Cleaning Kitchen Cupboards & Drawers: Spring Cleaning!


Kitchen cupboards and kitchen drawers, yes, they need to be cleaned this spring.

Now, before you start kicking and screaming (because I know this is a big job), I am going to show you how to make it as simple and methodical as possible.  That way when you are doing it, at least you have a plan of action and know what you have to do.  I think it will help you stay focussed and goal-oriented also.

Don’t forget to check out the bonus video and post where I show you how to clean the dirtiest place in your kitchen!

It feels oh-so good!

I’ll also mention how great it felt once this job was done.  My kitchen has so much more space and is less cluttered, not to mention felt cleaner.  Now, this is admittedly a bigger job, since kitchens have several cupboards and drawers and stuff which hasn’t been touched in a while.  My house is about 1800 square feet, and I have a fairly small kitchen with minimal storage (side note: I can’t even find drawer organizers for our little micro drawers – of which we have 4.  Anyway, I’ll rant about my kitchen size later.).  My kitchen took just under 3 hours to do, but keep in mind we were also filming.  So, without filming (which is how I suspect you’ll be doing this), it could take about 2 hours.

What you’ll need:

  • microfiber cloths
  • step stool
  • all-purpose cleaner
  • garbage bag
  • recycling bag
  • donation bag
  • baking soda
  • sponge (scrubby)
  • Shelf liners (optional)
  • music
  • handheld vacuum (or, a vacuum with a crevice tool or brush attachment) – if you don’t have this you can use a little handheld broom

If you are interested in any of the tools or products I’ve used to do this task, check out these items on Amazon!

Let’s get cracking!

  1. Start by choosing your music, I chose some 80’s playlist on Songza and at some point during the video you can actually see me turn around and sing passionately (it actually looks like I am yelling and waving my fist at Chad…).
  2. Clear off your kitchen counter or table entirely.  You’re going to need a lot of space to put everything on.
  3. Then, start at one end of the kitchen and tackle all top cupboards first working your way to the other end, leaving bottom cupboards and drawers for the second round (and the repeat, one end to the other).
  4. Remove everything and put it on the counter.
  5. Vacuum the cupboard shelves/drawer to remove debris.
  6. Spray the cupboard shelves/drawer, hinges/sliders, doors (inside and out) and then wipe clean with your microfiber cloth.  If you encounter a stain, sprinkle baking soda over the stain and scrub it out with a sponge.  Wipe clean and dry.
  7. Sort through items, decide what gets tossed, recycled or donated.
  8. Put everything else back in an organized fashion.  If you want to get funky fresh, you can find some organization solutions for cupboards and drawers.  I have a neat one for cans (but I can’t find it online anywhere, I bought mine at Dollarama, a Canadian dollar store).

That’s it – so methodical it could be in a 10th grade science textbook.

Zee Junk Drawer

Now, if you have a junk drawer (ours contains random kitchen tools, #storageproblems), empty the entire thing out and place all contents in a bin (but sort the items first and get rid of anything you are sure you don’t need).  Then, keep it on the counter for 3 months (hide it when guests come over, of course).  Whenever you need something, take it out of the bin, use it and then place it in the drawer.  At the end of 3 months, anything remaining in the bin likely isn’t needed so you can donate the items.

Cutlery Trays

Now, this got cut out of the video because it was already 10 minutes long, but it’s a key point and I want to tell you about it.  When you take your cutlery out of the drawer, you’re going to see all kinds or atrocities in that cutlery storage tray.  Crumbs, plastic thingies, shrivelled noodles, brown stains etc.  So, empty it out, place it face down on the top rack of your dishwasher, and run it through.  It’ll come out nice and clean and your drawer will look doubly awesome.

 More “Spring Cleaning Season” Videos!

Spring Clean Your Front Closet! 
Cosmetics & Toiletries Spring Cleaning Purge! 
Spring Cleaning Motivation! 

Ok you, good luck – I know you can do this!


  1. It’s not only the spring cleaning, I clean my kitchen drawers, cupboards, etc. monthly, but it’s never clean enough. It’s always messy after I’ve cooked something. You gave me great ideas to try in my kitchen. Thank you for the precise list of activities, it’s great inspiration!

  2. I hate visiting Grandma’s house. She still has her Y2K supply (from the 20th century)! She doesn’t understand why I won’t eat chicken noodle soup from 1998. Or Malt-O-Meal from 2003.

  3. I am a father of two boys and I know how hard is to find free time to clean and yes it is a tough task to teach the boys to keep the house tidy. My favorite advice here is connected with the junk drawer- that’s the messiest drawer in every house. So thanks for the advices. I will try all of the tricks. Regards!

  4. Dear Melissa, I’m big fan dear thank you so much for helping Moms to keep their homes clean, I have question though how do your clean very greacy ccabinet especially the one that above stove it’s always sticky ?

  5. Thanks for so generously spelling out your cleaning secrets. I enjoyed the article and have added some of your techniques to my business’ cleaning checklist.

  6. I moved in 3 yrs ago as a sublet for a friend and when I moved out a yr ago I threw outsold food from my friend from when she moved in 2 yrs prior….ewwww right????

  7. I found a recipe once for an amazing chili. I purchased the ingredients including some Italian sausage which I promptly put in the freezer. The weekend came but something came up so I delayed making this delicious looking chili (it had like a 5 hour prep time.) Well, things kept coming up but the sausage was patient and waited without complaint. I cleaned the fridge and freezer and savoured the day I would have my chili. I started watching your videos a little over a year ago and got inspired. It was time to clean the kitchen again and pay attention to expiration dates. Saddly, the sausage didn’t make the cut. My 9 year old son asked why I was laughing when I threw it away. I told him, “Because it expired before you were even born!”

  8. I just did this today! Amazing! It’s important to be able to see the backs of cabinets… if it’s hidden, who knows what could be there?

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