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Making the Most of Your Countertop Space for the Holidays

Counter top spaceWith Thanksgiving right around the corner, you’ve probably already started planning your meal which can be stressful. One of the best ways to reduce stress during this time is to plan out how you’re going to use your space. The key ingredient to this plan is figuring out how to optimize your countertop space.

Clear Your Countertops

The first part of this is preparation is to clear off your countertops.  You want to make sure every inch of counter space is available for you to work on.  The day before you cook, when you have your menu planned, spend some time going through your kitchen and taking everything off your countertop you won’t need.  This includes all small appliances, such as toasters, coffee machines, and blenders.  If you won’t be using it during your preparation, store it away in a cupboard or in another room.

Create Stations

Once your counter top is cleared off (and cleaned), the second part of optimizing your preparation is to create stations.  Have a specific area for chopping food, such as vegetables, another space for working with bread or dough, another for cooling off dishes, and another for dirty dishes.  If you have a space for every food item, and for every job, you will spend less time hunting for items or clearing things out of your way.

Part of creating that station is to make sure your cooking tools and utensils are clean, well-organized, and easily reachable.  Have all your spatulas, whisks, cooking spoons, measuring cups, and other tools situated around the stations where they will be needed.  Make sure you either have enough on hand to get through all your food items or have a way to easily and quickly clean them as you go.

Plan Ahead

The best way to optimize your countertop space is to get everything that you can prepare ahead of time done the day before.  By minimizing the amount of items you actually have to cook on Thanksgiving Day, you can have more space to work on them.

Once you have your countertops cleared of all non-essential items, have specific work stations for all your cooking needs, and have as much as you can pre-prepared, you are ready to handle your big day of cooking.  The last step is to create a timetable so you know when you need to be cooking each item.  By following your timetable, and making sure each item on that timetable has a space on your countertop, you will be able to go through the day in an organized and stress-free manner, resulting in a delicious meal that everyone will enjoy.