Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Whether you’ll be cooking this year for two or a large group; or traveling to friends or family (and hopefully returning with some yummy leftovers), now is the perfect time to start preparing.
If you’re a huge fan of the holiday like I am, you may already have a well-seasoned Thanksgiving Planner that you follow. If not, and a bit of panic is beginning to set in, a bit of kitchen organization is the place to start.
KITCHEN ORGANIZATION STEP 1 –
The kitchen is about to become the hub of your home for the next several weeks. Before even beginning to think about all it will take to pull off Thanksgiving dinner, gift yourself some peace of mind and a clear space to work in by taking a few minutes (ok, more like a few hours!) to declutter.
Clear the Counters
Remove everything that doesn’t relate to cooking: mail, homework, keys, magazines, dirty dishes. No stashing in a secret hide-away either – this will simply create extra stress and work down the road. Return each item to its proper home. If you have no clue where that is, at a minimum group like items together and move them to a logical spot to be dealt with after the holiday. Make a note, if necessary, what was moved and where.
Declutter Drawers and Cabinets
Open ALL drawers and cabinets and take a look. When was the last time you used what you see? Now is a perfect time to pare down: coffee mugs, water bottles, plastic containers, vases, tools and gadgets long forgotten.
Purge the Fridge, Freezer, Pantry and Spice Cabinet
Obviously, pull out and toss everything that looks suspicious or has long since expired. This is also a great time of year for food drives. Consider donating half of your bulk purchases (who has room to store 50 cans of green beans anyway!) Also, when purging the freezer, don’t forget the ice bin – nothing ruins a great drink faster than stale ice!
KITCHEN ORGANIZATION STEP 2 –
Now that your entire kitchen is clutter free, it’s a perfect time for a deep clean (I know, just in time to mess it up all over again!) Wipe down the fridge, counters, cabinets, and floors. Also a good cleaning of the stove, stove top and vent hoods will prevent past drips and debris from smoking and ruining the smell of your delicious Thanksgiving meal.
KITCHEN ORGANIZATION STEP 3 –
Now that you have a clean, clutter-free kitchen to work in it’s time to start planning.
Gather all your recipes and make a list of ingredients. Inventory against what you own and make a shopping list of what you need.
Serving Pieces, Tools and Utensils
Review your recipes again and walk through the process of both cooking and serving the dish. Take an inventory to be sure you have everything you need: turkey roaster, baster, strainer, fat separator/measuring cup, tongs, potato masher, can opener, thermometer, kitchen shears, vegetable peeler, measuring spoons, carving knives (don’t forget to make sure they’re sharp), platters. You get the idea. Make a shopping list of what you need. Or better yet, see if you can borrow from a friend or neighbor.
Gather any special linens you plan on using. Are they clean? Do they need pressing? If you’re the more casual type – how about some fun seasonal napkins. And don’t forget kitchen towels. You’ll likely need twice as many as you would when cooking any other meal. Also, the more towels you have on hand, the more “hands” you can get to help clean up!
KITCHEN ORGANIZATION STEP 4 –
Based on your inventory, what’s missing? It’s time to shop! You should have your lists by now and know clearly what you need. One last tip: plan for leftovers. Be sure to stock up on extra foil, plastic wrap, and containers you can permanently send home with guests.
Follow these 4 steps (in this order) and your kitchen will not only be ready for Thanksgiving, but you’ll be able to enjoy time spent in your kitchen over the entire holiday season.
Hi, I’m Kim Cossette Andre, owner of The Organized Approach. I work with busy, overwhelmed women, just like you, who strive to be organized but simply need a helping hand to get there. Ready to tackle your organizing goals? Schedule a free call!