Holiday celebrations are on the way again! And while they can be a messy ordeal, starting with a clean, organized canvas—AKA your kitchen—is the most important thing you can do to maintain your sanity. Ahead, six crucial steps to get your kitchen clean and organized for Thanksgiving.
Tackle The Fridge
First things first: Before you even tackle the things you can see, tackle the things you can’t by starting with the fridge and pantry. Purge anything that’s expired or empty to make space for larger quantities of foods and leftovers. If there’s anything in there that you’re unlikely to use but is perfectly fine, try to give it away to a neighbor or family member with a couple days notice.
Then it’s time to start on the obvious: Clear away any and all visual clutter from your countertops. If you need to remove appliances, tchotchkes, or other unnecessary items taking up valuable counter space, now’s the time. Then, get to cleaning: Wipe down every appliance you’ll be using on the big day, like mixers, toasters, and blenders, then make sure that whomever’s using them will have enough space to do so without getting in the way of anyone else cooking a different dish. Finish by cleaning the countertops, floors, and any other surface that needs it.
Choose a centralized place for recipes, schedules, and task lists: This can be your refrigerator, a kitchen island, or anywhere that you’ll be able to check at a glance—even better if it’s near your utensil holder or other necessities for the big day. If you often entertain and find your company tends to hang out in the kitchen, an overhead rack is a great solution for storing pots and pans. That way, you’re not shooing anyone out of the way to grab your cookware. In the meantime, make sure you have hooks set up in easy-to-reach places for towels and rags. We love the magnetic ones that stick to the fridge, but cabinet handles are a good concession, too.
Prep your station: Condition your stainless steel and wooden cutting boards with Leather Cleaner; be sure you have your hand broom within reach (but out of the way); and keep a bottle of All-Purpose Cleaner on hand to wipe down as you go. Reaching into your cabinet under the sink is an added step that can slow you down if you’re trying to focus on half a dozen dishes at once. Make sure you start with an empty sink; it’ll fill up fast.
Set The Table
Set the table—and do it early, before guests even arrive. (My mom liked to set the table the evening prior to dinner, then put a few clean sheets on top of it—leaving space for floral arrangements, amber jars for utensils, and other vertical knick-knacks—to keep dust from collecting. You don’t have to go *that* crazy, but have a system that won’t leave you scrambling on Thanksgiving morning.) This gives you ample time to switch out anything from the tablescape that isn’t working—or get fresh-cut flowers to fill your amber bottles.
Just before guests arrive, decant a bottle of wine that’ll complement the meal. They’ll be impressed by your foresight—and wine always quells questions about dinner’s whereabouts. Give your home a final spritz of Room & Linen Spray, light some candles, and get to cooking!
Most of all, enjoy it! Cooking a meal for your family and friends should be a joyous occasion. As long as you remove as many potential stressors or prep as much as you can, your kitchen should remain as organized and functional as it’s meant to be. Happy Holidays!