Ask the Experts Questions:
The holidays are approaching and the cupboards and pantry in my kitchen aren't ready for all the dinner parties I'm about to have. Are there any simple tips you have for organizing my food, dishes, pots, pans, glassware, utensils, gadgets and etc., so that my holidays can be more enjoyable?Answer:
You will enjoy being a host if you organize the kitchen so that it is easy to find things and put them away. Accessibility is the key to easy entertaining.
Rotate and remove off-season items from the kitchen to make room for the holiday accoutrements. Store similar items together, conveniently near where you use the items:Preparing
- Keep knives, mixing bowls, and measuring cups around the longest counter space next to the sinkCooking
- Store pots, pans, and bakeware around the stove and ovenWashing
- Place everyday dishes and glasses around the dishwasher and sinkFood Serving
- Store place mats, trivets, and serving pieces near the tableFood Storage
- If you do not have a food pantry, store food near the refrigerator
Clean out your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry to have more space for party food. Find guidance on food shelf life at www.msnbc.com/onair/nbc/dateline/food/shelf.asp.Tip:
In a cabinet, do not place tall glasses in back and short glasses in front, because it requires you to reach behind one row. Instead, place glasses of different heights in columns from front to back. You now have front-row access to each size.Fun Idea:
Create a "Mobile Holiday/Party Station" by adapting a wheeled kitchen cart to hold your holiday party supplies: candles, votives, place cards, tablecloths, napkin rings, etc. When done, roll it out of the way.Pre-Party Tip:
Take your trash out and unload the dishwasher right before the party starts, so you will have space to hide the "unsightly objects" once the party is underway.
By Heather Cocozza, of Cocozza Organizing & Design, Northern Virginia