On a warm day in early spring, I opened the window above the kitchen sink and breathed in the sweet earthy smell. “Spring at last,” I sighed. Turning around to survey the kitchen, I realized that although my heart was ready for springtime, my kitchen was not.
From cluttered countertops to worn-out flooring, nothing about the state of our kitchen conveyed feelings of spring. My husband and I crafted a plan to breathe new life into our kitchen, making it ready for the spring months and year round enjoyment.
Step One: De-clutter the Kitchen Countertops
Over the winter, our countertops accumulated an assortment of clutter. To begin our kitchen clean-up, I divided the clutter into two piles: trash and keep. I enlisted the help of my children to put the “keep” items in their proper homes. The trash pile was even easier to dispose of.
Once the clutter was gone, I removed the small appliances and cleaned the countertops thoroughly. I bought a bouquet of fresh hydrangeas at the grocery store for $5.99 and placed them on the center island.
Step Two: Refinish the Hardwood Floors
When our home was built more than eight years ago, the builder used a low-grade finish on the kitchen floors. Unfortunately, the flooring didn’t hold up well to our rowdy family of five and two dogs.
This spring, we decided to have the floors refinished by a small local contractor. In order to build his business, this contractor charged 30 percent less than his competitors, finishing our 700 square feet of wood flooring for $1400.
Step Three: Clean and Polish the Cabinets
The floor refinishing process left our cabinets dustier than usual. I grabbed a wet rag and quickly wiped the cabinet faces. Once dry, I used wood polish to restore luster and shine. This project took approximately two hours and didn’t cost a penny, since I already had the cleaners on hand.
Step Four: Wash the Window Treatments
Looking around, I realized our window treatments also needed some freshening up. I took down the faux-wood blinds and soaked them in a bathtub with warm water and white vinegar. After 20 minutes, I removed the blinds from the water and dried them with a clean cloth. I shook out the curtains and replaced a torn panel with an identical one I had purchased on sale for $19.99.
Our kitchen is the gathering place where our family comes together for meals, conversation, homework, games, and crafts. Over the course of the past two weeks, we spent $1426 welcoming springtime into our kitchen – the heart of our home. It was worth every penny.