Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Spruce Up Your Kitchen

The holiday season can be a great time to take a second look at your kitchen cabinets. Before you start your holiday cooking, follow these simple steps to streamline your kitchen.

Check your expiration dates. Throw out expired items. Determine why you didn’t use the items, and decide if they need replacing. If a food item doesn’t have an expiration date, use a sharpie to mark a date several months out, and get rid of it then. Don’t risk eating spoiled food to save three dollars.

Do you need all this stuff? Take an honest look at what you actually use. Do you bake four pies every holiday? If you don’t, you don’t need the four pie pans you bought a decade ago with the best of intentions. Avoid the “just-in-case” excuse. Most seldomly-used items can be bought or borrowed in a pinch.

Tackle that Tupperware! If your plastic storage containers are overflowing, consider an overhaul. Try to have only three or four sizes of containers, all from the same brand.

Put items in their proper places. I know it sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people are reaching and bending for utensils they use every day. Start by sorting items in piles for daily use, weekly use, and less often. Items used more often should be able to be accessed without squatting or grabbing the footstool. Items used less than once a month may be able to be stored in other rooms or storage areas. Consider putting great-grandma’s antique platter on a shelf or the mantle instead of taking up prime kitchen space.

Remember, there are a lot of people in need, especially this year. Your kitchen items could be just what a family needs to make their holidays special. Consider donating to worthy causes.

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