Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Wayfair, but all opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure policy here.
Prep your kitchen for easy holiday hosting with these simple tips and tricks.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Christmas coming right up on its heels and a slew of holiday get-togethers and visits with friends in between, our kitchens are going to be busy places.
Like a runner training for a marathon, it’s a good idea to prepare ahead of time. Not only am I expecting to have extra cooks in my kitchen as we host holiday potlucks and family meals, but I also know that party guests tend to gather in the kitchen. And I want to be ready for them.
My holiday kitchen prep falls into three separate categories — Purge, Prep, Prettify.
Call me crazy, but I think now is the perfect time to tackle those kitchen organization chores.
I’ve spent some time over the last few days cleaning out our pantry and cabinets, purging outdated spices, stale food, mismatched sets of dishes, random glassware and kitchen gadgets we never use.
For me, it works best to pull everything out of a cabinet, purge what doesn’t belong and replace everything in a logical, organized manner.
Be mindful of guests who may be helping out in the kitchen with cooking or serving chores or who may need to use your plates, pots, gadgets and utensils to finish potluck dishes they’ve brought to the party. You want to be able to easily tell them where to find the garlic press without having to dig through a bunch of messy drawers.
And you definitely don’t want things falling out of the cabinets onto their heads when they’re searching for something to put the leftover green bean casserole in.
When prepping my kitchen for the holidays, I pared down my cooking utensils to the essentials. I organized them in a pretty crock near the stove.
As you’re purging and organizing your cabinets and pantry, you also should be taking inventory of what items you’re missing.
I recommend stocking up on disposable leftover containers that you can send home with your guests. They won’t have to worry about returning these containers, and you won’t have to harbor a grudge over missing Tupperware!
Do you have enough matching plates, silverware, glasses and napkins for your Thanksgiving feast? If not, it’s a good time to buy a new set. (At least that’s my excuse for buying these watercolor harvest plates from Wayfair.)
Do you have a turkey roasting pan? Or a stockpot that is large enough for that “mess of collards” you’re planning to cook on New Year’s Day? Do you cutting boards pass muster? Are your knives duller than boring dinner conversation? You might want to replace them.
While we’re talking about prep, it’s also a good time to make sure your appliances are in good working order and to make any necessary repairs. You don’t want your ice maker kicking the bucket during a cocktail party or your oven element burning out while the turkey is roasting. Which totally reminds me that I need to fix one of the burners on my stove — the one that doesn’t always turn off when I turn the dial to “Off.” That could be a disaster during a holiday gathering.
If your budget allows, I would also recommend replacing any appliances that are beyond repair. After months of dealing with lackluster cleaning, we recently replaced our dishwasher. I’m so happy to have one that works as we head into the holiday season. It will make hosting so much easier!
Now’s the time to tackle any of those kitchen projects that have been on your to-do list. Last year before the holidays, we switched out our pendant lights in the kitchen. This year, I’m painting and staining our kitchen table and chairs so it’s ready to host guests. Nothing like a party deadline to kick you into gear.
Once the purging, organizing, repairs and prep are done, we can focus on adding some simple, pretty, decorative touches to our kitchens.
I’m loving this new ELLE Decor Collection accent rug by Home Dynamix we added to the kitchen.
I chose this light gray and ivory design from the Brush Strokes collection. Made of ulta-durable PVC material with a nonslip backing, the mat is fade and stain resistant, which makes it perfect for the kitchen. It’s easy to clean, and it feels great underfoot. You can see the full selection of Home Dynamix rugs on Wayfair.
New kitchen towels and table linens are other inexpensive ways to add more “pretty” to your kitchen
I also love investing in functional pieces that can also be used decoratively.
This marble pastry board will be great for holiday baking, and it’s also perfect for serving snacks and appetizers at a party.
How do you get your home guest ready for the holidays? I’d love to hear your tips.
For more holiday hosting and homekeeping tips, check out these posts.