The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home. It is where food is prepared, and meals are shared. The holidays are just around the corner, and with so much holiday tradition centered around festive gatherings and special foods, you’ll likely be spending extra time in the kitchen. Whether you will be planning an elaborate meal, hosting a simple occasion or baking holiday treats, now is the time to organize your kitchen for ultimate efficiency during the busy holiday season! Here are some simple tips to help you get started:
With hungry kids grabbing afterschool snacks or lunch items on their way out the door in the morning, the pantry can easily become a disaster zone. To add order to the chaos, group like items together, such as paper products, canned goods, spices and baking supplies. As you sort the items, check for expired items that need to be tossed. Add shelf organizers and label the shelves. This makes it easy for anyone in the family to find certain items and know where to return them. An organized pantry will help you avoid buying duplicates of items already on hand. This will also prove extra efficient and save you from ransacking your pantry looking for that little jar of pumpkin spice when it comes time to prepare Thanksgiving dinner!
The Pots and Pans
To free up space in your cabinets, try hanging your pots on either your walls or an overhead rack. This will make finding that specific pan you need that much easier. Or, take the time to stack your pots and pans neatly, strategically placing your most used pans in easily accessible spots in your cabinets. Consider adding extra plastic shelving to create more space if needed. For those lids that always seem to be wreaking havoc in your cabinets, try using a dish rack to neatly hold your lids.
To ensure a speedy cleanup, it’s time to conquer the madness underneath your sink. This area always presents a challenge due to all the plumbing pipes and the bottom of the sink. Make the most of the available space by fitting stackable shelving around the bottom of the sink. This will allow you to add small bins where you can store your cleaning supplies. You can also add hooks on the inside of the cabinet door to hold dish rags.
Once the food coma hits, the last thing you want to do is rummage through all your Tupperware to store your leftovers. Avoid this time drain by dividing your glass and/or plastic containers into stacks and gathering the matching lids. While sorting through your container stash, take the time to discard any containers or lids that are missing their other half. Let’s face it– at this point they are just taking up space. Next, place lids into a small bin that will fit in your cabinet. Stack the containers inside one another. Place these stacked containers so that your most often used containers are easily reachable. Take stock of what you have and invest in some new sets of reusable containers based on what you may need over the holidays. Even the inexpensive sets sold at grocery stores will do the trick and many are designed for efficient, stackable storage. If you plan to send guests away with leftovers or if you will give baked goods as gifts, consider the type of container you will need and purchase accordingly.