I am excited to be working with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia for the next several weeks highlighting one of my favorite brands Method. First up I want to let you know about the Get Clean Sweepstakes! Be sure to check that out.

I use Method cleaning supplies all the time in our home -- I am a pretty much a super fan, and with some major Spring Cleaning beginning around our home, this is right up my alley! What I especially like about Method products is they are non-toxic, and natural, but still work very effectively and come in pretty designed and eco-minimal packages. Are you a fan too?

As I share my thoughts about Method products I will also share some of my Spring Cleaning tips and first up I am going to explore the kitchen. Method recently sent me the above yummy smelling Clementine Dish Soap that is incredible – the smells is utterly addictive and it may sound crazy but it really makes me want to do the dishes. I love the sweet citrus smell! All of their products I've tried smell amazing which makes Spring Cleaning much more enjoyable.

Speaking of dishes, when it comes to dishes I am really going through a purging phase right now. I am working on pairing down what we don’t need or use. I’ve conquered the cupboard above and I’m off to set the rest in order. I’ve been using the Method multi-purpose spray as I go to wipe down the cabinets, which pretty much makes everything smell like heaven.

Tip 1 : Figure out what your needs are and eliminate what you don’t use or like. When organizing match like items together with ample space around them for easy access and organization.

A while back we got rid of all of our unsharp knives after we saved for months to upgrade to a few really great knives. It has made all of the difference and chopping, slicing and dicing much more enjoyable. 

Tip 2 : Discard unsafe knives (dull ones are dangerous!) and broken appliances, and save to upgrade to kitchen tools that you will use and last for a lifetime. Keep knives sharp by having them professionally sharpened once a year, and don’t put them in the dishwasher or leave them in the sink!

There is a tiny hidden wall in our kitchen where I put up cork squares and pin up rotating food ideas or articles that inspire me. The visuals help steer our choices in a better direction. As you can see from the current board above, right now we are really focusing on eating healthier in our family, although I do miss seeing photos of delicious desserts! 

Tip 3 : Be inspired while in your kitchen – Have a place where you can see visual reminders of what types of things you want to want to eat. It can be on a wall, on the back of a cupboard, whatever works best in your space.

While going through our cabinets I have came across my little problem of loving books too much – especially well-designed and pretty photographed cookbooks so it is hard not to keep adding to them. I’m in the process of going through all of the pretty ones that aren’t dogeared to see what recipes I really want to cook. Furthermore, it is even getting more tricky to focus with all of the pretty cooking apps for the iPad they are coming out with… have you seen Everday Food?! Gorgeous! (I will have to do a post on that.)

Tip 4 : Utilize what you already have before adding more. Set your limits and define the space it will take up, when you purchase something, pass on another.

My final tip is my black book of recipes. I’ve tried many things … computer programs, recipe cards, custom recipe books, apps and more. What I keep coming back to and what works best for me is to the print off, clip and type recipes, and put them into a binder with plastic pages. I have tabs categorizing sections like entrees, salads, soups and more and it is a snap to quickly find what favorites I want to make. When I meal plan for the week I just go through and take out the recipes I’m going to use, write down the ingredients I need and put them in the front of the binder for easy access during the week. The plastic pages have also saved me from many spills.

Tip 5: Organize and collect your favorite and well-used recipes in one place so they are easy to access when cooking in the kitchen.

So there you have it… my five Spring Cleaning tips for the kitchen! What are some of your tips? I would love to hear about them in the comments! Favorite recipes, cookbooks shout those out too. Also what are your favorite cleaning supplies in the kitchen -- do you seek after the good smells like me?

*As a heads up, Method sent me the dish soap for review and I really love it. This post is sponsored by Martha Stewart and Method, but these opinions are my own -- you should see my Method Cleaning Arsenal before they even approached me.

Photos by Rachel Jones – Black Eiffel.


Mariel said...

I love Method cleaning products! My fave is their hand soap.
Thanks for all the useful advice! It can be so easy to let your kitchen get cluttered and stay in a rut cooking the same things (specially as a college student!).

Gloria said...

Great post and advice!

I'd love to hear about which knives you thought were worth the splurge and your decision making process, as I'm also in the market for an upgrade.


shaynna said...

From Martha Stewart to Donna Hay, you really have the 'home love' covered!

Eva @ Four Leaf Clover said...

I absolutely love Method and wish I could get it here in Switzerland! The fact that they don't test on animals got me right away and then finding out it's eco-friendly among other great tributes. Thanks for the tips and review!

Linda [the young curator] said...

i love method!!! i've never used their dish soap, but i exclusively use their pink grapefruit hand soap. it's so cute, and it smells fantastic.

and thanks for the spring cleaning tips. i guess this means that i finally have to get up off my butt and organize my very messy kitchen hahaha

the emily said...

I love Method too. But I REALLY love your Fish's Eddy polka dot glasses. I have some of those myself, courtesy of a generous friend on my birthday a few years ago. LOVE them.

Kristie said...

I've been needing some kitchen advice. I particularly love the inspiration board idea. Thank you!

Miss Walker said...

Love the cork squares idea with all those great food shots! Thanks for the inspiration! Miss Walker xoxo

Lily said...

I LOVE method...the only products I use!!


Tobe | Because It's Awesome said...

love this post! our kitchen is probably hurting the worst of any room...i need to organize my recipes something fierce.

thanks for the motivation :)

Anonymous said...

Method does contain natural ingredients, BUT, they also include synthetic chemicals and frangrances that are unhealthy...

Synthetic Fragrance oils are primarily made from petrochemicals and attempt to duplicate the smell of a specific plant. By dismantling the unique chemical compound of an essential oil, chemists re-assemble a "Frankenstein" fragrance. A 1986 report by the National Academy of Sciences reports that 95 percent of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum and include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxins and synthesizers capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.

The FDA does not require fragrance manufacturers to disclose the ingredients of synthetic fragrances because these formulas are regarded as "proprietary." Such "proprietary" ingredients commonly include numerous known carcinogens but are protected under the FDA's "trade secret" law.

Even after banning methylene chloride (a known carcinogen that also causes autoimmune disease) in 1989, an EPA study two years later listed the chemical as one of the 20 most common chemicals found in fragrance products. In a 2001 study, the EPA reported that synthetic fragrances were shown to cause possible mutagenic and genotoxic effects. Synthetic fragrances have also been shown to contain hormone disruptors which are linked to abnormal cell reproduction and may result in tumor growth.

Anonymous said...

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is also a strong and harsh detergent used in industry as a degreaser and a powerful wetting and foaming agent.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is a very harsh detergent found in almost all shampoos and more than a few toothpastes. Pick up a cross section of these products next time you visit the supermarket and you will find Sodium Lauryl Sulphate SLS or Sodium Lauryth Sulphate (SLES) in pride of place under the ingredients label.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate started its career as an industrial degreasant and garage floor cleaner. When applied to human skin it has the effect of stripping off the oil layer and then irritating and eroding the skin, leaving it rough and pitted.

Studies on SLS have shown that: Shampoos with SLS could retard healing and keep children's eyes from developing properly. Children under six years old are especially vulnerable to improper eye development. SLS causes: cataracts in adults and delays the healing of wounds in the surface of the cornea, skin to flake and to separate, roughness on the skin, dysfunction of the biological systems of the skin. SLs has a low molecular weight and so is easily absorbed by the body. It builds up in the heart, liver and brain and can cause major problems in these areas.

Ethoxylation: Ethoxylation is the process that makes degreasing agents such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) less abrasive and gives them enhanced foaming properties. When SLS is ethoxylated, it forms Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), a compound used in many shampoos, toothpastes, bath gels, bubble baths, and industrial degreasants. The problem is, the extremely harmful compound 1,4-dioxane may be created during the ethoxylation process, contaminating the product. 1,4-dioxane was one of the principal components of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange, used to great effect by the Americans during the Vietnam War to strip off the jungle canopy to reveal their enemy. 1,4-dioxane is a hormonal disrupter believed to be the chief agent implicated in the host of cancers suffered by Vietnam military personnel after the war. It is also an oestrogen mimic thought to increase the chances of breast cancer and endometrial cancer, stress related illnesses and lower sperm counts.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine
May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products, itching, burning and blistering of skin. Synthesized from coconuts, this chemical is found in body products and may be labeled natural or organic.

DEA: Diethanolamine
A chemical used as a wetting or thickening agent in shampoos, soaps, hairsprays and sunscreens, blocks absorption of the nutrient choline, which is essential to brain development in a fetus.

fleur_delicious said...

Ah, I'm with you. Love good-smelling products; they totally make cleaning enjoyable. I loved Murphy's Oil Soap when I used to have wood floors, and I've got method bathtub scrub and after-shower spray, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day all-purpose cleaner for washing floors, and I like a lavendar dish soap. The same goes for cleaning *us* - I use avalon rosemary shampoos and we stick to spicy foresty hand and body soaps in scents like cedar, linden and verbena. The really nice thing is that many of our friends notice, too - often they step into our home and comment on the sweet, clean herbal smells. It's SUCH a flattering compliment to have friends step in and exclaim that your house smells good, isn't it?

fleur_delicious said...

PS. favorite cookbooks that we have been using over and over for years are Field of Greens (the 2nd Greens cookbook, and a bit lighter than their first one) and Gordon Hammersley's Bistro Cooking at Home. There are quite a few others, but these are in heaviest rotation, year round.

hearttypat said...

well, if anyone needs these tips, its me! i have absolutely no idea what to do with my kitchen! The moment i use it, it's like a hurricane went through it.

My name's Haley said...

A FOOD INSPIRATION BOARD?!? Genius! I love this idea.

jess@theanatomyofstyle said...

Brilliant tip for organizing recipes. I've been struggling with how to keep all of my dinner faves organized and this is my newest inspiration.

Stephanie said...

Food inspiration board is fabulous!
I am decluterring but not as spring cleaning, more as a 2011 project... It feel great to be able to see more space everwhere in the house. I don't know the Method products... Haven't seen them here in Luxembourg.

okorolev said...

I have a recipe book too!!! with clear pages and i maintain it 2-3 times a year. Although now its become this huge binder!!! but i love it.

Lauren said...

These are some great ideas! I especially love your inspiration board.
I have been organizing my kitchen as well and made these recipe binders [] to help corral everything- they can sit out on the counter AND look pretty.

Anonymous said...

I like the method products, I just used my first bottle of grapefruit dish soap because I liked that I could reuse the squirt bottle.

Unfortunately its got a really poor design. When you pump it out, the soap squirts clear across the room, or onto my clothes, or over the counter onto the clean dishes. They really should make it point downwards. Unfortunately its going into the recycling bin, as the design was too much to tolerate while waiting until it was finally empty. Actually, it didnt take long, as the squirt mechanism makes you HAVE to use a full squirt instead of just a small drop here and there.

Saskia said...

I was surprised to see you did not mention their great packaging and amusing descriptions on their products.

Love your blog! Thanks.

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