • Set up large box or bag for items to donate
  • Dust ceiling and remove cobwebs
  • Dust top of cabinets
  • Take out trash, recycling and compost

Step 2 : Drawers


  • Pull out all items
  • Sort into keep, donate or trash
  • Wipe out drawers
  • Replace any tattered drawer liners
  • Clean any drawer organizers
  • Place items back in neatly
  • Wipe down drawer fronts and knobs

Step 3 : Cabinets


  • Pull out all items
  • Sort into keep, donate or trash
  • Wipe out cabinets and shelves
  • Replace any tattered shelf liners
  • Clean any shelf organizers
  • Place items back in neatly
  • Wipe down cabinet fronts and knobs
  • Clean glass on glass-front cabinets

Step 4 : Pantry


  • Pull out all items
  • Trash any expired, old, stale or inedible food
  • Donate any unopened food you don’t want
  • Transfer open items to jars or containers
  • Combine like half-used containers
  • Wipe down pantry shelves
  • Replace any tattered shelf liners
  • Clean any organizers
  • Place items back into pantry neatly
  • Wipe down pantry door and knob

Step 5 : Countertop


  • Empty out utensil jar, sort, clean, replace utensils
  • Wipe down any countertop small appliances
  • Store any appliances that are use infrequently
  • Clean out toaster crumb tray
  • Descale coffee maker or kettle
  • Clean microwave inside and out
  • Wipe down knife block, sharpen knives
  • Wipe down paper towel holder
  • Clean fruit bowl/basket
  • Wipe down counters and backsplash
  • Wipe down any art and tsotchkes 

Step 6 : Oven & Cooktop


  • Clean inside and outside of oven door
  • Put oven on self-cleaning cycle
  • Remove all knobs and grates, wash
  • Clean cooktop
  • Clean inside and outside of range hood

Step 7 : Fridge & Freezer


  • Pull out all food from fridge and freezer
  • Trash any food that is expired, old, or inedible
  • Wipe down shelves
  • Wash ice cube trays
  • Pull out drawers and wash, replace
  • Put food back in neatly
  • Declutter top of fridge, dust and wipe clean
  • Take down all magnets and papers from exterior
  • Recycle old papers, sort through magnets
  • Wipe down exterior, replace magnets and papers
  • Vacuum fridge coils

Step 8 : Sink & Dishwasher


  • Clean drains and garbage disposal
  • Scrub and polish sink, faucet and knobs
  • Sort through sponges and dish brushes
  • Wash dish drying rack
  • Empty food trap of dishwasher
  • Wipe down inside and outside of dishwasher
  • Run empty on a high-heat sanitizing cycle

Step 9 : Everything Else


  • Wipe down stools, table and chairs, and islands
  • Spot clean or wash any chair cushions
  • Wash windows and wipe down windowsills
  • Wipe down switch plates, doors, knobs, and walls
  • Dust and wipe down light fixtures
  • Vacuum dust from vent covers
  • Sweep floor
  • Scrub any problem areas on floor
  • Mop floor
  • Clean trash cans, recycling bin, and compost bin
  • Wash window screens and install


It doesn’t seem so bad when it’s all broken up into sections, now does it? And, I went ahead and made it into a printable—because cleaning is much more fun with a nice printable on a cute clipboard.

clipboard spring cleaning


Happy cleaning!

Are you a good housekeeper?

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

7 Responses
  1. You cannot make compromise with the process of making the kitchen clean. Obviously, when the room is clean, you feel like being invited to cook. And it is exciting there to serve. You should carry out different strategies for different items of the kitchen. Also, the strategies vary from time to time i.e. season to season. When it is spring, you should set aside the cleaning items. Depending on the material of the countertop, it is cleaned. The cabinets are emptied first and then are cleaned. You should act as the case of home improvement.

  2. This is awesome! Seriously, thank you. I too am not a good cleaner on a regular basis. A good deep clean makes me so anxious and I get off-track. This printable will be so helpful. Also, I love your kitchen layout and all the little canisters. One question though, your cleaning bucket, where did you get it? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one with two compartments like that and I like that much better.

  3. Shelly

    Horrible, terrible and I am a procrastinator! But just like you when my “mind” is put into the right frame it flows and gets done. Thank you for the great list, in another life (1 kid & stayed at home) I was not quite a perfectionist and made lists. BTW love love love your kitchen!! 🙂

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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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