Preparing your kitchen for summer festivities
Summer is a perfect time for getting together with family, friends and neighbors. Prepare and organize your kitchen in advance to make your festivities easier to enjoy. Here are a few tips to consider:
Make a checklist
If you have the good fortune of knowing exactly which events you will be hosting this summer, you have a great advantage: the ability to plan in advance. Rushing to organize your kitchen at a moment’s notice often results in multiple trips to the supermarket.
For each event, party or dinner you plan to host this summer, create a checklist of everything you’ll need. Your list may include ingredients for meals as well as additional silverware, plates and storage containers. For parties, you may also include temporary decorations such as banners, balloons and candles.
You’ll likely have some overlap among your lists, so you can optimize your shopping trips by consolidating the general purpose products from the items intended for a specific event. For perishable goods, add dates to your list so you know how far in advance you can make those purchases. By planning ahead, you can avoid a last-minute dash to the grocery store as your guests are arriving.
Create pathways to dining areas
Over the summer months, you’ll likely have meals in more than one location. Though family dinners will still be held in the dining room, other meals may take place out in the backyard or on the patio. To ensure you’re able to bring food to your guests without incident, make sure your pathways are clear.
Creating a walkway from the kitchen to the patio reduces the chances of spills and tripping accidents. During the summer, consider rearranging your furniture to create a visible path between these areas. If you plan on grilling this summer, it’s best to prep in the kitchen, then bring your prepared meat and veggies out to the grill. If your home has wood or tile floors, it may be helpful to use a rolling serving cart to transfer food between rooms.
Remove unnecessary items
Parties and dinners often require as much counter space as your kitchen can spare. As you prepare for each event this summer, you’ll likely realize that some objects in your kitchen are only going to get in the way. For instance, if you have a stand mixer that typically resides on the counter, but you won’t be doing any baking for the event, you may want to store the mixer elsewhere during the get together.
That said, you don’t need to make your kitchen completely barren. Decorations in your kitchen can inspire you and create a welcoming environment for guests. Consider adding wall hangings or shelved decorations to add some personality to the room without creating additional clutter.
Leave space for guests
Though cooking can be an enjoyable experience, it’s always more fun when you can chat with your guests as you prepare the meal. However, you also don’t want everyone at the party to end up in the kitchen. To strike a balance, consider setting aside some space for one or two guests to hang out in the kitchen. A small table and chair set can provide a nook for guests to relax in without getting in the way of your preparations.