Celebrating the holidays can be both fun and chaotic for most. You must balance your time between work, friends, and family, while cooking, shopping, and cleaning. Being organized will give you less stress and more time to enjoy the festive season.
The kitchen is probably the messiest area inside the house during the festive season. Being the heart of the home, this is where most families enjoy and prepare their holiday meals. With a lot going on from cooking food to entertaining guests, how do you keep your kitchen clean and organized? Here’s how.
Tips for a Clean and Organized Kitchen during the Holidays
Clean as you go.
As you are preparing meals, be sure to clean up spills on countertops, or on the table. Wash your pots, pans, and other cooking utensils as you go. For example, if you need to melt butter in a pan, wash the pan immediately afterward, before proceeding to the next step in the recipe. Spills clean up quickly if you wipe them up right away. Additionally, put ingredients back where they belong after using them.
Practicing this tip will help you get rid off a trail of dirty dishes, pans, and utensils after finishing your preparation. Do this anytime you cook, and this routine will become a great habit!
Organize your pantry and refrigerator.
Pantry and refrigerator organization is usually a painstaking process, but it is a necessary one to make your kitchen organized. It will help you to save time when preparing that holiday meal. Just follow these steps:
- You can start out by throwing out expired food and condiments.
- Then throw away or donate any food that you will not use and it is not expired.
Next organize your pantry items by putting all the like items together, such as all your spices in one spot, your pre-mixed baking products in another, the cereals and pasta in their spot on the counter or table. This is so you know what should be put together in the pantry area.
- Consider organizing those spices in alphabetical order or by type so that those used for sweet flavoring are together and those that are used for seasoning meat are together.
- Consider storing the flour and sugar in canisters and keeping them together with any other baking ingredients, like special flours.
- Use plastic food containers whenever possible for things like breadcrumbs and nuts.
- Use a plastic placemat or newspaper to line the shelves where things like syrup and honey are to be stored. It is much easier to wipe off a spot from an unexpected drip than to clean the whole area!
- Get a small bin for all those prepackaged bags like the instant potato mixes or herbal seasons.
- If you use herbal teas get a rack to put the boxes on and another small bin for any that are loose.
Now put all those things back into your pantry, with those things that you use every day in the most accessible spots and let’s get that refrigerator organized!
- Pull out all the refrigerator items that were left after chucking the expired ones.
- Discard anything that will not be used.
- Clean off those shelves and drawers while the refrigerator is empty. Don’t take too long because the food needs to go back into the refrigerator within a 2 hours time span.
- Organize the food items by type, so that all the meat is in one spot, dairy in another, and condiments in their own place on the counter or table.
- Set up those newly cleaned shelves so that they can accommodate the same type foods in one area.
- Use plastic containers for items like sliced vegetables and cheese.
- Put the food back in, but allow space for any new incoming dishes that may need to be refrigerated when your guests come in.
Finally, check out your freezer area and pitch anything that you know you will not be using. Putting things in order in the fridge and pantry makes finding what you need so much easier!
Wash the dishes and clean the countertops later.
You’ll probably be tired after a delicious holiday meal with your family and friends so just rinse off the dishes and silverware when they are removed from the table. Then loading the dishwasher a little later is easy since all the food has been scraped off. However, if you have help, get those dishes done in the desert has been eaten!
Create an inventory of dinnerware.
Make a list of everything you own - serving dishes, wine glasses, pudding cups, dinner plates, dessert plates, soup bowls, beverage glasses, and silverware. Also note where you are storing them, that way you can refer to it whenever you are planning a holiday or party menu.
You may also want to take an inventory of the whole house just for insurance purposes in case any unplanned disaster hits or anything is stolen.
It's a huge relief to stay on top of kitchen mess during the holiday season. Keeping the kitchen neat and organized isn’t something you should be worrying about! By following these tips, you’ll certainly celebrate the holidays with a clean and orderly kitchen! If you can’t cover everything by yourself, you can contact a professional kitchen cleaning service to help you out.