The holidays are fast upon us, bringing together family, festivities and, everyone’s favorite — food. If your kitchen isn’t quite up to the challenge, here are four of our favorite kitchen organization tips for holiday entertaining that help tackle the demands of the season. With a little planning, a quick clean out and some handy tools made to work in tight spaces, busy cooks can make the most of stingy kitchen storage and conquer clutter status-quo – in just a few easy steps.
Step One – Clean Out and Organize Kitchen Trouble Spots
A cluttered, disorganized kitchen can become a holiday entertaining horror show, especially if your kitchen is starved for storage space. But who has the time — or desire — to do a full clean-out with Thanksgiving and Christmas looming? Instead, tackle the areas that will be heavily used or that really bother you; for me it’s the fridge, pantry, and mixing bowl catch-all cabinet. Set aside a half-hour to an hour or so for a quick clean-out of your trouble spots. And if you’re still struggling to fit bulky colanders, mixing and storage bowls in tight cabinets, add the new space-saving collapsible versions to your wish list this year. They’re ideal for stretching space in cramped cabinets.
Step Two – Take Stock of Serving Essentials
Hosting everything from big family gatherings to impromptu visits with friends is easy when serving essentials are conveniently at hand. During your quick clean-out gather together (or at least locate) platters, trays, cheese boards, ice buckets, serving tongs, pitchers, and other key serving pieces. With serving tools at the ready, you can quickly whip out hors d’oeuvres and festive beverages in style.
Step Three – Makin’ a List… As You Go
As you do your clean-out, keep a notepad handy to jot down foods or spices to be replenished and serving or party goods to purchase. Also, note any special ingredients you’ll need to buy for holiday menus and goodies.
Step Four – De-Clutter Countertops for Holiday Peace-of-Mind
Cluttered countertops jangle the nerves of the most resilient cook, especially when workspace is sparse. Don’t fight countertop clutter during your holiday cooking, instead give yourself some breathing room. Store rarely-used appliances in upper cabinets, move mail or school paper stacks out of the kitchen, and remove anything that clutters or blocks food prep areas. Consider using a tablet for recipes, too, instead of bulky counter space-stealing cookbooks — you can easily bookmark menus and favorites in several awesome apps. You’ll be amazed at how a tidy countertop can soothe the soul.