6 Things You Should Do Right Now to Prep Your Kitchen for Holiday Baking, According to Pro Organizers

published Oct 19, 2022
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Various holiday cookies plated and in bags or boxes.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

With Halloween around the corner, it’s almost the season for holiday baking. (We know, we can’t believe it either.) And whether you’re planning to whip up a few pumpkin pies or you’re more into cookies and bars, it’s always a good idea to get your kitchen prepped and ready for all the baked goods. From taking stock of inventory to optimizing your workspace, here are the most important steps to take before you start holiday baking, according to professional organizers.

1. First, assess your inventory.

Before you head to the store for ingredients, assess your existing inventory. Pro closet and pantry designer Andrea Litsch suggests checking the expiration date on all food coloring, sprinkles, flour, and sugar, and tossing anything that’s not good anymore. Look over your baking pans, bowls, spoons, and measuring cups, too. If anything looks dingy or worn-out, it may be time to replace it!

2. Borrow from friends. 

Debra Baida, professional organizer with Liberated Spaces, suggests seeing what you can borrow or acquire from a friend or neighbor, especially if you only bake once or twice a year or you have limited kitchen storage space. “Many people have underutilized pans, trays, and more collecting dust in the far reaches of their cupboards,” says Baida. “Facebook Buy Nothing groups are especially helpful for this, and you may inspire someone else to do a little pre-holiday kitchen purge.”

3. Decant your ingredients.

Michelle Urban, owner of The Organized House, suggests decanting baking ingredients in clear, airtight containers to help you see precisely how much of an item you have on hand. “Decanting will also help your baking ingredients stay fresher, and by eliminating excess packaging, your items will take up way less space,” she says.

4. Put your ingredients where you can see them.

Olivia Parks, owner of Professional Organizers Baton Rouge, recommends keeping all your baking ingredients on easy-to-see shelves, so you can quickly find what you need in a pinch — tiered shelves or Lazy Susans can be a major game-changer! Bring all your bakeware to the front of your cabinets and move anything you don’t use to the back (or to another space in your home if you don’t have room for both). 

5. Create room in your freezer.

If you’re going to be baking ahead of time and freezing items, Brenda Scott, owner of Tidy My Space, says it’s important to clear out your freezer. Go through your freezer, section by section, and toss anything that’s freezer-burned or past its prime to make room for all those delicious treats. 

6. Assess your cookie storage.

Now’s also a great time, Scott says, to edit your food-storage container collection to ensure you have ample storage for everything you bake. “Make sure if you’re storing baked goods in the freezer that the container is meant to be frozen,” she says. “It should say on the container itself or on the packaging it came in.” While you’re at it, check your stock of tin foil, plastic wrap, and wax paper as well, and replenish as needed.