Give a little time to spring cleaning in the kitchen

Associated Press

When sunshine beckons you outside, remember there's still some reason to give a little time to spring cleaning the kitchen.

When April showers blow along, everyone may well end up hanging out in the kitchen -- and if it's clean and organized it will be that much easier to cook up a tasty dish to keep the troops happy till the clouds pass by.

Make sure all your knives are sharp; sharpen any that have lost their edge. Sharp knives cut more easily, of course, but they are also much safer.

Check to see a full range of necessary cutlery and utensils is still in place; replace essentials, from pots, pans and lids for them to kitchen tools and accessories. Check appliance cords for possible cuts or fraying, and replace when necessary.


Hand-wash cutlery and appliances. Read cleaning instructions for everything: Remember not all kitchen products are dishwasher safe.

Check all expiration and "best used by" dates on items in the pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Throw out those past their prime.

Evaluate how your pantry and food areas are organized. Sort food by category (baking, sauces, pastas, breakfast foods, and so on) to make things easier to find and reach, and to know when items need restocking.

Organize drawers with plastic sectional organizers or small oblong boxes. Make more room in drawers by grouping your most-used utensils in ceramic jars or other holders on countertops -- this makes them faster to grab, too.

Store cutlery properly, knives in a wooden block on the counter or in trays that fit in a drawer or hang on a wall.

Help save accidents by checking for loose handles on pots and pans.

Roll out new shelf linings in pantry and cabinets as you check each of them out.

Start an herb garden on your windowsill. It will add color and fragrance, as well as giving you fresh flavorings at your fingertips for months to come.

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