Ask a House Cleaner, Kitchen Cupboard Hacks, Savvy Cleaner

Kitchen Cupboard Hacks (2017)

Kitchen cupboard hacks (2017). Just what you’re looking for if you’re a maid service and about to clean customers cupboards. 

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru talks kitchen cupboard organization on Ask a House Cleaner. Tips include the lazy Susan, kitchen cupboard use, and get rid of duplicates. Extra sets of dishes are a curse, not a blessing. 

Listen up house cleaners, maids, and those DIY house cleaning experts. This cupboard cleaning advice will free up your kitchen and make you wonder why you waited so long to do this. 

Today’s show sponsor is

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Listen: Kitchen Cupboard Hacks

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Watch: Kitchen Cupboard Hacks

Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: Kitchen Cupboard Hacks

Today’s question comes from a house cleaner. She going to bid a job to clean a customer’s cupboards. And she wants to know, “How long is the job going to take me and how much should I charge?”

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Answer: What to Charge for Kitchen Cupboard Cleaning

That’s an excellent question, and the answer is, we don’t know. There are a whole bunch of variables that we don’t know about the inside of the customer’s cupboards. 

Don’t assume that because the customer has a tidy kitchen that their cupboards are also tidy.  

There are people that open the cupboards and they just chuck stuff inside. Then they close the cupboards and it’s out of sight, out of mind.  

Wedding Gifts – Excess Dishes in Your Kitchen Cupboard

Kitchen Cupboard Hacks, Multiple sets of dishesThere are also people that get married, and when they get married they get wedding gifts. Things like fancy pots, pans, and dishes. They put them inside their cupboards, and never use them again. You will find all kinds of interesting things inside a customer’s cupboards.

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So How Do I Bid the Job?

This is something that you want to ask the customer. Don’t just pick a random number off the top of your head because you have no idea what the job involves.

Make sure that you spend some time with the customer and that you go through every single cupboard.  

Why Now?

 It’s important to understand that. Because if they’re trying to become organized, they may need some system in place. 

Enter professional organizer mode – this is not just about cleaning things out. It’s about organizing.

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What’s Your Deadline for Kitchen Cupboard Organization?

 “How soon do you need this project done?” If they have company coming over this weekend we want them proud of their kitchen cupboards.

If there’s not a time limit on it, you might want to schedule this in the future. Let’s say that you have a cancellation from a regular customer.

That might be a good day with three or four hours that is not accounted for, you can come by and do this project.

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What Do You Use This Kitchen Cupboard For?

Every cupboard should have its own purpose. 

Decide with the customer how they can best use that kitchen cupboard.

What Is Your Budget for This Project?

Kitchen Cupboard Hacks, stuff you will needThis is not how much are they going to pay you to clean it out. This is how much are they going to pay for supplies to organize the cupboards.

Because you’re going to need some things. Whether they’re storage units, lazy Susan’s, stacking racks or an elevator shelf. You will need a lot of supplies. Especially if this is the first time they’re organizing their cupboards.

Take Notes 

Grab a clipboard and take notes as you go through the cupboards with the customer. Figure out what you’re going to do and ask these questions as you go through the cupboards.

“What do you want me to do with duplicates?” Because you’re going to find that some customers, may have four cheese graters. Or they may have four rolling pins without realizing it.  

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Customers Don’t Even Know What They Own

There was a house that we cleaned that had four rolling pins. “What do you use these four rolling pins for?” She says, “Oh my goodness, I didn’t know I have four rolling pins. I only ever use one rolling pin and I use it once a year at Thanksgiving when I roll out the pies.”

“Are you going to make the pies from scratch or are you just going to buy an already made pie shell? Because if you only use the rolling pin once a year, it’s possible that you might buy an already made pie shell. If so, then we can just get rid of all four rolling since you’re not using them.”

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Get Rid of What You Don’t Need

To store something as large as a rolling pin that you use once a year is using space for something that you don’t need. If you’re a baker and you make lots of pies, having four rolling pins may be good for you to have.

If that’s the case, we want to put those inside a drawer, front and center, so that you can access them with ease. This will all depend on the customer’s use.

Kitchen Cupboard Usage

Kitchen Cupboard Hacks, Dish Drainer great for storing pot lidsYou kind of know the usage habits of customers because you clean their house. But there are a lot of things you don’t know. Like when they open their dishwasher, do they want to put all the dishes in the cupboard above it or next to it? You don’t want to put those dishes just in any cupboard.

So Many Dishes

Kitchen Cupboard Hacks, dish hoardingThe average family has four to five sets of dishes. Some are plastic or Melmac. These are dishes that they use on a daily basis that if they drop on the floor they won’t break.

Lot’s people have a set of special occasion glass dishes for when family and friends come over.

Then they have a set of fine china that they use at Thanksgiving or Christmas. And then there are sets of dishes that they got when they got married or they inherited them from family. 

Most people do not need, do not use, and do not want five or six sets of dishes.

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How Many Dishes Do You Need?

Now is a good time to have a conversation and find out “How many sets of dishes do you have? How many do you want to keep, and how many will you use?”

And then find out, is the customer giving you permission to get rid of the duplicates? Because if the answer is yes, then you’ll make a note of that.

Expired items

Ask your customer, If I see expired things, like cans or spices, do you want me to set those aside or do I toss them?” 

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Do Not Bid on The Spot

Alright then, you have gone through all the cupboards. You have determined what is going to be necessary to do the job. So now that you have information for the job, do not give a price on the spot. Go home and figure out which supplies you’ll need and how many of each?

Lazy Susan for Your Kitchen Cupboard

Kitchen Cupboard Hacks, Lazy SusansFor every corner with a cupboard in it, remember that if you put stuff in the back of that corner, it will be hard to see. 

You want to get a lazy Susan for those corners. A lazy Susan is a plate on a little spinner. So, you put stuff on the plate and when you open the cupboard you spin it to find what you need. Whatever’s at the back comes to the front.  

 It’s awesome for corner cupboards. I would recommend that if the customer doesn’t already have them, to invest in some lazy Susan’s. 

What Is an Elevator Shelf? 

Kitchen Cupboard Hacks, Pull out shelves, Shelf risersLet’s say that you have a whole shelf full of saucers or little teacups. They don’t take up the whole entire shelf space, they just take up the bottom of the shelf space. 

This is where an elevator shelf comes in handy. An elevator shelf is a little shelf that goes right inside on top of the shelf so that you have twice the space. 

Organizing the Drawers

Kitchen Cupboard Hacks, Pull out shelves, Drawer organizersWhat else do you need? You want to organize t the drawers.

Lots of people have pull-out drawers that they put silverware in. And many people have a silverware holder or separator. They put the knives in one section, spoons, forks, and all that kind of stuff in another section.

Another thing is, that there are drawers that have nothing in them. These are drawers perfect for small items. Whether they are little lids or containers, or regular items used in the kitchen.  Things, like straws or even plastic bags, like sandwich bags.

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The dollar store has an amazing array of little tiny drawer separators. You can fill your kitchen drawers with these so that you have different options for your stuff.

Once you organize all the drawers that are in the kitchen, that’s going to free up a whole lot of space. It’s going to remove a lot of the junk and clutter from the top of the kitchen cupboards. Because now there’s space inside the drawers that you organized. 


Kitchen Cupboard Hacks, Can stackersWhen you’re done organizing the drawers, you also want to organize the pantry. There will be some items that you will remove from the cupboards and be stored in the pantry. 

These are going to be items like, maybe a blender or a waffle maker, a panini maker, a little roaster or a toaster oven. 

There are lots of things that people keep in their cupboards that they don’t use a lot.

Front and Center

Kitchen Cupboard Hacks, Pull out shelves, easy accessNow, in my particular house, I have a Vitamix blender. I use it every day,  and I store it in a cupboard underneath my counter. But it is front and center because I use it often. 

Find out what items the customer uses all the time.

Create spaces where those are front and center so that they’re easy to access.

It sounds like a whole lot of work, and it kind of is. But once the customer has organized kitchen cupboards, they will love their kitchen. 

It’s going to make cleaning the kitchen so much easier. 

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What to Charge for Kitchen Cupboard Organizing?

Find out from the customer what they want to get rid of. What they want to be organized and how much of their budget is for supplies. This will help you give an accurate price for the job.

So how much are you going to charge the customer to do this?

My suggestion is that you charge by the job or by the hour.

Since you don’t know how long it’s going to take, you have to price it so that you’re going to make some money. 

Shopping for organization binsFactor in your Research and Shopping

Bid your time and your energy for the job. You’ve got to go home and figure out what the organization solutions are. 

You’ve got to buy the organization solutions. (Amazon, Walmart or Target or any other store.) 

Charge a price that’s going to make sense for you but also fits into your customer’s budget.

Cleaning a Kitchen Cupboard is Deep Cleaning

This project is not part of routine cleaning. It’s considered deep cleaning. It is a special project you can do on a weekend. Or on just a regular day when you don’t have other, regular routine cleaning.

I hope that helps a little bit. This should give you some insights on what’s involved in the job. Figure out a way to help price it so that it’s fair to you and the customer.

Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

Estilo Stainless Steel Lazy Susan – 2 Tier Design, 360-degree Turntable –

Lipper International 8301 Bamboo 10-Inch Single Turntable –

RamPro 10-Inch Rotating Swivel Turntable – Lazy Susan – 65 Lbs. Capacity –

Copco Non-Skid Cabinet Turntable, 18-Inch – Great for corner pantry shelves –

SimpleHouseware Stackable Can Rack Organizer, Chrome –

FIFO Can Tracker- Food Storage Canned Foods Organizer/Rotater/Dispenser: Kitchen, Cupboard, Cabinet, Pantry- Rotate Up To 54 Cans –

Better Houseware 1496.6 Beverage Can Dispenser, Chrome –

MorningRising Bottle And Can Easy Stacker 2 Pack – Perfect Kitchen Cabinet And Fridge Storage Rack – Stack Water Bottles And Food Cans – Fit More On Your Shelves And In Your Fridge –

SimpleHouseware Expandable Stackable Kitchen Cabinet and Counter Shelf Organizer, Silver –

Medium Low Profile Riser 3pcs Set in Clear Acrylic by Tripar –

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