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Optimizing Your Kitchen For a Holiday Crowd

December 20, 2019

The holidays are here and that means all eyes -- and stomachs -- turn to the kitchen. Whether you are hosting friends and family or simply adding a few treats to a potluck, a well-organized cooking space will pay dividends during the next few weeks. 

Anticipating needs like these, every Symphony Farms home is equipped with abundant cabinets and a spacious walk-in pantry to streamline your stay in the kitchen. We have compiled a few tips to help you get organized before the holidays.

Let’s start with the cabinets.

Your first order of business will be taking an inventory of what you have, what you need and what you should definitely throw away. Have segmented shopping trips led to six jars of peanut butter in your cabinet? Did you pick up the wrong kind of beans for chili last Winter? We can handle both those unfortunate situations. 

Since your cabinets are the closest and most convenient to your preparations, they should be optimized for day-to-day use. This means your basic spices, your go-to sides and of course your everyday dishes and glassware. The duplicate items, or ones you plan to use less frequently will be better suited for the pantry where you can still reach them quickly, but they will not crowd the cabinets. 

The same strategy applies to your lower cabinets. It may make sense to keep a saucepan or skillet down there, but the walk-in pantry allows you to make these decisions out of convenience rather than a desire to hide the big crockpot under the counter. 

Next up, your walk-in pantry. 

This spacious storage haven is pre-loaded with shelves to hold everything from after school snacks to small appliances, which makes it one of your biggest allies for entertaining. There are a number of ways to approach organizing your reserves, but the best seems to be zoning

Keep your grab-and-go snacks closest to the door. This keeps the kids out of your cabinets, but gives them the autonomy to help pack lunches or grab something quickly after school. 

Next, we find the backups from your freshly cleaned cabinets and line them up for easy reloading. This is the place for your extra peanut butter and the mac and cheese reserves that will help you get through the cold Kansas Winter. 

The final category is for your kitchen tools and toys. The standing mixer that is too big for the counter, the huge crock pot that does not seem to fit in any cabinet and the waffle maker can all have a peaceful home here until you need them again. 

Have a few things that do not fit your new system or you know you will just never make? Consider donating them. There are many neighbors in need this time of the year and a lot of great charities who serve Gardner.  

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