Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Making A House A Home: The Kitchen

Hello Ladies!
Thank you for joining me today, I hope that this post will bless and encourage you. Anyone else who would like to join in is very much welcomed to, and can join at any time they want. You don't have to post about it, though it would be wonderful if you did! Also, you don't have to post pictures, whatever you can do would be great.
Let's begin.
Part One: Cleaning. Thorough cleaning is the most important step, as you can't organize or cozy up a dirty room! I have made a list of the supplies I used, as well as what I think would work well for this step.

Necessary Items

1. An Apron! I used a make-shift one, pic. below.

2. A Cloth Or Rag For Dusting, Cleaning, & Polishing.

3. A Scrub Brush Of Sorts. As you can see, I use several.

4. Soap.

5. Something To Clean The Sink. I used Soft-Scrub.

Useful Things To Have

1. A Good Sponge.
2. Old English. This is wonderful if you have stained wood cabinets.

3. An Old Toothbrush.

4. Copper Scrubbers. These work fantastic on stoves.

5. A Pretty Smelling Candle.

6. A Good Dishtowel

7. Rubber Or Latex Gloves.

In-A-Pinch Apron I was a little busy and didn't have time to wash/dry my apron, so I improvised. I used an old jacket, folded over, and tied the sleeves around my waist. It worked wonderfully.

Now, the first thing I did was wash the sink.I washed/scrubbed away all of the gunk, then put on some Soft-Scrub. Borax and vinegar work very good, as well.

After letting this sit for about 20 minutes, I scrubbed it again then rinsed out the cleaner. Here's what I did to get it extra clean; I took a knife and scraped away all of the built-up gunk from around the base of the faucet, as well as the sprayer. Then I cleaned away all of the stuff around the back of the sink. After giving it a once over with the scrub brush, I wiped it down.

There you have it, a clean, shiny sink.
Next, the stove was cleaned. This is the one thing in the kitchen that gets the dirtiest the quickest. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. :)

I began with taking the grates off of the top and then poured a borax/water solution on it. I was careful not to soak it though, as once the circuit board blew that way. Next I used a copper scrubber to remove the cooked-on food. After wiping it all away, I washed it once more, then buffered it dry with a cloth. Next I took the grates to the sink and scrubbed them well with a copper scrubber. I then washed the rest of the stove, and rubbed it down with a wipe made for stainless steel appliances. I also washed the knobs. I also carefully scraped all of the seams out.

This makes a big difference.

Next was the cabinets. I washed these with a little bit of soapy water and a sponge. I didn't use a harsh cleaner as this could hurt the stain. I only used a bit of soap so that the cabinets wouldn't end up sticky.

I then dried them.

After this I put some Old English on a rag and buffered it into the wood. It's very important to get it into the wood completely, or wipe off the excess, or else it will get on whoever touches it. I speak from experience. :) If you prefer, you can use a little oil on a cloth. This would be great for lighter colored cabinets.

The finished result. We also have some cabinets with glass,

so I used a little vinegar in hot water to wash these.

Next came the fridge. How often is it overlooked when we clean the kitchen? It can get very dirty on the outside, with smudges and fingerprints. Especially the handles. It took me quite some time to scrub off all the layers of hidden dirt on ours! It ended up looking much better, though.
Other things in the kitchen that have to be thoroughly cleaned are: The counters, the floor, and the windows. The kitchen table is often overlooked, as well. The oil polish is what I use to keep it looking good.

Part Two: Organization

This is another very important step, and one that should not be overlooked. Organization makes life so much easier, and helps you save time, as well. Think, if you were preparing dinner and had everything right at your fingertips, and knew right where everything was, how much faster you could get it ready! If you already have an organized kitchen, why don't you do a once over on the drawers and cabinets? They will stay organized longer and look neater that way.

Here are some cabinets that I did. They didn't take me very long, and I benefit from having everything in easy reach.

One thing I did that also helps is wiping them out and throwing away/clearing out unneeded items. This gives me more room and allows me to find everything easier. A Tip for organizing; put the least used things in the back, and the most frequently used things near the front. This also saves time.

Drawers are important, too. They need to be kept clean as well as organized. Any crumbs or food will attract bugs. *Yuck*

Here I took out the tray and cleaned it well, as well as the shelf paper beneath it.

Another way to keep organized is to have a cork-board handy. This reduces clutter on counters. It also gives a homey air. Another place that needs to be kept organized is the top of the fridge.

Step Three: Cozying.

This is the easiest and most fun of all! I don't really need to tell you how to cozy your kitchen, but here are some pictures of what I do/use for ideas.

This pretty little set-up was put together a few weeks ago, and is very handy. It is easy to reach, and keeps everything up off of the counter. The idea came from this magazine.

One way to add a homey touch is to have houseplants. They give a calm, well decorated air, in my opinion.

Daddy made mom this glass shelf, and it adds a nice touch as well as decorating space (after all, cozying is made largely of decorating!)
Cute thrift shop finds make wonderful cozying "material". We often use this as a compost bowl.

Artwork or needlepoint adds a pretty touch, as well. Mama found this in a antique shop. It hangs above our buffet, and is a "silent prayer" in a way, for me.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this Making A House A Home post!

I hope it was encouraging as well as inspiring. If you end up posting your own experiences about it, please leave a comment telling me where to find your post, as I eagerly await seeing what you do!

Next is Laundry/Mudrooms, so I hope you come visiting again next week!




  1. Thank-you for sharing Livvy! I'll look foward to your next post. :)

    By-the-way, I love the large stove! That must be very handy.

    God Bless,


  2. Hey livvy!

    That looked great!! I should have a post up today, only it will be on the pantry (its nice and big and messy LOL) and the pots and cooking dishes. Anyways you did a really great job, that sink was shining like a new penny (well a new white penny LOL).

    God bless!

  3. Livvy,
    After reading your two posts about doing this, I was inspired, so even though I'm net really following this, I completely cleaned our kitchen! It was extremely messy, and it made my mom extremely happy. All that to say, thanks for the inspiration! I think I may do this, just not post about it. (Takes way too long to upload pictures, etc.)

    You're so thoughtful to think of helping your family this way - I admire you!


  4. Great post, Livvy! Very encouraging. Thanks for sharing!