How to Organize Your Kitchen
and Pantry for the Holidays
What is my most frequent question this time of year? How to organize your Kitchen and Pantry for the Holidays so things are readily available, but also tidy. First start with clearing out expired food. Looking for expiration dates can be challenging and time consuming, keep a sharpie in your pantry and write expiration dates on items when you are unloading groceries from the supermarket. If you have items that are not expired that you know you won’t use, they can be donated to a local food bank or church. Cleaning out your pantry is a great time to work on your shopping list for upcoming holidays. Grouping like items in the pantry makes it easy for your family and house guests. Use bins or boxes you have handy to help divide and contain your groupings. This is the perfect time to go through the “to-go container” drawer/cabinet. If containers do not have lids, you can let them go or use them as bins in your pantry.
This cabinet has an adjustable rack organizer to keep baking sheets organized and provid easy access.
Next make a list of events you will be hosting and events you are attending where you will be taking something to share. Determine what items you have on hand and what you need to buy. You may want to do this in one trip to the grocery store or space out if time allows. Next you will want to make sure you have all the appropriate pans/baking sheets you need. If you do not have room in your kitchen to store more items, you can find one-time use baking pans at the supermarket, but I recommend borrowing items you need from family, friends or neighbors.
You may want to create a baking section this time of year. If you have don’t have room in your pantry for all the holiday baking items, put these items in a bin to store in the laundry room or a nearby closet.
Holiday kitchen organizing depends on if you need space for items you will need to prepare holiday meals or if you just need to organize items you have. If you are going to bring tools/equipment in just for the holidays, maybe they can be stored in the dining area or in the garage until needed. You might be able to store other seasonal items in another place to bring in the holiday items. Typically, you want to have items you use more frequently readily available.
To help save space in the kitchen you can set up a temporary table/console as the beverage station. Foldable tables with a nice tablecloth are helpful and can be easily stored away. If you have storage space, you can put all the items needed there. If not, use a bin or box to gather items for easy access. To save space in the refrigerator, beverages can be cooled over ice in a bucket or ice chest.
Items are grouped together and we used lazy susan's and clear bins.
Another tip to help with Holiday Pantry Organization, is to sort items by event/party in the pantry. This will help with prep time. Especially if you will have help, items can be found easily.
Here is a checklist that will help you organize things so you can enjoy the holidays with friends and family. If you don’t have time or just need some help, contact OMJ.