The most wonderful time of the year is rapidly approaching and you know what that means: family, friends, feasts, and festivities. Waiting until the last minute to get your kitchen ready could lead to unnecessary stress.

If your kitchen is the place to be during the holidays, here are some suggestions that you can implement now to prepare for the upcoming season:

1. Organize and restock your pantry

There is nothing worse than looking for ingredients in your pantry and wasting 10 minutes sorting through everything but what you need. Set aside some time to pull everything out of your pantry, re-organize it based on food groups or most commonly used ingredients, and make a list of what you need to restock. Don’t forget to inventory your spices while you’re at it! Time is a huge component when it comes to food prep for the holidays and an organized pantry eliminates wasted time.

2. Clean clutter off of countertops

Clutter-free countertops are a must when it comes to the holiday season. Your counter is your thinking and workspace so it’s imperative that it’s clean and spacious in order for everything to run smoothly. Consider making space in kitchen drawers for small items that are used frequently and moving larger items or small appliances to pantries, base cabinets, or closets. If you’re looking for a great drawer organization system, check out our StraightLine MosaiQ products to keep your countertops clear and your contents organized.

3. Sharpen knives

Believe it or not, blunt knives are more dangerous to use than sharp knives. There is more force and less control applied when using blunt knives. The sharper the knife, the less force used and the cleaner the cut will be, so do yourself a favor and take 10 minutes to sharpen your good knives for precision in the kitchen. Most hardware stores offer sharpening services or you can try an at-home sharpener.

4. Disinfect trash cans

Clean trash cans are essential when having guests over, especially for a holiday party. Make sure your trash cans have been hosed and scrubbed with dish soap, and top it off with some disinfectant spray for those pesky germs. You could even take it a step further and line your trash cans with scented trash bags for maximum odor elimination.

5. Save reusable containers for leftovers

Has there ever been a holiday dinner that did not end with substantial leftovers? Those mashed potatoes aren’t going to eat themselves and same goes for the leftover turkey. Save empty butter and yogurt containers, as well as higher-quality plastic take-out containers, run them through the dishwasher, and stockpile them to send your guests home with leftovers.

6. Check your small appliances

Anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen has had the experience of working their way through a recipe only to move on to the next step and find out that the food processor or blender is broken, missing a piece, or acting erratically. Before the holidays, locate all of your small appliances that you’ll use during the season and make sure that you have all necessary accessories and test them to make sure they work. The last thing you want to do while cooking is head out to the store to fight with last-minute gift buyers to get a new attachment for your mixer.

Appliances to check:

  • Food processer
  • Blender (immersion and standard)
  • Hand mixer and stand-up mixer
  • Electric knife
  • Coffee maker and grinder
  • Toaster

7. Clean your fridge

Empty your refrigerator/freezer and give it a good scrub. Pull out all of the shelves and drawers and wash them with warm, soapy water. While you’re at it, check all of the expiration dates for condiments, dressings, and products that are infrequently used. Throw away expired items and replenish products that you’ll be using during the holiday season.

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