There’s no denying that holiday entertaining can add an extra layer of stress to the season. Many tasks like gift wrapping, online shopping, and addressing cards (yes, people still send greeting cards and Millennials send the most!) can be done in the wee hours when everyone else is asleep. But entertaining and feeding guests has to be done while everyone is together and awake, so being ready for unscheduled visits or regular Sunday brunches goes a long way to relieving stress and letting you enjoy all the fun the holidays bring! One way to be always ready is with an organized holiday kitchen pantry so everything you need is at your fingertips.
A well-stocked and organized pantry is your best defense against holiday entertaining stress
The dictionary defines organization as:
- “The act or process of putting the different parts of something in a certain order so that they can be found or used easily.”
So, the purpose of organization is not a punishment, nor is an organized pantry an unattainable dream. Sometimes it may feel that way when you’re digging through bags of chips and stacks of cans to find the olive oil, but with a few choice tips from Tailored Living®, you’ll see how easy it is to get organized for the holidays and all year long. You’ll spend less time in the kitchen and have more time for family and friends as holiday parties and events unfold.
Four benefits of pantry closet organization
One: Save time locating what you need
By rearranging your pantry into zones of like products, you’ll be better able to maintain pantry inventory of all the things you use on a daily basis, including the addition of holiday specialty items.
- A baking section can contain everything from flour to chocolate chips so that when it’s time to bake, you have everything you need.
- Keep snacks together on lower shelves so everyone can always find their favorites.
- Custom storage racks organize all your spices in one space and keep your favorite wines properly stored and safely preserved.
- Create separate sections in the pantry for water, juices and sodas, canned goods, boxed mixes, paper products, and pet food.
Two: Maximize your space
Capturing vertical space is the best way to maximize any size walk-in or pantry closet. Cabinets and shelves that go from floor-to-ceiling provide abundant, accessible storage for everyday items at easy-to-reach levels as well as higher storage for seldom-used items.
Custom pantry design will make your space work for you like you wouldn’t believe
- Adjustable pantry shelves can accommodate short items and taller items like platters and baking sheets with shelf dividers, so no space is wasted.
- Baskets and bins are great for keeping like items together, such as bags of chips or cereal, and they can control the clutter that stacked, smaller items can create.
- Deep shelves and corners become efficient with rotating lazy susans that give a 360-degree look at what is stored, even way at the back.
- Heavy-duty drawers safely organize canned goods, sorted by type like soup, vegetables, or fruit.
- Uniform stacking containers can provide two or three levels on a shelf, taking up less space so you can get more on the pantry shelves.
Three: Easily keep track of inventory
When cooking or baking, there’s nothing worse than not being able to find what you need when you need it, or to finally dig it out only to discover that it’s gone bad. A randomly stuffed pantry makes it impossible to actually see what you have, and this leads to too many of some things and not enough of something else.
Visibility is key to managing the contents of your pantry and maintaining a well-stocked pantry
- Labeling shelves will keep like products together, making it quick to see when supplies of staples are getting low.
- Clear, air-tight containers preserve opened foods and let you see exactly what is stored and how much.
- Full-view storage makes it easier to make a comprehensive grocery list, so you don’t forget something important.
- Shelf dividers can help organize canned goods and boxed foodstuffs so you can quickly see what you need to replenish.
- Rotating the newest items to the back of the shelf ensures that things are used in the order of purchase, and you won’t end up having to throw out expired food.
Four: Facilitate putting things away
Organizing the pantry by products and labeling the sections will help the whole family be more self-sufficient for finding what they need as well as returning things to their proper place.
- Keep snacks and breakfast items clearly visible on lower shelves so everyone can find their favorites and the kids can serve themselves.
- You’ll hear much less, “Mom! I can’t find the _______,” and there are no more excuses for not returning things to the pantry.
- Putting groceries away in the right places can become a shared task.
Stock up early on holiday needs
The holidays mean special food and drink treats, whether it’s just family, a big party, or a one-on-one with a good friend. A well-stocked pantry will go a long way to reducing holiday stress when you know you have everything you need, from food and drink to all the essential tools for baking, cooking, and serving.
- Order “biggies” well in advance, like special wine or champagne, Honey Baked Ham, smoked turkey, or imported oysters for your special dressing. Tip: Delivery times are longer than usual this year, so take that into consideration.
- Sort recipes by holiday so you can quickly find your favorites. Review the recipes ahead of time, buy all necessary ingredients, and create a “holiday” section in the pantry.
- Pick out platters, bowls, and serving utensils ahead of time so you have time to buy or replace what you need.
- Inventory your cookware and baking pans, replace any that have seen better days.
- Take stock of cooking utensils to make sure you have the spatulas, tongs, wooden spoons, meat thermometers, graters, mixers, cooling racks, and measuring cups and spoons you’ll need.
Make life easier every day with a pantry that helps with food preparation, shopping, and holiday entertaining
Dos and Don’ts for more stress-free holiday entertaining:
- Do: Cooking and baking ahead of time and freeze what you can, like sugar cookies to decorate later.
- Don’t: Resist using some purchased items like pie crusts, frozen fancy hors d’oeuvres, or an elaborate bakery dessert.
- Do: Serve your family’s holiday favorites with one or two new things to spice up the event.
- Don’t: Spring a tofu turkey or spam-ham on the family instead of the real thing.
- Do: Let family members share the cooking load, but don’t expect perfection from the kids. (Although they might surprise you; all those cooking shows and YouTube!)
- Don’t: Serve untested and untried recipes to guests, stick with your never-fail signature dishes.
- Do: Consider serving buffet-style instead of sit-down, including a self-service beverage bar.
- Do: Check out Quick and Easy Holiday Recipes for breads, main dishes, sides, and desserts from the Food Network.
With an organized pantry and some advance planning, you’ll be the “hostess with the mostess” for anything the holidays can bring. You will be able to relax and enjoy the holidays and when the doorbell rings, you won’t go into a panic at the thought of unexpected company. Call 866-712-3404 today or go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find a designer near you and schedule a free in-home or virtual* consultation. They can help you get your pantry holiday-ready or move any area of your home from chaos to calm with innovative storage and organization solutions.
*Virtual consultations are not available at all locations.