Deck the Halls with Organization


Paris Love, organizational expert, helps readers with nine simple steps to a calm, organized holiday kitchen spaceThere’s no denying that the kitchen is the place to hang out during the holiday season—no wonder so many candles are made with the scent of pumpkin, spice and sugar cookies.

You’ll be spending more time than ever in your kitchen. From family feasts and cocktail parties to cookie baking, there’s always going to be something lingering in the kitchen. Not only do you want your kitchen to look great, but you want it to function well, too. Here are some seasonal organization tips to help you achieve that goal.

Take time to unclutter the countertops. You need even more space this time of year. Grab one of the tubs that held your holiday decorations, and use it to store some of the items from your countertop that you can do without for a while.

Take another moment to add some holiday spirit to the kitchen. Prop up a pretty holiday tray on an easel on the counter. Add a big glass jar of beautiful ornaments. Grab a pretty vase, and fill it with bright red and white candy canes. Keep those decoration choices to items that can be easily cleaned.

Open the fridge and freezer. Purge out anything old or out-of-date. Wipe off the shelves. Now you are ready to stock up for the season.

Take the time to organize the ingredients you purchased when you return from a big shopping trip. You can use grocery bags to sort non-refrigerated ingredients by recipe. Then when it is time to cook, you only need to grab one bag instead of hunting through the pantry.

A basket of pretty paper goods is not only convenient, but also festive. Take a wicker basket, and arrange holiday-themed paper plates, cups and napkins in it. Leave it on the counter for everyone to use.

Make use of your Crock-Pot© when you feel your time is stretched thin. Throw in a favorite recipe on a busy day, and then use your evening to concentrate on your to-do list.

Don’t wait until the last minute, or you’ll make yourself crazy. Items like pressing linens, figuring out table centerpieces, and polishing silver can be done very early in the month. Make a list of everything you need to do to entertain this season, and then circle all of the ones that can be done early.

Prior to your party or supper, lay out your serving dishes and utensils. Use a sticky note to label what goes into each dish. This way, you can arrange the buffet line beforehand, and anyone offering to help can jump in and fill dishes with you.

This year, work to make next year even easier. Keep all of your holiday recipes, menu ideas and guest lists in a folder. This way, you’ll have a jumpstart on planning next year’s fun.

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