From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center via Divinely Organized
Organize Your Kitchen For The Holidays & Beyond
I realize it’s just October and I do not want to bombard you with the holiday season too soon. I refuse to jump the gun like the retailers, but as an organizer, I feel the sooner you get things under control, the better. Let’s organize your kitchen for the holiday season and beyond. It’s the “beyond” that we will focus on. 🙂
The holiday season begins with Thanksgiving and in our family, I usually host both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. With all that planning, prepping and cooking, I have to be organized. And whether you are hosting or contributing to the holiday celebrations, it’s about to get busy and organization is your best defense against becoming overwhelmed. I am going to break it down so you can get a handle on your kitchen’s organization and as usual, accomplish it in small increments.
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- If you follow my blog, you know I do not like to overwhelm or inundate you with information, but I do want to provide a step-by-step plan for this task. With that in mind, and because we are beginning the planning early, I will share advice that is not only important during the holiday season but can be carried out throughout the year. I believe that once you get this under your belt, it will become routine.
- The most important element in this process is, repeat after me – find a specific place for everything in the kitchen. Even in a small space you can organize cabinets and drawers in a way that everything has a place/home. You may have to pick and choose carefully when deciding which small appliances to purchase and decide if buying food in bulk is conducive to your space, but once you determine your space restraints and learn to live with them, organization will become easier. If everything has a home, then it has someplace to return to once you’re done using it. There will be no need to leave things lying around if they have someplace to go. Do you get the logic?
- I hate clutter of any kind but especially in my kitchen. If space permitted, I would have counters with little or no items on them. Well maybe a few decorative ones. 🙂 However, because I do not have the storage space and because I love to cook, some things need to be on the counter tops and handy. But I have a remedy to avoid cluttered counters that will allow you to keep frequently used stuff on the counters.
- If you like to have some of your spices and oils at your fingertips, try corralling them. To help me keep things neat, I use serving trays. These trays help me to coral my oils and some seasoning in an attractive space. I also use, what I think are, pretty containers instead of the average looking bottles the oils and spices come in, to house them.
5. Before you ask, yessss those are Patron bottles. Although I love pretty, I also love to recycle and I have become the bottle lady in my circle. 🙂 I am always asking everyone to save their bottles and jars for me. Especially the odd shaped or pretty ones. 🙂 Here’s the trick to keeping things not only corralled,but clean and sparkling too…after using a spice and/or oil, wipe down the container and place it in its space on the tray. Do not leave one item outside of the storage area. Not even if you think you will use it for the next dish you are preparing. Force yourself into the habit of wiping down the outside of the bottle and replacing it immediately. This may sound tedious, but it really isn’t. It is all about repeating the process until it becomes a natural movement for you. And I promise it will happen if you stick to it.
The reason I wipe my bottles/containers down before putting them back is because I don’t want them to feel sticky or have flour or any residue on the outside when I use them next. That would take away from the look and feel of the containers you choose to use to display your spices and/or oils. I happen to think the Patron tequila bottles are really cute, so I asked all of my friends to save them for me and I currently have regular salt, canola oil and red peppers stored in Patron bottles with corks (of course I removed the labels and thoroughly cleaned them). But the possibilities are endless. Mason jars, pickle jars, wine bottles, or any type of bottle or jar you find attractive. You can even paint them if you like.
Even if you are blessed to have loads of cabinet space, you should still make sure to follow the same script when putting items back into the cabinets, and wipe them down first. You don’t want oily or sticky residue to get into your cabinets, now do you? Oh and just because your condiments are stored inside your cabinets is no reason to not to find attractive storage ideas for them. This is a feel-good mechanism that will help you to stay on track. If the containers are attractive you are more apt to care how they look as opposed to an old plastic oil jug or spice bottle.
I have everything on my counters corralled in some type of container. Frequently used utensils are kept in gold fish bowls. Yep goldfish bowls (new of course & inexpensive). 🙂 I painted the bottoms gold to match my kitchen. Just a little extra touch.
There you have it. Clean and uncluttered countertops. Even if there are some items on the counter out of necessity, you can find ways to make them attractive and appear to be a part of the décor of the overall kitchen. Coral them, paint the containers, place them in trays or in cabinets if you have the space, but make it organized because whether we’re ready or not…the holidays are coming. Let’s plan to enjoy them this year instead of stressing. Starting and planning early is key.
Oh, if you would like to order some very similar serving trays for your counters, you can find them here. You can get single ones or the economical 5-pack. Note, these are unfinished wooden trays which allows you the opportunity to decorate them to suit you and your style. I love it!!
Remember, spending just a minute wiping down and returning items to their assigned space will go a long way in helping you maintain clutter-free counter tops and finding attractive containers can be a fun weekend project. You’ll be surprised what a difference this simple thing will make in your kitchen and your life.
Don’t forget to download your copy of Organize Your Life in 21 Days. I promise you this book will help you with many of your organizational issues. Even the emotional ones. So be sure to get your copy today.
It is also available for download at the Kindle Store on Amazon.
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Until next time…Be Well & Be Organized
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