This holiday season, your kitchen will become a cozy gathering place for friends and family. Whether you’re hosting family, the office party, or throwing a cocktail hour for friends to get into the spirit, one thing’s certain: you’ll need to be prepared.

Tips to Getting Kitchen-Ready this Season

Clear away the clutter

A cluttered countertop makes for a cluttered mind. And you can’t afford any more stress at this hectic time of year. So, grab a garbage bin or recycle container and pitch, recycle, or file away all of those papers, magazines, and junk that has accumulated where it doesn’t belong. We bet you feel better already!

Make it sparkle!

Now that you can actually see your counters, roll up your sleeves and get the cleaning supplies ready. Do a thorough clean of your backsplash, countertops, and sink. Don’t forget those fingerprints on cabinet doors and to wipe off the toaster and coffee maker. While you have your cleaning supplies out, might as well do it all.

Don’t forget the microwave

Try heating a small bowl of water in the microwave to a boil. The steam from the evaporating water will help loosen up the build up of old food particles. Then you can get your sponge in there and wipe the splattered food off more easily.

Have you neglected your oven?

Sometimes the appliances you use the most, and depend on for entertaining, you take for granted. When was the last time you cleaned your oven? Now’s the time to clean off the top burners and the residual messes caused from pots boiling over around the burner surfaces. Self clean your oven a month beforehand to make sure it functions properly. If no error codes or problems present themselves, the oven should be ready when you need it.

Refrigerator ready!

We all do it. We hang onto condiments too long or accidentally push items to the back of our refrigerator shelves and forget about them. Or maybe we are saving a few ingredients for a forth-coming meal, but then change our minds. In any case, our refrigerators, like the oven, can get out of control. And you’ll need extra space to store all of those yummy dishes and leftovers.

Especially if you are entertaining out-of-town guests, who will be using your refrigerator throughout their stay, take the time to properly clean it out. Empty everything and remove shelving to wash it all down. Also check the gaskets, lights, and vents to ensure this appliance is in proper working order. Clean the outside and don’t forget that handle. You might also want to go through the freezer to get organized.

Now is not the time for your dishwasher to fail

Imagine your dishwasher fails as you are trying to prepare or cleanup Thanksgiving dinner and you end up having to hand-wash everything on top of the rest. That would a disaster waiting to happen.
Take time to clear out the drain and clean the inside where food tends to collect or spill on the edges of the door. Vinegar is an excellent natural cleaner that works well.

Stock up on trash bags

It’s amazing how many trash bags you’ll go through when you entertain. Believe it or not, you also might need to wash your garbage receptacles, too. This is another area that is often overlooked, but do not leave any stone unturned. Wash and disinfect away!