#atozchallenge Day 4: Difficult Things and the Hygge of Hometending

Hey there, and welcome to Day 4 of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge and the 31 Day Love Your Home Challenge!

Today’s theme is “Do the Difficult Thing”, and the challenge is to “make it pretty” by spending 15 minutes wiping down the fronts of major appliances in the kitchen.

On the surface (pun semi-intentional), that might not sound like it’s very difficult – certainly not when compared to the major shelf-cleaning extravaganza we enacted yesterday.

But then, things aren’t always as simple as they might seem, and, for me, the kitchen is a loaded subject. You see, my late husband was a chef, and while he was alive, the kitchen was mostly his domain. It’s also dominated by a very large refrigerator he bought online and on sale without telling me till after the purchase was made. While it’s more or less the fridge we talked about getting, I wouldn’t have chosen this one, but it’s too new to just replace.

For both of these reasons, and several other smaller ones, the kitchen is a place where I am keenly aware of Jim’s absence. I’ve come to terms with using my Instant Pots, doing the dishes, and buying organic spices he would have complained about the price of.

But him not being here in his former domain is a harder thing.

Still, I’ve committed to do the entire challenge. I want the tidier, more cared for, more loved home that will be the result. I want a home better suited to the life the kids and I want to live in it. So, this evening, I bought some nice-smelling cleaners, set a timer for fifteen minutes, snapped a quick picture of the rather grimy front of the magnet-overrun fridge, and then set to work.

My daughter helped me take all the magnets off, and then I started scrubbing – and scrubbing, and scrubbing. I’m not sure when the last time I cleaned the front of the fridge was, but it was long enough ago that the process used up the entire fifteen minutes.

Like every other day of this challenge so far, I can’t say it looks perfect. We’ve decided to leave the magnets off it for the time being, and I will be revisiting the cleaning in the next weeks. I’d wanted to get to the dishwasher, washing machine, and stove – but those will have to wait for another time.

I didn’t get as much done as I wanted. That’s definitely a theme for me, so far, in this challenge. But I am making incremental steps, and getting an idea for what I will want to do when April is over. 

Maybe that’s the real point of the challenge – exactly the type of connection with and ownership of our home that I was hoping for in the first place.

And the fridge looks better, too.

So today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be more delightful, with an exploration…tune in then to learn more.

What state is your kitchen in?

What could 15 minutes of cleaning accomplish there?

I challenge you to try it and share your experience in the comments!

Find more daring D posts here!
Till next time…


  1. I like the idea of setting the timer for 15 minutes and decide to do a small thing for that time. I’ll sure try this in the afternoon!

    • Hi, Andrea!

      I have an 11:11 preset timer I often use, because that was my husband’s favorite time of day, and it makes me feel close to him to use it for cleaning.

      In my weekly writing group, we usually do 20 minute writing sprints alternating with 20 minutes of visiting.

      So I’m kind of used to that rhythm. It’s really amazing what you can get done in that amount of time – and it has the advantage of a clear stopping point.

      I hope it works well for you, too!

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