Getting Organized: Rework Your Kitchen & Own the Holidays

The holidays will be upon us before you know it and that means baking lots of goodies and cooking big, delicious meals. A properly organized the kitchen will have you breezing through your to-bake list and maximizing your free time to enjoy with friends and family.

Know Your Geometry   Kitchens only function well when there is a properly set up work triangle – the path from fridge to sink to stove. The majority of kitchen tasks happen inside of this space and organizing using the work triangle as a guide maximizes efficiency which minimizes your cooking time.

Organize It   Once you have determined your kitchen’s work triangle, it’s time to get organized. The easiest way to do a complete overhaul like this is to empty everything out of the cabinets. This is a great time to take inventory of what items you have and possibly even downsize in the case of duplicates or items you never use.

As you empty the cabinets, sort items into three categories: cookware, dinnerware, and food. When you are ready to put items back into the cabinets, think back to the work triangle. Cookware should be stored in cabinets next to the oven, dinnerware next to the sink, and food next to the fridge (or in the pantry if you’re lucky enough to have one!).

If you are following the Fall Cleaning Challenge, last weekend we cleaned the kitchen including the oven, refrigerator and pantry – an important part of having a well organized space.

Get in the Zone   Making a big holiday meal can feel overwhelming. There are tons of ingredients and recipes to keep track of. It can all be much more manageable if you set up zones prior to getting started. This means creating designated spaces where each task will take place, using the work triangle as a guide. There should a baking zone where all of your measuring, mixing, and dough rolling can happen; a plating zone where fresh baked items can cool off and be plated for serving; and a cooking zone for all of your stove top foods.

Outside of the work triangle you can create a coffee zone that guests can access without getting in your way. You can even set up zones in your refrigerator too, making space for items that need to be chilled prior to serving (like the wine!). And of course, don’t forget to leave plenty of room for the containers of delicious leftovers.

A cookbook stand is a lifesaver on Thanksgiving morning. Use it to prop up your books or iPad to easily refer back to the recipe.

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