If those big red fizzy drink trucks have started appearing on your TV screens, it can only mean one thing. Those holidays are a-coming!
The Christmas holidays are a time for joy and for spending time with your family and loved ones, but it is also that time of year when your home comes into sharp focus. Some of the more obvious areas of your home which will require attention are the rooms which your guests will see, namely the living room, bathroom or cloakroom, dining room and the guest bedroom, if you are lucky enough to have one. However, it is the more functional rooms where all the magic happens; in this case the kitchen!
If you have the job of being host on Christmas Day, the layout and design of your kitchen can have a major impact on how well your day goes. With these 6 easy ways to prepare your kitchen, you can make sure your Christmas Day is a real cracker!
1. Clear your kitchen worktops
It may be one of the more obvious things to do, but over Christmas you can often accumulate tonnes of festive clutter in the form of drinks, chocolates, nuts and that bottle of Blue Nun that your well-meaning Great Aunt thought you’d like. After all, it is the time for giving and receiving!
Finding a neat and convenient place for all those things can be real help, as you’ll need every square inch of your kitchen worktop if you’re going to prepare a lavish feast.
2. Wash up as you go
All those glasses, plates and crockery can start to pile up if you let them. Keep on top of everything and wash up as you go. It’ll ultimately save you from one massive washing up session late at night, right when your energy levels are at their lowest. Wipe down laminate worktops if they get greasy or messy and tidy away rubbish and recycling as soon as it accumulates.
3. Everything where you need it
There are a number of items which you’ll only really require over the Christmas period: Think candles for that festive living room, matches for lighting the Christmas Pud, a nutcracker for when you feel like devouring a whole bowl of brazil nuts.
By putting things in logical places, you won’t waste time scrabbling around looking for them, like those scissors, which’ll certainly come in handy when trying to release your children’s new toys from their vice-like packaging.
Bottle openers and corkscrews are a necessity at this time of year. Maybe invest in a couple more, just to be on the safe side, or keep one about your person.
4. Child-proof Christmas
If you don’t have little ones yourself, or if all your children have now flown the nest, you might forget that small children can be extremely inquisitive. If you are expecting guests with kids, it is a good idea to do a child-friendly audit of your kitchen before they arrive.
Whilst children are in the house, ensure pan handles don’t protrude over the side of your worktop, and make sure electrical flexes for kettles and toasters are tucked neatly out of the way. Washing up detergents and any form of harmful cleaning agents, should either be stored in a cupboard, high up out of the way, or you could simply add a child lock to your existing cupboard (these can be purchased for next to nothing).
5. Move your tea & coffee making facilities
Your kitchen is going to be a hive of activity over the festive period, and you’re certainly going to be one busy little bee, so you really could do without other people traipsing in and out of the kitchen, crowding your space.
You’ll no doubt be serving numerous cups of tea and coffee over Christmas, with a mince pie or two if your guests are lucky! However, with the kettle usually being in the kitchen, it can really intrude on your space.
One good idea is to move all the hot drink facilities to another room, ideally a dining room, where guests could potentially help themselves. It’s just another way of keeping you all feeling happy and refreshed!
6. Do a pots & pans stock take
If you have taken on the onerous task of preparing the Christmas dinner for the whole family, you’ll need to check your equipment beforehand. As the old saying goes: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
At least a week before the big day, have a long hard think about the meal (or meals) you are going to serve. Get all the pots, pans, roasting tins, baking trays, serving dishes, plates, bowls and cutlery you’ll need, out from their cupboards.
If you are missing anything or don’t feel you have enough, it will certainly be worth a quick trip out to the nearest home supplies shop. Also, if anything simply isn’t fit for purpose anymore, like a non-stick frying pan which everything sticks to, now is the best time to replace it.
With just a little bit of planning and some simple advice, you can now relax, knowing you’re ready for the big day!