Week one – work on the Cooking Zone. This would involve cleaning the stove, oven, and microwave as well as organizing pots, pans, cooking utensils, and bake-ware. If your space is crowded, consider giving away pots that are rarely used. If you have special cookware that is used only for a specific holiday, consider storing that item with the holiday decorations instead of taking up space in your kitchen all year long.
Week two – work on the Food Preparation Zone. This would include cleaning out the refrigerator as well as organizing cutting boards, knives, mixing bowls, spices, mixers, blenders, measuring cups and spoons. After emptying out and cleaning the refrigerator, return items to specific zones in your fridge. There might be a dairy zone, a snack zone, a leftovers zone, a fresh produce zone. Check your cutting boards. Are they still usable? Keep only the best ones. Check your spices. Get rid of the ones that are past their prime and see what might be needed for the holiday cooking.
Week three– work on your Dishes Zone. This will include your sink and dishwasher. Organize your dishes, bowls, mugs, glasses, and flatware. Again, purge any items you do not need.
Week four– work on your Food Serving Zone and your Food Storage Zone. Look over placemats, napkins, trivets, large serving pieces and any groups of items you have not already organized. When you go through your pantry, pull out any cans that you have been holding on to and are reaching expiration or you do not expect to use soon. Donate these to a food pantry. When you replace your food in the pantry, group the foods by type – all soups together, all vegetables, all pasta, etc.
Any cleaning/organization areas that were missed like cleaning windows, light fixtures, or the floor can be added to any week that you have enough time. Now step back and enjoy your fresh kitchen. You are ready for the holidays! Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer