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Tidy Up Your Home for the School Season

Now is the time to get your kitchen ready for the next season — use with these tips.

Summer may not officially be over, but with , change is definitely in order. At our house, we’re using the shift to get our kitchen clean and organized.

Here are some ways to prep the kitchen for fall and winter’s inevitable use:

  • Cabinet Cleaning. The insides and outsides of kitchen cabinets over time collect a layer of grime that’s impressive if you notice it. Because you look at it everyday in various states of awareness, the grime frequently goes unnoticed. When you take a step back and look at the collection of cooking grease, dust and dirt accumulated, it might shock you that you’ve gone so long without giving it a good scrub.
  • Recycle it. We cleared out a stockpile of old grocery bags for recycling. After making the switch to reusable bags last year, we didn’t know what to do with all of our old bags. We filled many of them with donatable items and recycled the rest of them. It opened up an entire cupboard. Now we have a few locations for our reusable bags—in the trunk and next to the front door are good spots for easy access. We have a rule that if we forget or reusable saks, we buy a few more bags. That helps us remember to grab them before we go.
  • Use it or lose it. Once in a while we like to get to the bottom of the fridge, freezer and cupboards by eating our way through them. It’s a great pre-vacation practice.
  • Out with the old. If it’s buried in the back of a cupboard, if it has a layer of dust on it that can’t be removed, if it hasn’t been used in over a year, well, it might be time to start a Goodwill donation pile. Kitchen gadgets are fun, but they sure take up a lot of space. After a cabinet cleaning, you might be inspired to clear out some old appliances, unidentifiable ingredients and miscellaneous accessories. Goodwill is an excellent place to donate usable kitchen items that don’t suit your culinary needs. Load up the trunk and drop off usable items at a donation center near you:  
  • 103 Whispering Pines Dr. in Scotts Valley
  • 1550 41st Ave. in Capitola
  • 1500 Mission St. in Santa Cruz
  • 470 Main St. in Watsonville

Goodwill Industries is a wonderful organization that helps people facing disabilities, hardship and employment challenges to gain needed skills and become self-sufficient. The environmentally-friendly aspect of kitchen tools being reused is icing on the cake.

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