Container Stories

Preparing Your Kitchen for the Holidays

Inspiration and product suggestions from the organizing pros

by Brad

If you're planning on hosting house guests during the holidays, a well-organized kitchen is imperative. As much as we all love our families and friends, no one wants to feel embarrassed when they start prowling through your pantry on the hunt for snacks or utensils. After all, the holidays should be about fun, love, and laughter, not snarky remarks from Cousin Karen when she can't find your corkscrew.

To help us all avert potential blow-ups, we've called in our brand ambassadors to help us prepare our kitchens for the holidays. Check out their suggestions below!

Sweet Pembroke Home

"With Thanksgiving here next month and the BIG possibility of hosting a big family dinner, I have started to freak out a little," admits Eileen of Sweet Pembroke Home. "The thought of family helping me with dinner and opening my cabinets and drawers in the state that they're in gives me a minor panic attack (maybe even a BIG one)."

Eileen's utensil/gadget drawer before the transformation.

Luckily, Eileen worked with us at The Container Store to help find the best solutions for her kitchen. After emptying her drawers, purging any unused items, and cleaning the inside, she added Everything Drawer Organizers to help keep everything in its right place. "They come in various sizes, perfect for all the different items in my drawers," she says.

Blue Pencil Home

Brooke and Katie of Blue Pencil Home are also big fans of the Everything Drawer Organizers. According to them, "these are definitely the best drawer organizers out there." They recently put them to use in their client's kitchen, noting, "The edges are square unlike previous organizers so they fit together perfectly. Plus, they have little rubber feet on the bottom, which keeps them from moving around in a drawer--even if you slam it!"

Blue Pencil Home also organized that same client's upper cabinets using the Chrome Undershelf Storage Baskets. "Through the years we've tried a number of solutions to fix this problem and we have found some pretty good fixes, but, now that we've been introduced to these, we might be converted," Brooke and Katie raved. "Not only did we find them extremely useful for our water bottle problem in the cabinet, but we also think they would work exceptionally well in a pantry (to store bread so it doesn't get squished), or to store produce that needs to breathe (such as potatoes or onions) to keep them from rotting."

Practically Perfect

Kitt from Practically Perfect tackled a different part of the kitchen--the refrigerator. (And not just any fridge--her own fridge!) "We are professional organizers and we're not at all ashamed to admit that even our own spaces need an organizational refresh from time to time," Kitt and Joni write on their blog.

Their number one tip for fridge organization is to create "zones" for each type of food--beverages, snacks, leftovers, etc.--and to accomplish this they implemented iDesign Linus Fridge Bins and The Home Edit Lazy Susans. They also recommend creating a shopping plan that ensures you'll only buy what you'll end up using, thus eliminating crowded fridges and waste.

Grid + Glam

Corinne Morahan of Grid + Glam has a similar approach to the "zone" philosophy. "My zones include items to be cooked (these are front-and-center), lunch, dinner, and veggies," she explains on her blog. "It sounds intense, but it's super easy." She uses our Refrigerator Organizer Bins and OXO greensaver Produce Keepers to keep each food category separate and easily visible. For beverage storage she opts for the iDesign Linus Wine Holders and Plastic Carafes, stressing the importance of "vertical storage" in the fridge. "Beverages take up a lot of valuable real estate in my fridge, so a good remedy is to 'go vertical!'" she says.

While many of these projects may seem like a lot of work, they're often easier to accomplish than you think! Remember--in as little as 15 minutes you could have that messy kitchen utility drawer tidied up and ready for your house guests. It only takes up a small amount of your time, and the result is a win for everyone!

(For more holiday prep tips and tricks, check out our Projects & Inspiration page.)

*Cover photo courtesy of Practically Perfect L.A.