Space saving tips to prepare your kitchen for a busy family Christmas
Christmas is among the most hectic times of year for our kitchens. The old adage of ‘you can never have too much storage’ is certainly true for the culinary heart of the home. The kitchen plays multiple roles during the festive season; we store all those extras ready for the seasonal overindulgence, it’s the place where the big dinner itself is prepared and, of course, somehow everyone gravitates to the kitchen when guests visit.
So, it’s worth spending a little time decluttering, making extra storage room, and ensuring everything’s shipshape for the celebrations. Here are a few tips to create or restore some order ahead of the busy holidays.
Clear the surfaces
Nothing looks more messy in a kitchen than worktops covered in lots of items, bits and bobs. We all dump all manner of random things onto kitchen benches, be it keys, unopened mail, wallets, or bags. A lot of the smaller things would be better in a decorative tray, or else in a designated underused drawer. With clear benches, you’ve got extra space for entertainment supplies ahead of the guests arriving and more food preparation areas.
Re-order the fridge and have a freezer amnesty
As certain as dad unwrapping a new pair of socks on Christmas morning, you’ll be needing extra space in the fridge in the run-up to the festivities. The big Christmas shop inevitably takes up lots of room and we tend to buy extra items that will need to be refrigerated, like extra cheeses, meats, sauces, desserts, sides and trimmings. It’s amazing how much space you can free up just by arranging the fridge better – this is where plastic containers, ziplock bags, and using the bottom trays properly can make a big difference.
No one likes food waste, but we’re all guilty of stowing items in the bottom of the freezer because we can’t bring ourselves to throw them out. However, in reality, we’ll probably never eat them anyway. The requirement for extra freezer space during the festive season is more important than that half-used bag of frozen sweet potato fries, remember.
Integrate, integrate, integrate
Much of the kitchen is integrated these days, from dishwashers to ovens, fridges to microwaves, even the washing machine. The reason is simple – because it looks neater. But why stop there? Rubbish bins can be hidden away behind a cupboard door and compartmented bins are great for separating glass, paper and plastic ready for recycling. That frees up floor space and benchtop space.
Corner storage compartments with clever rotating shelves can add lots of extra room. Integrated drinks storage cabinets look particularly sophisticated and you can organise the red from the white, the dry from the sweet, and the single malt from the blends for ease of access without having to interrogate the label each time.
Declutter the cracked, lid-less and unmatched
You might be surprised by how many food containers you have in the kitchen cupboards whose lids have long since vanished, crockery that’s cracked or unmatched with anything else, and even mugs that for mysterious reasons no one in the household likes drinking out of. You’ll undoubtedly be able to find food long past its BBE date if you delve into the hidden depths of the cupboards too. The best way to create extra space is simply to have a clear out of everything you’ll never use again or dare to eat again.