>> Create zones in your workspace. Think ahead to how you cook in your kitchen and try to group like with like. If baking is your forte, gather the tools you typically use to bake and store them together in one cabinet (mixing bowls, dry goods, spices, measuring cups, etc.). If you’re more of a gourmand, collect roasting pans, oils, spices and gadgets so you can prepare your feast with relative ease.
>> Keep a master grocery list of your favorite holiday food staples and have those items on hand. Stock up on favorite holiday beverages and supplies for an easy appetizer so you can entertain on the fly. Keep simple cookie-making and decorating supplies available for a wintry cold day at home with the kids. Update your list regularly so you’re always stocked up and ready to cook.
>> Wrestle your recipes into order. Many of us cook the same 20% of our recipes 80% of the time. Establish your family favorites and have those recipes at the ready. If you have a pile (or disaster area!) of recipes shoved in a drawer, it may be time to purge those you’re unlikely to cook. Pinterest and the Internet make it so easy to find a recipe – let the pesky tear-outs from years past go!
>> Plan to cook now and freeze for later. It can be hard to find a spare moment without a party or activity between Halloween and New Year’s. Seek out recipes that you can make ahead so you can spread out the work and enjoy the festivities. And don’t forget to freeze a few healthy grab-and-go meals so you can balance out the cookies with a vegetable or two.
Perri Kersh is the neatest, and sometimes freakiest, at Neat Freak Professional Organizing, LLC in Chapel Hill. She works with individuals, families, small business owners and students to help them get and stay organized. When she’s not organizing for others, she frequently shovels up after her husband and children. You can read more about Neat Freak at www.neat-freak.com or reach Perri at (919) 824-8196.