1. Scrub the inside of your stove with a baking soda-water paste.
Combine a box of baking soda with water to form a paste. Fill any openings in the oven with foil. Avoiding bare metal surfaces and the oven door, spread it all over your oven then let it sit overnight. Use a plastic scraper or spatula to remove the paste, wetting as needed, then rinse with water.
2. Clean greasy gas burners in a sealed plastic bag with ammonia.
The V Spot recommends cleaning burners with ammonia: Put the burners in a plastic ziploc, add 1/4 cup of ammonia then seal. Place the bag on a baking sheet and put it outside overnight. The burners don’t need to soak, they just need to be exposted to the fumes. Wip the burners clean with a sponge, or briefly dunk into dishsoapy water. (BTW, never mix bleach with ammonia because it creates toxic fumes.)
10. Next step: reorganize.
EGGS: Middle shelf. MILK, YOGURT, SOUR CREAM, ETC: If possible, bottom shelf where it’s coldest, if not, middle shelf. RAW MEAT: Bottom shelf, where it’s coldest, and so if juices drip down they don’t contaminate other food. VEGETABLES: They need the most humidity. FRUIT: Need a little less humidity than vegetables — keep them in the crisper. DELI MEAT: That’s what the shallow drawer is for. If you don’t have a shallow drawer, put them on the bottom shelf. BUTTER, CHEESE, CONDIMENTS, PASTEURIZED JUICES: They can go in the warmest part of the fridge, the door. Or the top shelf.
14. Then make your freezer work harder.
Bon Appetit editor Carla Lalli Music tries to have these items in her freezer (pictured above) at all times: frozen peas, edamame, ground turkey, burger patties, chicken cutlets, ravioli, homemade soup, and homemade meatballs in sauce. “Each night I take a look at my freezer and transfer an item into the refrigerator to thaw for the next day,” she says. “Keeping the freezer in rotation means I always have a green vegetable on hand and don’t have to worry about meat spoiling in the fridge during the week.” Get more smart tips in Lalli Music’s post The Working Mom’s Top 5 Tips for Making Dinner Happen.
16. Steam-clean your microwave with water and lemon.
Microwave some water with lemon juice for three minutes, then let it sit undisturbed for another five. This will loosen any sticky mess inside the microwave, which you can then wipe off with a wet sponge and dishwashing liquid, then rinse.
24. Sharpen your knives.
26. Reorganize your pantry by food type.
Take everything out. Clean inside with water and vinegar. Then put everything back in keeping in mind what you use most. Make sure the ingredients you use the most are the easiest to tech:
-GRAINS (rice, cereal, pasta)
-OILS and VINEGARS
-CANNED VEGETABLES, FRUITS, SOUPS
-COFFEE & TEA
-NUTS AND DRIED FRUITS
27. Or organize by “zones” like “quick breakfasts” and “lunch on the run.”
Better Homes and Gardens suggests organizing your food into “zones” that match the way you cook. So you’d group the following foods together, making sure the zones you use the most often are the easiest to reach.
-EASY WEEKNIGHT MEALS
-LUNCH ON THE RUN