It’s almost the holiday season! Can you believe it? Seems like just yesterday I was opening the windows to the summer sunshine, and now I’m already making travel plans for Christmas Break, admittedly behind the eight-ball. With the rush of back-to-school and the autumn months always feeling like they are in fast-forward… I don’t know about you, but it always feels like I’m unprepared for the holiday season.
Are you like me, and just now figuring out what your fall and winter plans are? Are your Thanksgiving roasting pans hiding in the back of your kitchen cabinets? Is everything in your kitchen, frankly, all over the place? (You’re not the only one).
Here are some tips to help you properly prepare and organize your kitchen cabinets for the holidays. This way, you can be less stressed about finding what you need and more focused on spending quality time with your loved ones.
Add Interior Shelving
One of the easiest ways to organize your kitchen cabinets for the holiday season is to add interior shelving. What do I mean by this? Well, cabinets usually have shelves built-in, but oftentimes these either don’t provide enough space, or the shelving is too spaced out for it to truly be effective for your items.
Instead, think ‘shelf-within-a-shelf.’
You can purchase or DIY your own mini-shelves (or racks) that sit atop the interior shelves within your cabinets. These can be used for water bottles, spices, stacks of plates, or really anything that makes sense. You can even get fancy and create adjustable racks (to change the spacing between sections to what works best), build corner shelves (to make use of typically unusable spaces), or even install sliding racks (to easily maneuver and get to those hard-to-reach areas).
My suggestion would be to prioritize what you use the most and make sure that’s the easiest to access (and probably closest to the front, too).
And, with the holidays in mind, consider who you’ll potentially be hosting. If it’s just you and a few loved ones, you may not need the giant-size pans. If you’re going to be preparing food for the whole family, it might be a good idea to bring the oversize items to the forefront and organize around them intentionally.
Nest Your Pots & Pans
One of the easiest ways to reconfigure your cabinets is to organize the unruly pots and pans. Especially as it gets closer to the holiday season and you need different size items for different dishes, or you need to actually find the lid that fits!
There are several ways to do this: a standing rack (that organizes the pans and lids vertically), a horizontal rack (that has separate compartments to slide each of the same-size items in), a mounted/over-the-door rack (that attaches to a cabinet drawer and nests alongside the surface), or a hanging rack (that hangs pots and/or lids either outside the cabinet, along the interior/door, or back surface).
As far as the hanging rack goes, there is an option specifically for pots and pans that slides out. The idea of this sliding rack is that you can hang as if the items were on a separate rack but they’re actually within the cabinet.
If you’d rather opt for something simple (and potentially cheaper), you can also just add hooks or a towel rack to the side of your cabinets and stack your pans/pots there, too.
Creativity is key, here! If you’re nesting within the cabinets, be sure to take advantage of the corners and any other usable space. With a few shifts to the layout (and intention around finding the items and their matching parts), you’ll be holiday-ready in no time!
Label Your Ambiguous Items
Sometimes our cabinets get cluttered, and even more so after grocery shopping or holiday food shopping. If you decant your larger items (taking portions from larger items and putting them into smaller, manageable containers), you’ll want to make sure you (and the other people who may need your items) can tell what’s inside each container.
For example, if you bought an extra-large bag of flour for Christmas cookies, you’ll want to decant some of that flower into an air-tight Tupperware and label it ‘flour’ so that anyone else may be prepping or baking with you can know what’s inside.
You’ll also want to label things like spices or oils so that you don’t risk accidentally grabbing the salt instead of sugar… or something equally as dangerous.
As the holiday season gets closer, there are countless ways to make your kitchen more efficient. But if you really want to get into the spirit, taking the steps to properly prepare and organize your kitchen cabinets for the holidays is a must!
Do you have other tips you’d recommend? Share with us!