Where does almost every party end up? In the kitchen. I’m not sure what the philosophy is on this, but my stomach tells me it’s because that’s where all the food is. Whether you’re entertaining or just planning to do some cooking or baking, use these simplified tips to declutter your kitchen for the holidays.
7 Tips to Organize and Declutter Your Kitchen for the Holiday Season
Where to Start? Declutter your Kitchen’s Primary Cooking Zone, First.
1) Tackle the clutter on your kitchen counter tops
Your primary cooking zone is all of that horizontal space you need to put cooking components down on. And you need as much of it as possible because you can’t really let your cookies cool by hanging them on the wall, now can you?
Clear off your counter tops by putting all items into one of these 4 categories:
- Items that you use but can be removed temporarily, like an electric tea pot, a utensil holder, a cannister set, and so on. Consider moving any or all of these items into another room or location temporarily when it comes time to cook, bake or the day of the party.
- Items that you use daily, but can be grouped together into either a basket, bin or tray. Like cooking oils, salt and pepper shakers, a sugar bowl, mail, paperwork, and the sort. Try to find a tray basket or bin to keep these things grouped together on your counter tops. Then if needed while you are cooking, baking or just before your party, you have the option of relocating the whole group of things via the basket, bin or tray.
- Items that you want to keep, but don’t belong on your kitchen counter tops. Find a better place for these items, such as a catchall basket, the pantry, another room altogether.
- For all other items, toss them or put them in the pile to donate.
By grouping items together on removable trays or baskets, temporarily removing everyday kitchen equipment, relocating items or simply getting rid of them you will have wrangled more horizontal space on your kitchen counter tops.
Read more ideas for kitchen basket storage, here.
Join our Resource Library, here, to get the FREE printable Holiday Decluttering and Kitchen Supply checklist.
Tackle your Kitchen’s Food Storage and Supply Zones, Next.
2)Empty and clean the inside of your fridge.
Often one of the best parts of the holidays is the food, so making available space in your fridge to keep it all fresh just make sense, says my grumbling tummy. Try to use up, marry or toss out items like condiments, cooking vegetables, or close to use-by-dated items like cheese and sour cream. Additionally remove whatever else you just know will not be consumed. Empty the shelves and storage drawers and give the whole inside of the fridge a good swipe before putting back the keepers.
3)Clean out and inventory your pantry.
Once again there is most likely past use-date items in your pantry, so now’s a great time to sift through and get rid of what you know will not be consumed. The bonus to clearing out your pantry is that you can also inventory what you do have in stock or what you might need if you’re planning to do any holiday baking or cooking.
Don’t have a pantry? Check out these clever small home pantry ideas.
4)Organize and inventory your spices.
This task can also be twofold. You can go through and clear out any spice containers that are almost empty, but at the same time you can make a list of what you need to buy for your holiday meals or desserts. Don’t forget to combine (marry) spice containers together if you find that you have two of the same that are only half full.
5)Straighten and replenish your kitchen wraps supplies.
Realizing you only have half a sheet of foil wrap left when you need to cover a whole tray of Christmas cookies can be quite frustrating, although we’ve probably all been there. Now is a great time to tidy up those annoyingly awkward boxes of kitchen wraps. And of course, take note of what you might need to stock up on so you can wrap-away this holiday season.
Get the Clutter-Free Holiday Kitchen Checklists and gain free access to our Resource Library. Get the details, here.
Re-organize and Update Your Kitchen’s Visual Focal Points, to Make it all Look Tidy.
Areas like the outside of your refrigerator or your kitchen message center are not only visual focal points, but clutter collectors, as well. Whether you are cooking or having a party, the clutter in these areas can get strewn around with all of the extra activity going on.
6)Declutter the outside and top of your refrigerator.
Remove all items from the outside and/or top of your fridge, toss what you don’t need, give the fridge a good sparkle and then re-organize what you put back up.
7)Update your kitchen message center.
Not all kitchens have a message center, but if you have one in your kitchen, getting rid of outdated messages, memos, etc will help the kitchen look up to date with the season. You may even want to get into the holiday spirit by adding a seasonal greeting. Because life is too short not too, right?
Four (4) less noticed, but additional areas in your kitchen to declutter, spiff and shine before the holidays.
- Under your kitchen sink. Declutter, clean and organize this area. No one will see it, but you’ll secretly know it looks great.
- Above your kitchen cabinets. Use a feather duster to tackle dust bunnies, if nothing else. Take down old decor or space-hog items. Then consider using this area as additional storage for the holiday season or beyond.
- Freshen your stock of dish towels and hot pads. Launder or stock up on new dish towels and hot pads. This one might be a treat to yourself if you buy new.
- Pre-clean your serving bowls and dishes. Pull them out and wash off the dust so they’re ready to go come party day. I’ve pulled these out last minute during a party once (okay, several times,) and might I say, it’s just a little awkward to have my guests see how fuzzy they are and then try to serve them food off these dishes, even if I’ve fully washed them in the meantime.
If you know you are going to be spending a lot of time in your kitchen this holiday season, use these tips to get your cooking zone, food storage areas and visual center points clutter-free and organized.
For more time-saving holiday hacks, see this list of bulk gift ideas for almost anyone on your list or choose from one of these newfangled air fresheners for your bathrooms.
Join our Resource Library, here, and get this post as a printable checklist, plus a holiday kitchen supply shopping list to take stock of what you need while you declutter.