With just a few weekends to go before winter holiday season kicks in, here’s a checklist of home storage spaces you might want to clean and purge now (especially if you’ll be entertaining or hosting house guests for the holidays!).
Kitchen cabinets. At least once a year, it’s a good idea to sort through stored canned and dried foodstuffs, discarding anything that is past expiration or best-by consumption dates. With everything else that’s been sitting around for a while, consider donating to local shelters or food pantries. Finding new homes for pantry foods can free up plenty of space for stowing holiday feast ingredients and keeping countertops and other food-prep areas as clear as possible.
Fridge & freezer. Holiday feast cleanup is SO much easier when you have plenty of free space for storing leftovers in the fridge and freezer. As with cabinets, you will also likely find a few items that are past their safe-to-consume dates. Especially with frozen foods, you might be surprised at how short the safe storage guidelines really are.
Dish/glass/silverware storage. Chances are, at least a few of your holiday guests will offer to pitch in either with serving or cleaning up the feast; make things easy for them by ensuring storage spaces for dishes, glasses, platters, serving utensils, silverware, napkins, and so forth are well organized and easy to access. While you’re at it, make sure you have a big supply of fresh, clean dish-drying towels on hand.
Food-storage container supply. Taking a few short minutes now to assess your food-storage container inventory, sort, neatly stack, and discard orphaned lids and containers will pay off BIG time when you are trying to pack up holiday feast leftovers. A nice touch for guests is to have extra containers on hand so they can take favorite leftovers away when they leave.
Coat closet/living area storage. Picture your beautifully decorated holiday setting strewn with guests’ electronic gadgets, cameras, keys, handbags, diaper/baby bags, coats, jackets, boots, shoes, and so forth. Now, go make plenty of storage space available, including empty hooks and hangers, where guests can neatly stow all the stuff they will likely carry with them into your home.
Guest bed/bathrooms. If you are fortunate enough to have extra sleeping or bathroom spaces dedicated for guests, there is also a pretty good chance these seldom-used spaces have not been deep cleaned in a while and/or have been used for overflow storage. Knock these cleaning tasks off your list sooner than later so you can spend more time in a few weeks focusing on the fun stuff, like decorating and menu planning.
Decoration storage. Speaking of holiday decorations, how long has it been since you’ve given your supply a good sort, purge, and dusting? Take out and buff up the items you intend to use this year, and—as with all long-term storage areas in the home—if you haven’t used something in the last year or two, it’s time to think about moving it along!
Clothing and toy storage. Finally, if holiday gift giving is a big deal in your family, it’s a perfect time of year to purge and free up space in clothing closets, drawers, and—if you have younger children or pets — their toy storage areas.