As wonderful as the holidays are they can also be a little overwhelming — especially if you’re the one hosting all the festivities — but taking the time to get high-traffic areas in order beforehand can help tremendously. With Christmas quickly approaching we wanted to share a few helpful tips on getting your kitchen it tip-top shape before all those guests arrive.
We know with so much going on this time of year that you probably don’t have the time to declutter your entire kitchen, so we’ll just focus on the areas that are likely to get a lot of use during the holidays.
Start by giving your kitchen a good, deep cleaning. Wipe down the counters and cabinet fronts. Sweep and mop the floors. Clear off all countertop clutter and keep only the bare minimum on the counters. You’ll want your kitchen to be as calm and easy to tidy up as possible.
Next, go through your serving platters and baking dishes to get rid of any you don’t love or use. Once you’ve decided on the keepers use a divider to keep them organized and more easily accessible when you are entertaining. Our favorite dividers to use for pans and platters are the YouCopia StoreMore Adjustable Kitchen Cabinet Rack, Ikea Variera Pot Lid Organizer, and the Ikea Utrusta Partition.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the silverware drawer — you don’t want guests to reach for a fork and find the crumbs from lasts week’s breakfast. Yuck! Take everything out and wipe out the drawer, then place items back in using drawer dividers like the Container Store’s Interdesign Linus Shallow Drawer Organizers or InterDesign Linus Expandable Cutlery Organizer. Another great option is to get a set of Stori Drawer Organizers from Amazon, which come without any annoying stickers that can seem impossible to remove.
Don’t forget to tidy up your baking zone, which is sure to see plenty of action over the holiday season. Do a quick inventory and make sure you have a full set of measuring cups and spoons. Remove anything that doesn’t belong then take note of any baking staples that need to be replenished. You never want to run out of flour or sugar during holiday baking!
Chances are your fridge is going to be working extra hard this holiday season and you’ll want it in order, so before you do your holiday shopping make sure you give your fridge a little extra love. Take everything out and wipe down all the surfaces. Throw away anything old, expired, or food you no longer want. When you replace everything categorize like items together. We use the Container Store’s clear Interdesign bins for cheese, meats, and individually packaged snacks. Once you’ve organized your items and can easily see everything, take inventory and start a shopping list for any staples that need to be replaced.
Now that your kitchen is in order make a menu and shopping list. If you are hosting holiday festivities it’s important to make a menu in advance. To stay organized we keep our menus from years past in recipe binders to make it easy to adjust year to year. Traditional Christmas recipes are kept in separate tabs in a binder as well.
Our best advice for staying sane in the kitchen during the holiday season is to use helpful shopping and delivery services like InstaCart or Shipt! Nobody wants to be in the grocery store during the holiday rush, so do yourself a favor and join one of these services. InstaCart has seriously changed our lives! There is an annual fee to sign up, but we have found that we spend a lot less money on groceries using it than we typically would shopping in the store and picking up random items. And since we order more frequently we no longer have items that spoil in our refrigerators, and we can completely avoid impulse purchases!
One extra tip, after the holidays are over do a full declutter of your kitchens. Sometimes we tend to hang on to serving pieces or holiday items “just in case,” but if you find you didn’t use something this year, chances are you won’t use it next.
We hope these tips will help your holiday season go a little more smoothly!