Refresh and Clean Out Your Cupboards

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11 Jan 2013

It's a new year and a perfect time to clear the clutter from your life and home with practical resolutions that work.

Clear everything off of shelves and out of cupboards, making sure to check expiry dates and throw away anything that may have expired.

Clearing out can be therapeutic and makes spaces for new and better things to come into your home, so dedicate some time on a weekend to clean out your kitchen cupboards and your closet.

Cleaning kitchen cupboards

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in your house, besides the bedroom, so it can get grimy fast. Cupboard doors are often spilt on, kicked and grabbed with sticky fingers leaving them looking dull.

Tip: Have a few cardboard boxes and plastic bags ready, as you will be throwing things away.

All you need is a bucket of warm water mixed with white vinegar or a mild detergent, a soft cloth, an old toothbrush and your vacuum cleaner fitted with a nozzle attachment.

First, take everything out of the cupboards and stack them carefully on the counters. Then use your vacuum to suck out any spilled spices and dust.

Wipe down the floors, walls and ceilings of the cupboards with the soft cloth and warm water. For particularly stubborn or sticky marks, add a bit of baking soda onto the cloth and scrub at the spot. Jik bleach can also work well on white surfaces. Use the old toothbrush to scrub the doors if they have any design carved into them or for difficult grooves and corners.

Use a soft cloth and a mild detergent or Jik bleach for white surfaces to get your kitchen cupboards to shine.

Organise your kitchen so that everything you use regularly is within arm's reach. Put pots and pans near the stove, dishes near the dishwasher and so on. Wrap up all the items you only use on special occasions, such as baking equipment or Christmas plates in newspaper and pack them in boxes. Label the boxes accordingly and store them in the garage to save space.

Carefully examine everything as you are packing it away. Anything that is chipped or cracked set to one side to be thrown away or donated to a charity.

Tip: If you have a drawer that is filled with random things like spare keys and screws, clear it out and use dividers to organise it.

Clearing your closet

Your closet should make you smile when you open it, not dread trying to find something to wear. So if your closet looks like a bomb went off in it, it's time to clear it out.

Tip: It helps to keep a notepad handy and write down things that you need to complete an outfit, such as accessories or shoes. Sometimes it only takes one small thing to make an outfit work.

When cleaning out your closet, it's a good idea to try on your clothes and shoes to find out what still fits and looks good before donating the clothes you no longer need.

Think about the quality of your clothes. If they look dull or stretched and have holes in them, throw them out. If you have seven different colours of what looks like the same shirt, pick your favourite and put the others aside.

The best thing to do when clearing out your closet is to try on your clothes. If they don’t fit well or feel comfortable, it may be a sign to pass them along. Try on your shoes as well, and if your feet begin protesting, get rid of them.

Tip: Cut up holey t-shirts and use them as cleaning rags around the house. They're great for polishing furniture.

Create 'keep', 'maybe' and 'dontate' piles for your clothes and shoes. Anything that you don’t love anymore, or doesn’t quite fit, stick in the donate pile. Then sift through the 'maybe' pile, and only keep the essentials. Remember, you can always replace things with the latest style and then you will definitely wear them.

If you don't have any drawers and your underwear is haphazardly thrown onto a shelf, it might be a good idea to buy a wicker basket that will fit into your cupboard as a makeshift drawer. Organise your rack according to colour, season or the kind of garment it is, as it makes finding clothes easier and quicker. Line up your shoes depending on style and colour. Victoria Taylor

About the Author
Victoria Taylor

Victoria Taylor

Journalist at

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